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What You Need to Know About the Emerald Ash Borer

September 20, 2017

The emerald ash borer is a beetle that feeds off of the inner bark of ash trees, which affects the tree’s ability to transport nutrients. This pesky little beetle is responsible for killing hundreds of millions of ash trees in North America, and in 2013, it was spotted in Boulder, Colorado. Since one in six trees in Denver are ash trees, it is crucial that these pests do not make their way into the city. The city launched a campaign last year to try to keep the emerald ash borer out of Denver, however Denver landscaping companies have already been treating ash trees for these pests. Learn more about the emerald ash borer and prevention.

Therefore, it’s important to learn about the emerald ash borer so you can spot the warning signs and take action quickly if you happen to spot an infested tree. Here’s what you need to know:

Vulnerable Trees

The emerald ash borer feeds on all species of ash trees—including both those that are in woodlands and landscaped areas. Some of these beetles have been found within white fringetrees in Ohio, however it is believed that this was an isolated incident and that the beetle does not typically feed on this type of tree. The beetle typically targets trees that are already stressed, however that does not mean healthy trees are safe from this pest. Healthy trees are often targeted and can die within three to four years after they become infested.

Identifying Ash Trees

Knowing that emerald ash borers attack ash trees doesn’t help unless you know what an ash tree looks like. There are three things you should look for to determine if you have ash trees in your yard. First, look for a distinct diamond pattern in the bark of the tree. The bark does not form perfect diamonds, but it should be fairly obvious that the bark is creating a diamond-like shape if it is truly an ash tree.

The second indication that you have an ash tree is the presence of compound leaves. This means that each stem growing off of the branches has multiple leaflets as opposed to one single leaf. There are usually between five to nine leaflets per stem on an ash tree.

Finally, look for opposite branch growth on the tree’s limbs. The branches of ash trees grow in pairs, meaning that for every branch stemming from an ash tree limb, there will be another similar branch growing on the exact opposite side of that limb. If a tree has all three of these characteristics, it is definitely an ash tree. Remember, ash trees are incredibly common in the Denver metro area, so it is very likely that you have at least one somewhere near your home.

How to Spot Emerald Ash Borers

There are certain signs that indicate your tree could be infested with emerald ash borers. First, look for small, d-shaped holes in the bark of your tree. These small holes are created when the adult beetles emerge from the inside of the tree. If you suspect that the tree is infected, you can also remove a small portion of the outer bark so the inner bark is visible. Larvae feeds on the inner bark, and as they do, they create very noticeable s-shaped patterns in the bark. The outer bark conceals these marks, which is why spotting an infestation can be so challenging.

You can also look for the actual beetle itself, although this may be hard to spot. Adult emerald ash borers are metallic green and about the same size as a grain of rice. The larvae, which hide in the inner bark, are lightly colored and less than two inches in length.

Trees that are infested will have a hard time transporting nutrients and water to the top branches. As a result, the canopy of the tree may start to lose its leaves as the branches slowly die. Infested trees will also start to sprout new branches—usually right near where the larvae are feeding—so keep your eyes peeled for new and unusual branch growth. Another sign that your trees could be infested is the presence of woodpeckers, which feed on emerald ash borer larvae. Of course, seeing a woodpecker does not mean that your tree is definitely infested. However, if you begin to see woodpeckers along with other signs of infestation, this indicates there could be emerald ash borers inside your trees.

Similar Looking Beetles

Don’t panic if you happen to spot a metallic green beetle on one of your trees. The emerald ash borer is known for its bright color, but it’s not the only beetle with this coloring. Blister beetles are also green, however they are typically found on the ground or on short plants and flowers. Japanese beetles are green, but they also have white spots around their body and copper-colored wings. Another green-colored pest is the tiger beetle, which is just as shiny and metallic as the emerald ash borer, but not nearly as destructive. If you spot a green-colored beetle, contact a tree service company right away so they can determine if you have emerald ash borers.

Be Defensive

Ideally, you should put a plan in place to protect your trees from the emerald ash borer instead of waiting to call for help when you spot the signs of an infestation. If you have ash trees in your yard, it’s best to contact a tree service company to discuss your options even if you do not believe they are infested. Many people decide to replace their trees with other species that aren’t targeted by the emerald ash borer, however this is not the only defense plan that is available.

Do you want to learn more about pest management? If so, contact the professionals. Arbor Garden is a locally owned and operated tree services company that specializes in tree pruning, removing, stump removal, planting, and pest management. Contact us today to learn more about our tree and integrated pest management services and receive a free estimate.

