Why You Shouldn’t Worry About Fall Needle Drop in Denver According to Tree Pros
Dev Team September 29, 2016

Fall, what a wonderful time in Denver. The weather offers several variations during the day, presenting mild morning temperatures and cooler nights. It’s a time to turn off the A/C and enjoy all the outdoor beauty Colorado has to offer. If you’re looking around your backyard, enjoying a hike in the mountains, or wandering through a park in the city, you will see trees changing all over – colors turn from green to burnt yellows, oranges and reds. You might notice that the pines and spruce trees may be experiencing what is known as fall needle drop. It can be alarming to people but don’t worry this is a normal cycle of shedding and regrowth according to the tree pros at American Arbor Care in Denver.

Here are three reasons you shouldn’t worry about fall needle drop:

It’s A Normal Cycle in Early Fall

Just like the leaves of the aspen, oak and maple trees change colors, marking the end of summertime and the beginning of fall, spruce and pine trees experience needle color change and shedding as well, however, this cycle is less frequent. Branch shedding is also a natural phenomenon. To determine the cause of that branch on the ground, look for some of the tell-tale signs of branch shedding:

Trees Have Different Shedding Cycles

Typically, depending on the age and size of the tree, needles will change color and drop every 2-7 years. Don’t be alarmed if you notice your trees are changing and shedding their needles at different times. Spruce trees tend to shed their needles every 5 to 7 years while pine trees shed more often, usually every 2 to 5 years.

If It Was A Dry Summer

When trees are not provided enough water or food, needle drop will be more severe and begin earlier in the summer. It’s important to provide your trees with proper nutrition to make sure they stay healthy and happy, even in adverse conditions.

Pay attention to these natural cycles and enlist help from your local Denver tree pros at American Arbor Care when you feel that your trees may be experiencing more than natural needle shedding or branch shedding. There are several diseases that cause needle drop as well. To name a few, Cytospora canker, most common in mature Colorado Blue Spruce trees, is a fungal disease. Rhizosphaera needlecast attacks several branches at one time – turning the needles spotted and speckled with yellow blotches. Spider mites could also be a cause of unnatural needle shedding. To learn more about these problems, visit the Planttalk Colorado or check out our past article about early fall needle drop. These issues will be best diagnosed by your trusted Denver Arborist, so enlist help from American Arbor Care!

American Arbor Care is conveniently located in Denver to serve all your tree, shrub and lawn care needs. Contact us now or call us at 303-639-8584 to set up an appointment.

Tips from Your Denver Tree Service to Prevent Fall Pests
Dev Team September 28, 2016

Along with the leaves changing, the start of fall can come with some unwanted pests in your yard and typically consist of webworms and Japanese beetles. Take advice from your local Denver tree and landscape service and make sure you know how to identify and properly deal with these insects before they create too much damage.


Webworms consist of 20 different species that infect turf grass throughout the country. Adults are beige colored, around a half inch long, and have folded wings once mature. As the sod webworms grow, they start to leave large areas of brown sod. They like to choose sunny and dry locations and can kill a lawn in a matter of days. To determine your lawn is being damaged by webworms, you can dig into the patch and look for their telltale silk lined tunnels (or have your local landscape service do that for you!)

Japanese Beetles

Another pest that can wreak havoc on your lawn are Japanese beetles. They live in the soil and feed on the grass roots. Once the grubs (young Japanese beetles), chew off grass roots, it makes it hard for the grass to absorb enough water to survive any hot or dry weather. The way you can tell you have grubs in your grass is simply by looking for patches of dead or brown grass. These patches can be rolled back to show the lack of turf roots. However, you won’t find the grubs here as they have most likely already moved on. In most cases, they can be found in the patches of green grass adjacent to the brown patch.

If you catch them early, it’s fairly easy to prevent further destruction. If your turf is not irrigated, the greater chance that a population as small as 7-15 grubs per square foot can cause some damage. However, if your turf is irrigated, it can help withstand larger numbers of them. The best times to apply insecticide is from mid-July to late September as that is when the most grub root feeding occurs. It’s best to treat Japanese beetles when they are young. At stage 5 of their life cycle, they lay their eggs in turf and soil until up to 60 eggs are laid. This starts in the fall and so it’s crucial to start treatment right away.

