Happy Holidays from American Arbor Care!
Dev Team December 21, 2017

Happy Holidays from the team at American Arbor Care! 

We hope everyone enjoys the season, stays warm, and has a happy holiday with loved ones.

Our offices will be closed from Thursday Dec 21 through Jan 2 at 8:00AM to resume normal business hours.

Rid Your Denver Landscaping of Potential Vole and Squirrel Damage
Dev Team December 20, 2017

Landscaping needs are typically highlighted in the fall and spring of the year but winter is fast approaching and also requires a significant and specialized focus to ensure quality growth and sustainability of certain lawn care essentials. The sheer vulnerability of grasses, plants, and trees during winter creates an immediate cause for concern but other items also present a serious threat to the well-being of nature’s foliage and proper Denver landscaping.

Whether you’re concerned about the possibilities of a potential negative outlook or appearance surrounding a home, office, personal business, or potential development opportunity; special considerations must be made. When prepping for winter in your landscape, one of the more common detriments is damage caused by wildlife and in particular, voles and squirrels.


Voles are small rodents that grow from three to nine inches in length and are members of the mouse family. Often confused with moles, the two animals not only have similar sounding names but also cause damage to landscapes in almost the exact same fashion.

Moles dig underneath the surface of the ground, creating an intersecting network of tunnels throughout a yard. Plush and fertile environments and well manicured lawns are often the best source of habitation as it provides the bugs and worms moles rely on for their diet. While these tunnels are not often visible to the eye upon initial observation, the soil becomes soft and squishy from the tunneling underneath while some raised areas may be present from a recent path.

On the other hand, voles create a potentially more problematic eyesore for landowners and those wishing to maintain a picture perfect landscape. Instead of tunneling underground, voles create paths along the surface of the soil making small ditch like runways over an inhabited area. These critters are also known to gnaw on roots, shrubs and trees, eating stems and grasses causing damage not only to the yard but any surrounding foliage as well.

Winter is an especially harsh season for vole damage as the snow covered ground makes noticing the paths created by vole movement more difficult since the rodents will burrow on top of the soil but underneath all of the snow. Also, plants are more susceptible to damage, already being in a vulnerable state due to the harsh weather conditions and then can be potentially hurt more from the diet of a vole.

Vole Removal

Managing voles in Colorado is an especially specific and timely task but can pay big dividends when properly maintained and executed. Eight different species affecting the state makes the task all the more daunting and regulates the approach needed for a specific area. Proper yard maintenance and upkeep with professional Denver landscaping help can assist in ensuring your yard doesn’t become a playground for voles or in the event removal of an infestation is needed.

There are three common practices involved in vole removal and prevention but every situation is unique and should be assessed accordingly. One factor in particular, is the size of the affected area and potential number of voles causing the unsightly damage to the property.

These three means of management include: repellents, trapping, and rodenticide.

Repellents – Other than urine smells of vole predators like fox and coyotes, three more common substances can be used as a potential vole repellent. Castor oil and hot sauce are two easily accessible items but depending on the area of infestation may not provide an ideal solution.

Thiram is a manufactured substance originally used in apple and wine farming to keep deer, rabbits, and rodents from the trees and produce. Use also applies to voles and should help protect both the surface area and any plants, shrubs, or trees that could potentially be harmed by a hungry vole. All of these repellents should also keep all plants, shrubs, and trees safe without causing harm during application.

Trapping – Similar to any rodent or mouse trap, the spring loaded traps can work on voles as well. However, these are preventative typically only after damage has been observed and then noting where traps should be placed.

Rodenticide – Finally, using a pesticide to kill the voles can be potentially dangerous to other surrounding wildlife and should not be administered without professional assistance. Application and effective use must take into account the potential risks and hazards associated with using this particular method.

Squirrels and Squirrel Removal

Squirrels are also members of the rodent family but not nearly as frequently associated with the mouse. There are two main types of squirrels relative to their more natural environment. Tree squirrels and ground squirrels both are common and can cause damage to plants and shrubs in their environment.

With strength in numbers, eliminating a squirrel population is extremely difficult as no real pesticide will do the trick and essentially, trapping and moving the pests is the best option but with so many it will require an inordinate amount of daily monitoring.

Squirrel tree damage is often caused by the animal gnawing on the bark or stripping a tree of its’ outer protective layers. These pests also can cause damage to ground shrubs and in particular gardens and plant bulbs.

A more common approach to preventing squirrel damage to ground plants is using a protective barrier to enclose potential plants and shrubs. Also, ensuring steps are being taken to prevent an inviting environment for the critters will also benefit limiting their opportunity to move in on a particular area.

If you’re landscape is suffering from vole damage or you just need to have a professional check a property for other reasons, let the certified professional arborists at American Arbor Care help. They can assist with any and all of your tree trimming, and debris removal needs, in addition to offering stump grinding and irrigation services. The experts at American Arbor Care have been proudly serving the Denver area for over 20 years and can set you up with an appointment or free estimate for any of their services. Contact us today online or call 303-639-8584 to get started right away!