The Importance of Tree Stump Removal in Denver

September 6, 2017

When you hire a tree service professional to cut down dead trees in your lawn, you will need to tell him whether or not he should remove the stumps as well. Many people don’t see the need for tree stump removal in Denver. But, before you make this decision, make sure you understand why experts recommend that you remove tree stumps instead of leaving them in your lawn.


The most obvious reason why professionals recommend that you remove tree stumps is because of their unattractive appearance. Having a tree stump in your lawn could drastically affect how the rest of your landscaping looks. In fact, it could even impact how others see your home. If you spend a lot of time on your landscaping, don’t let it all go to waste by leaving a giant tree stump in your lawn. Have it removed to keep the pristine look of your landscaping intact.

You should also keep this in mind if you are planning on selling your home in the near future. The curb appeal of a home is important to potential buyers. Some buyers may not even be interested in looking inside a home that has an unsightly tree stump out front.

Trip and Fall Hazard

It’s easy to avoid running into a tree when you’re walking through your lawn, but you may forget about the stumps that are hiding in your grass. Anyone can accidentally run into a tree stump—especially kids who are too busy playing to look for obstacles in their path. Tripping over a tree stump could lead to scrapes, bruises, and even broken bones if it knocks you off of your feet. Even worse, if someone else trips on a tree stump that is on your property, you could be liable in the event that this person suffers injuries. Protect yourself—and your loved ones—by removing tree stumps in your lawn as soon as possible.

Attracts Pests

Tree stumps can also attract pests, which can be incredibly difficult to get rid of once they’ve invaded your lawn. Some species of ants are known to nest in decaying tree stumps. If the tree stump is located close to your home, the ants could eventually make their way inside looking for food. Learn more about the infestation of ants in a tree stump.  

But, ants aren’t the only pests you have to worry about if you have tree stumps in your lawn. Tree stumps can attract a number of different pests, including wood boring beetles and termites. These pests can easily move from tree to tree, attacking and destroying the healthy trees in your lawn just because you did not remove a tree stump. Similar to the ants, these pests can also make their way into your home and cause structural damage.

Diseases and Fungi

Why did you have to cut the tree? In many cases, trees need to be cut because they are infected with a disease or fungus. Cutting the tree down is not enough to completely eradicate the problem. The fungus or disease could remain in the tree stump, which means it still poses a threat to the rest of your trees. Most diseases and fungi can easily spread to other healthy trees in your lawn, which will cause a great deal of damage that could have been avoided by simply removing the tree stump.

Lawn Maintenance

It can be very difficult to mow your lawn if there are tree stumps scattered everywhere. Pushing or riding a lawn mower around a stump is challenging, so you may end up with grass that looks uneven. Plus, if you accidentally get too close to the stump when cutting your grass, the stump could damage the mower.


Most homeowners want to make good use out of every inch of their lawns. But, a tree stump does nothing but take up space that could be used for a garden, a sitting area, or even a kids’ swing set. Maximize the space in your lawn by removing all of the tree stumps that don’t provide any value.


Even when a tree is cut down, it can generate regrowth. The tree stumps in your lawn could start to sprout branches, known as suckers, which will start to appear around the base of the stump. Letting these suckers grow freely could make your lawn look unkempt. In addition, these suckers will absorb some of the nutrients in the soil, which means other plants in your lawn may not get as many nutrients.

Suckers can be difficult to remove, but it’s important that you hire someone for the job as soon as possible. If you let them grow for too long, they can become a safety hazard since they are attached to a rotting tree stump that does not offer much support. Even if you hire someone to get rid of them, they may continue to grow back until the tree stump has been completely removed.

Hiring A Professional

There are many articles and how-to videos online that show you how to remove a tree stump on your own. But, it’s never a good idea to try this by yourself. Removing a tree stump requires special equipment and safety gear that you probably don’t have at home. If you try to remove a stump on your own, it’s possible that you could damage the landscaping around the stump. In some cases, a tree stump could be located near pipes or electrical systems, which further complicates the matter. Performing this task without the right equipment and safety gear can also be dangerous. For these reasons, it’s in your best interest to let a professional handle this task instead of attempting to do it on your own.

Do you have tree stumps or dead trees that need to be removed? If so, contact the professionals. Arbor Garden is a locally owned and operated tree services company that specializes in tree pruning, removing, stump removal, planting, and pest management. Contact us today to learn more about our services and receive a free estimate.