The beginning of fall is prime breeding time for both webworms and Japanese beetles. Here are some important things you can do to protect your lawns from these pests:

  • Consistent and regular nutrient feeding to make your lawn strong enough to protect itself
  • Water your lawn frequently and deeply
  • Identify the problem early so it can be controlled as soon as possible

Not sure what’s damaging your lawn? Visit our lawn care and fertilization services page to find out how American Arbor Care, your Denver lawn specialist can help.

Create a Vibrant Introduction to Fall – Color for your Fall Landscape in Denver
Dev Team September 27, 2016

Gardeners often dread fall because they think it means the end of color in their garden. But consider planting a mix of annuals, perennials, and shrubs specifically for autumn. Let us help you put some color into your fall garden so that you can enjoy your Denver landscape a bit longer! We can help you with fall landscape, renovation, and irrigation as well as some fall plant suggestions for the Denver area.

Winter pansies are annuals with flowers that tend to be smaller than those of regular pansies, but you still get a spectacular range of colors. Choose a spot where they’ll get full or partial sunlight, and plant them at least eight inches apart in loamy soil. Water them well, especially when you first plant them. Deadheading will promote new blooms.

Russian sage loves sun and well-draining soil, and it can grow about a yard tall and up to two feet wide. It is a perennial and is known for its gray-green leaves and long-lasting spikes of small purple-blue flowers. It is a late summer bee favorite.

Asters (above) are favorite fall garden plants with star-like flowers ranging from pink to dark purple. Their height varies four feet tall to smaller varieties that reach two feet in height. Asters like full sun, rich, loamy soil, and they like to stay moist.
If you are looking for something to incorporate late summer which will extend into the fall, consider some of these plants especially hardy for the Colorado climate that will thrive in the Denver metro area:

  • Erodium chrysanthum (Yellow Storksbill) makes a compact mound of gray-green leaves, 6″ high and 12″-24″ in diameter. The spring bloom is strongest, followed by some re-blooming the rest of the summer. This is a very drought tolerant plant that has a history of dependable success in the Denver area.
  • Plumbago (Ceratostigma plumbaginoides) is a tough and drought tolerant groundcover that blooms a very long time – from summer and into fall, and then dazzles with deep red fall foliage color. The flowers are an intense dark blue. It grows 6″-10″ high and spreads 24″-36″ or more into drifts. It has exceptional value underneath trees in dry shade.
  • Geranium ‘Rozanne’ has large violet-blue flowers that bloom continuously from late spring to mid fall. The flower is 2 ½” in diameter with purple-violet veins and showy white centers. It can grow 12″-24″ high and wide and its dark green leaves turn red in the fall. Like most hardy geraniums, ‘Rozanne’ has no serious pests and requires little maintenance.

Remember that no garden is complete without the splendor of brightly colored fall foliage provided by shrubs. Consider including some of these proven winners to provide eye-catching fall foliage:

  • Burning Bush
  • Compact American Cranberry Bush
  • Oregon Grape Holly
  • Golden Currant
  • Hedge Cotoneaster
  • Saskatoon Serviceberry
  • Virginia Creeper
  • Western Sand Cherry

Need some guidance with fall plants and shrubs? We can help! We want to help extend your garden color into late fall to give you a vibrant start to your season. Give the team at American Arbor Care a call today: 303-639-8584.

American Arbor Care Will Participate in 2nd Annual Saluting Branches
Dev Team September 14, 2016

Volunteering Tree Care for Veterans Cemeteries

Saluting Branches is a group of arborists and landscape industry professionals, started by Rainbow Treecare in Minnetonka, Minnesota, who have united to honor and remember United States veterans.

American Arbor Care is proud to participate and help do what we do best by providing excellent early fall tree care to help with the long-term upkeep of cemetery facilities. This ensures that the cemetery is a safe and beautiful place for anyone who visits.

In 2015, over one thousand volunteers from almost 250 different companies worked together to provide nearly $1 million and 8,000 hours in tree care and lawn services for cemeteries all throughout the United States. American Arbor Care looks forward to pitching in again, working together to give much-needed tree care for a great cause.