American Arbor Care Gives Back with Gold Crown’s Clubhouse
Dev Team December 19, 2017

Gold Crown’s Clubhouse is a free-of-charge, award-winning program model developed by the Boston Museum of Science and MIT Media Laboratory. We are part of the Clubhouse Network which has expanded to 100 Clubhouses in 19 countries.
 Since opening our doors in Lakewood 14 years ago, over 6000 youth have passed through them. Our Clubhouse provides a creative, safe, and free out-of-school learning environment where young people ages 10-18 work with adult mentors to explore their own ideas, develop new skills, and build confidence in themselves through the use of technology.
Serving thousands of youth over the years who have gained confidence, self-efficacy and STEAM skills through the Gold Crown Clubhouse, we wanted to expand our reach; Edgewater is that perfect community! Through a partnership with the City of Edgewater and Jefferson County Schools, we will open our new Gold Crown Clubhouse in Edgewater, CO January 8th 2018! Set within a 16-square block area, there are two Jefferson County elementary schools and a Jr./Sr. high school all within walking distance of the new Clubhouse. We look forward to extending our reach to youth in this community and the neighboring communities of Lakewood, Wheat Ridge and Denver. With the support of the city, community and schools, Gold Crown is transforming what was an abandoned historic church into a state of the art invention workshop!

Top Ways to Prepare your Trees, Shrubs, and Denver Landscaping for Winter
Dev Team December 13, 2017

Plants, trees, gardens, and shrubs prepare for the winter just like people do. Homeowners need to take actions and precautions now, in the fall, that will help their Denver landscaping investment last throughout the winter. With a little extra time and effort, both on your own and in conjunction with your local arborist, you will achieve this success. Learn how plants prepare for winter on their own, reasons to use anti-desiccants, and the importance of aerating your soil to ensure survival.

How Plants Prepare

Perennials last all year long, year after year, and can make it through the winter as opposed to annuals. The process begins when the days start to get shorter. How? Less sunlight plays a huge role. Plants work through the seasons and life cycles, which aides in their survival. One of the ways they do this is with proteins and the storage of sugar within their roots. This process is very similar to what anti-freeze does for vehicles. Over time, plants build up solutes to help avoid freezing and the formation of ice. When there is a breakdown in the process, the tissues become damaged and there is also desiccation. This occurs when the plants dry out.

Using Anti-Desiccants

Plants and evergreen trees that endure desiccation run the risk of dying—a situation you want to avoid. You will begin to notice there is a problem when leaves and needles become brown This is due to the lack of water. When desiccation takes over, the plant, tree, or shrub will die. Desiccation occurs when plants have roots that are frozen, making it difficult to use its internal processes to stay alive. When there is dryness in the atmosphere, the two combined can create issues with your landscaping.  This is why you must use anti-desiccants to prevent this from happening. When treating your soil with them, water retention is much better than if it were on its own. You need to treat your soil in the late fall or early winter. Make sure you complete the treatment on a sunny, mild day. Work with your local arborist who can manage this for you.

Winter preparation is one of the most important elements of maintaining a healthy, lush landscape. If you did not take the necessary steps for ensuring your plants make it through to the next season, you might need some assistance come spring. Work with the best team in Denver at American Arbor Care and learn how and when to treat your plants to be sure you have the ideal landscape next winter.

Looking for more ways to help your plants, shrubs, and trees survive the winter? Use these fall watering and winterization tips for your Denver landscaping. The best way to ensure the longevity of your investments, trust the experts at American Arbor Care. Now is the time to act before cold temperatures officially set in. Call us at 303-639-8584 to get started.

Make Your Home and Landscaping in Denver Shine for the Holidays
Dev Team December 6, 2017

The holiday season is here, which means it is time to add your outdoor decor to your landscaping in Denver. For some, the lights and decorations are minimal, while for others, it is the goal to be the most magical house on the street. No matter how you prefer to set up your yard, it is definitely time to get to work. For tips on hanging lights and ideas for porches, to highlighting walkways and driveways, use these tips to prepare for the holidays.

Hanging Lights

Your first agenda item for hanging lights and holiday decor is to create a plan. Even if you have the same lights you hang year after year, or rely on an expert for help, it is important to know the steps you will take. For a minimal and simplistic look, take a single strand of lights, either one color or multi-color, and hang them around the outlines of your home. If you prefer to maximize your lights, while working on your plan, create a list of all the areas you can hang lighting. This could be the outline of the home, as well as around chimneys, doorways, shrubs, bushes, trees, and more. Be sure to review more tips for preparing for your holiday lighting from the tree experts.

Porch Ideas

Front porch lighting is a great way to welcome guests. Add a strand of lights around your door ways and porch lights if you have them. Complement your lighting with a welcoming wreath on your door. You can purchase one from your local home goods store, or try one of these holiday wreaths on your own. Pair it with a holiday welcome mat, as well as a figurine such as a snowman or candy cane.

Walkways and Driveways

Lighting around your walkways and driveways is not only a great way to enhance your holiday decor, but provides added safety, too! With the longer nights among us, it helps to have a guide as you pull into your driveway, or walking into your home. You can add lighting by strands, or by strategically placing lights into the ground along the pathway. You can tie in holly or other decor around the lights to compete the holiday feel. Festive lighting options also exist; imagine your driveway lined with light-up candy-canes. That’s sure to get the holiday spirit going!

Hiring an Expert

Thousands of Americans injure themselves each year due to accidents while hanging holiday lights. Even the most experienced of people may not have the proper tools and resources to safely execute their holiday lighting and decor plans. By hiring a team of expert local arborists, like the team at American Arbor Care, you can place your plans in the hands of an experienced team.

To help you with your holiday lights this season, American Arbor Care has you covered. We will hang your lights and assist with decor to help you have the best house on the block. This will help keep you safe and give you more time for your other holiday activities. Call us today at 303-639-8584 to see how we can help you.

When was the last time you had a landscape assessment with a Certified Arborist?

Schedule your free assessment today!