Seasonal Shrub Pruning at Arbor Garden - Your Premier Denver Tree Service

August 23, 2017

Pruning is the process of trimming a shrub in order to remove badly damaged or diseased branches and maintain the shrub’s shape and size. Pruning can keep the shrubs in your lawn beautiful and healthy, but only if it’s done at the right time. When should you contact a Denver tree service company to prune the shrubs in your lawn? Here’s a helpful guide to pruning through the seasons:

Summer Pruning

Pruning in the summer is necessary in certain situations. First, summer pruning may be required to maintain the neat and orderly look of manicured hedges. It’s recommended that you prune these manicured hedges before they grow six to eight inches from the last time they were pruned. If you have any shrubs that are not manicured, it’s best to prune these once during the winter and again in the middle of the summer.

There are also certain flowering shrubs that should be pruned in the summer. Avoid pruning any shrubs that flower during the summer. If you prune summer-flowering shrubs, it’s very possible that you will accidentally remove the buds that are about to open up.

However, it is safe to prune spring-flowering shrubs as long as you do so in the early summer. Why does it matter? The forsythia is one of many spring-flowering bushes that may be planted in your yard. This plant blooms in the beginning of spring, then forms new buds during the summer that will open during the following spring. In order to safely prune these plants, wait until the flowers that bloomed in the spring have faded. Do it as soon as possible after these flowers have faded so you can prune before the new buds that will open next year begin to grow. Pruning in the early summer also gives plants like these enough time to heal before winter hits.

Be mindful of the weather if you decide to prune your shrubs during the summer. Ideally, you should avoid pruning shrubs during a heat wave since extreme temperatures can put stress on a plant. Wait until temperatures have leveled off before you begin to trim the shrubs in your lawn.

Has it been raining? If so, do not prune your shrubs until at least 48 hours has passed. Pruning wet landscaping can leave your plants vulnerable to fungal diseases.

Fall Pruning

Many experts recommend that you do not prune during the fall because it can do more harm than good during this season. Why? Pruning stimulates growth, but it also injures the shrub. When a plant is trimmed, it immediately begins to use its energy to create new tissue to heal the wound created by pruning. But during the fall, plants are using their energy to prepare to go dormant during the winter. If you prune during the fall, you are basically asking the plant to allocate some of its precious energy to healing the wound. As a result, the plant may wind up severely weakened and unprepared for winter. Read more about why it’s important to stop pruning in the fall.

Winter Pruning

Winter is the most popular season for pruning. Many shrubs are dormant during the winter, so pruning them during this season will ensure that they experience fast regrowth once spring rolls around. It’s also much easier to prune deciduous shrubs during the winter because all of their leaves are gone, which allows you to get a clear view of the shape of the plant.

Pruning in the winter is also a smart choice if you’re worried about pest infestations. Pests are not nearly as active in the winter as they are in the warmer seasons, so you won’t have to worry about them being attracted to your freshly pruned shrubs.

To maximize the benefits of pruning during the winter, it’s best to wait until the coldest part of the season has passed. Take a look at historical temperatures to see which parts of winter are the coldest to determine when you should begin pruning.

Spring Pruning

If you didn’t get a chance to prune your shrubs during the winter season, then do so in the early spring when the shrubs are still dormant. The leaves should still be off of deciduous shrubs in the early stages of spring, so you should find it fairly easy to identify areas that need to be pruned.

If you want to prune a shrub that blooms during the spring, it’s imperative to research whether the flower is produced on old or new growth. If flowers bloom from buds that were formed during the previous year, then you should not prune them at this time. However, if the flowers bloom from new buds that form in the spring, it’s safe to prune these shrubs while they are still dormant in early spring.

Before pruning summer blooming shrubs, make sure that there is no frost in the forecast. Frost can stress shrubs, which makes it harder for them to heal after being trimmed. Be sure to wait until the weather has slightly warmed up before trimming any summer blooming shrubs.

The Benefits of Calling A Professional

Pruning may seem simple, but as you can see, there are many rules that must be followed in order to keep the shrubs in your yard in good shape. For this reason, it’s best to call a professional instead of pruning on your own. A professional will know the best times to prune each of the shrubs in your yard so you don’t have to worry about accidentally cutting off buds or weakening your plants by trimming them at the wrong time.

Are you interested in learning more about seasonal shrub pruning? If so, contact the professionals. Arbor Garden is a locally owned and operated tree services company that specializes in tree pruning, removing, stump removal, planting, and pest management. Our team will be able to answer your questions and determine how we can help preserve the beauty of your greenery. Contact us today to learn more about our services and receive a free estimate.