It’s an unfortunate but known fact that the cemeteries which provide comfortable final resting places for our loved ones aren’t always able to keep up with the grounds. This is especially true for dedicated Veteran cemeteries. This is why this once a year event was founded — it helps ensure that cemeteries which may not be able to afford to provide certain professional arborist services are able to take care of any issues with the trees and grounds of the cemetery. Whether it’s needed structural pruning or removing trees that pose a danger, American Arbor care and the rest of the arborists involved in Saluting Branches are happy to have a chance to help.

There are many different opportunities for individuals who may not be tree care specialists to help with the event!

Saluting Branches is always looking for more volunteers to help make the event a success. Some non-tree field work opportunities include dragging brush, raking up debris from specialists who are pruning trees, helping to prune smaller sized shrubs which need attention, and weeding planting beds for flowers.

If that doesn’t appeal to you but you still want to participate and make a positive, lasting impression on the families of Veterans, there are other ways you can volunteer! This could includes assisting with the setup and takedown of the event, being a greeter or staffing the registration table (helping to get waivers signed, handing out hats, etc). You could also be a runner between teams in the field (bringing water, or communicating between groups), help to set up food and refreshments for the workers, or participate by taking photos and videos of the event.

If you are looking for ways to help the Saluting Branches mission before the event even begins, you have many options. You can share news about the event on social media. If that doesn’t seem like enough for you, you can also contact local media outlets, and ask around about food donations for the volunteers working the event.

Saluting Branches is a wonderful community mission. American Arbor Care is proud to be a participant and partner with Rainbow Treecare this year, and we hope assist in revitalizing the area and paying tribute to our country’s veterans.

From Your Denver Tree Service Experts: The Best Time to Plant Trees in Colorado
Dev Team September 1, 2016

Early spring is often considered the right time to plant trees in Colorado, but Fall is actually a perfect time to plant in Denver. You should complete all planting by mid-October. This means right now is the time to plant those trees for color and foliage in the Spring season. In our quest, as your Denver tree service experts, to bring you timely information for your landscape, here are some things to keep in mind when planting trees in the Fall.

Denver’s dry climate and sometimes poor, alkaline soils can present some difficulties for trees. Healthy, long-lived trees get off to a good start when you pay attention to some tree-planting fundamentals, so do your homework before planting trees. They need room to develop root systems underground and branches above ground. Don’t plant trees that will grow too large in small areas. Also avoid planting under power or telephone lines or too close to buildings.

Get Started Planting!

Before digging, contact your utility company to mark the location of any underground lines. You could be liable for damage done to such lines. Then, to prepare the site, mark a circle or square at least 3 times the diameter of the tree’s root ball. In clay soil, dig to a depth 2-4 inches shallower than the height of the rootball. Leave the bottom of the hole firm and undisturbed. To the excavated soil, add 25 percent, by volume, of a coarse organic amendment, such as sphagnum peat, compost or aged manure. Mix it well with the excavated soil; this becomes your backfill.

Remove any plastic or metal containers from the root ball. If the tree is in a fiber pot, tear off the sides. If the roots of a containerized tree are pot-bound, tease out some of the roots and shallowly slit the root ball’s sides with your finger or a knife. For balled trees, cut any rope tied around the trunk and pull the burlap away. Cut any reinforcement wire, removing as much as possible. Be sure the root ball stays intact. Shovel backfill into the hole; continue until roots are covered and most of the backfill is used. Don’t tamp the soil. Don’t put fertilizer into the planting hole; it may cause root injury. Instead, wait until next spring to fertilize lightly.

How Much Water?

Water the soil at relatively low pressure. Let the water settle the soil. If the soil settles below grade, add more backfill. When done, the planting area should be well-soaked and moist backfill should barely cover the top of the rootball. Mulching will reduce watering frequency in the coming months. Also, don’t stake small trees or those not in the wind’s path.

Make sure to water during the winter months too if it is particularly dry. One rule for watering throughout the winter, involves the winter holidays. Water on Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Martin Luther King Day, Valentine’s Day, and then get back on track with your Spring watering schedule.

Need help with tree planting this Fall?

Our arborists can visit and assess your property for your unique trimming, pruning, planting, removal and stump grinding services. Give us a call today:  303-639-8584.

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