Denver Tree Service: An Introduction to Integrated Pest Management

August 9, 2017

Every gardener will have to deal with pest problems at some point, regardless of how well they care for their lawns. There are many different ways to handle pests, but it’s recommended that you use an integrated pest management (IPM) approach to solve your pest problem. What is IPM? How can a Denver tree service company help? Here’s everything that you need to know to protect your lawn:

Defining Integrated Pest Management

IPM is a strategy that uses a combination of biological, cultural, mechanical, physical, and chemical controls to prevent pests and the damage that they cause. Many tree homeowners immediately turn to chemical pesticides when they spot an infestation in their lawn. However, chemical pesticides are not always the best option. People who choose to take an IPM approach will always consider each and every option available before deciding how to treat the problem. When making this decision, they will consider which option poses the least amount of risk to humans’ health, the environment, and other non-harmful organisms that reside on the lawn.  

But, IPM is not just about resolving pest problems as they arise. Another goal of IPM is to be proactive and prevent pest problems before they begin. This can be done by planting trees that have a high resistance to pests and keeping plants healthy so they are strong enough to fight off pests on their own.

Now that you understand what IPM is, it’s time to take a look at the different pest controls that can be used when implementing this strategy.

Cultural Controls

What kind of culture have you created in your lawn? In this context, “culture” refers to everything from the plants that you choose to the time that you water your lawn. In order to prevent pests from damaging your lawn, here are some of the cultural controls that you should consider:
  • Water in the morning instead of the evening. If you turn the sprinklers on in the evening, water droplets will cling to your lawn and create an ideal environment for fungus and pests. If you water your lawn in the morning, these water droplets will evaporate as temperatures rise in the afternoon. Learn the smarter way to water your lawn.
  • Give your plants the chance to thrive by researching where they grow best. If a plant needs to be placed in a sunny spot, don’t make the mistake of putting it in the shade. Likewise, plants that are not resistant to droughts should not be planted in your lawn if you live in a very dry region. Plants that are not placed in their ideal environments are more vulnerable to pests and diseases.
  • Research pest-resistant plants. Find out what plants are resistant to pests and diseases and choose as many of these as possible for your lawn. Some good choices are chrysanthemums, lavender, scented marigolds, and borage.
  • Water the base of the plants instead of the tops. Watering the leaves of your plants could leave them vulnerable to certain fungal diseases that thrive in this type of environment. Instead of letting water spray all over the plant, direct the water right at the roots.

It may take a little extra effort to control the culture of your lawn, but it’s definitely worth it to ensure that your plants are protected from harm. If you aren’t sure where to start to implement cultural controls in your lawn, contact a landscaping professional for some pointers.

Biological Controls

Every organism has a natural enemy—even pests. Implementing biological controls involves identifying natural enemies of pests and diseases and ensuring these enemies are present in your lawn. For example, there are parasitic insects that will lay their eggs on or inside pests, so when the eggs hatch, the parasites feed on and destroy the pests. Here are some of the natural enemies that are often used as biological controls:
  • Lady beetles are enemies to aphids, giant whiteflies, and spider mites.
  • Lace wings are enemies to aphids, caterpillars, lace bugs, mealy bugs, and spider mites.
  • Parasitic wasps are enemies to carpenter worms, elm leaf beetles, thrips, and psyllids.
  • Parasitic flies are enemies to cottony cushion scales, elm leaf beetles, slugs, and snails.

Of course, you should never introduce any new organisms in your lawn without first consulting with a professional.

Mechanical and Physical Controls

Mechanical and physical controls are designed to kill pests that are already present in the lawn, prevent pests from invading the lawn, or make the environment unpleasant so pests have no interest in infesting the area.

An example of a mechanical control would be a trap that catches rats or other small rodents. On the other hand, examples of physical controls would be a layer of mulch that prevents weeds from growing or physical barriers to prevent animals from entering a certain area of your lawn.

Pesticide Controls

Finally, there are pesticide controls, which are often thought of as a last resort and usually used along with a combination of the other three types of controls. There are several different types of pesticides, so it’s important to talk to a professional to determine which is the best choice for your lawn. For example, fungicides should be used to treat fungal diseases, so if you use this type of chemical to fight off insects, it probably won’t be effective.

When using chemical controls, it’s imperative that you always choose the option that will cause the least amount of harm to people, the environment, and any other organisms or plants that you are not trying to target. A professional can help you select an appropriate strategy for your needs.

Are you interested in learning more about IPM and how this strategy can be implemented to protect your lawn? If so, contact the professionals. Arbor Garden is a locally owned and operated tree services company that specializes in tree pruning, removing, stump removal, planting, and pest management. Our team will be able to answer your questions and determine how we can help protect your trees. Contact us today to learn more about our services and receive a free estimate.

Storm Damage and How Denver Tree Trimming Companies Can Help

July 26, 2017

Trees can withstand a lot, but they’re not indestructible. It’s possible that the trees in your yard could be damaged after a bad storm with strong winds and heavy rainfall.

This type of storm damage needs to be addressed right away to protect your family and home.

Fortunately, Denver landscaping companies can help you handle the destruction caused by storms so you can keep your property and family safe from harm.

Types of Storm Damage in Trees

There are several types of damage that you may spot after a storm. Some are much more subtle than others, so it’s important to learn about each of these types so you know what to look for when inspecting your yard. Learn more about trees and storms.

The first type, which is known as windthrow damage, is the easiest to spot because the entire tree will be uprooted and blown over on its side.

It takes a great deal of force to uproot a tree, so this type of damage typically only occurs after extremely strong storms. Older or diseased trees are far more likely to sustain this type of damage because their root systems are already weak.  

Crown twist damage occurs when the crown of the tree, which consists of the branches and leaves, is not symmetrical. If the crown is uneven, the force of high-speed winds may cause the trunk of the tree to twist or crack under pressure.

Branch failure can also occur during a storm. This type of damage is characterized by branches that have either completely fallen off of the tree or have weakened to the point where they look as if they will fall at any second.

If your tree has suffered branch failure, some of the branches may need to be removed, but the base of the tree is hardly ever affected.

Stem failure is a more serious type of damage that occurs when the tree trunk is not strong enough to withstand high-speed winds.

A tree with stem failure will either split or completely snap during a windstorm and will most likely need to be removed as soon as possible after the storm. Stem failure is most common among trees that already have weakened trunks, for example, trees that are diseased or decaying.

What to Do After A Storm

Inspect your yard as soon as possible after a storm, but be mindful of where you are standing. You should avoid standing directly under any branches or trees that look as if they have been weakened as a result of the storm.

You also need to keep an eye out for power lines, which can be very dangerous after a storm. If you spot any signs of damage, contact a professional right away so he can perform an assessment.

The professional will examine the trees in your yard to determine which can be saved and which need to be removed. Any branches that look as if they have been weakened by the storm will be removed before they fall on someone or something.

Even if a tree has some damage, a professional may be able to prune it back to health instead of having to remove it. Smaller trees that have been slightly uprooted may be saved if the tree professional can straighten them and stake them into the ground. However, it is recommended that you remove the tree if more than 30% of the root system is above ground.

The professional may also be able to repair torn bark. If part of a tree’s bark has been torn away, pesky insects may use this as a hiding spot, which can damage the tree even further. A tree professional can use special tools to remove the rough edges of the bark that was ripped off during the storm and improve the appearance of the tree.

You may be tempted to try to repair some of the storm damage on your own, but don’t make this mistake. It can be incredibly dangerous to attempt to remove branches or inspect a tree without the help of a professional. Remember, these professionals have special equipment, safety gear, and of course, years of experience that give them an advantage.

How to Prevent Storm Damage in the Future

To avoid having to deal with these issues after a storm, be proactive and work with a landscaping company to prevent storm damage. First and foremost, have your trees pruned on a regular basis so the weak branches are removed before they cause damage. A tree professional can also prune your trees in a way that creates more resistance to the wind. Trees that have lopsided branches, meaning they are heavier on one side, are vulnerable in windstorms. By pruning the trees, you can create symmetry and ensure that the distribution of the branches’ weight is even so the tree can withstand windstorms.

To prevent damage, you should also get in the habit of frequently inspecting your trees for signs of disease or pest infestations. These trees are the most vulnerable in storms, so removing or treating them ahead of time could save you a lot of trouble during storm season.

Many people believe that topping a tree is an effective way to prevent storm damage, but this is not the case. Topping is the process of cutting off the top of the tree, which turns the lush and leafy top branches of a tree into bare stubs. Topped trees are at a higher risk of developing diseases, which makes the trunk less stable and more likely to blow over during a storm.

Have your trees been damaged by a recent storm? Do you want to storm proof your yard? If so, talk to the professionals. Arbor Garden is a locally owned and operated tree services company that specialize in tree pruning, removing, stump removal, planting, and pest management. Our team will be able to answer your questions and determine how we can help protect your trees. Contact us today to learn more about our services and receive a free estimate.