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Denver Tree Service: Common Mistakes Made on Commercial Properties

November 15, 2017

Many commercial property owners plant trees on their properties in order to make it more visually appealing for their customers. But unfortunately, they often don’t know how to properly care for the trees once they’re in the ground. According to the experts at our Denver tree service company, here are some of the common mistakes that owners make when caring for trees on commercial properties:

Irrigation Issues

Most commercial properties have irrigation systems that are preset to turn on and off at certain times. This certainly makes remembering to water the trees more convenient for property owners, however it could cause more harm than good. Ideally, the irrigation schedule should be adjusted depending on the weather and the condition of the trees.

For example, if it has rained a lot over the last several days, there’s no need to let the irrigation system run. In fact, letting it run when the trees have already received enough water can affect their ability to grow. On the other hand, if the weather has been dry, the irrigation schedule may need to be adjusted so the trees are watered more frequently. Watering trees too much or too little is one of the major mistakes that almost every commercial property owner makes.

Equipment Damage

Commercial properties are typically maintained by landscaping companies that are responsible for trimming the grass and making sure the area looks presentable. However, these landscaping companies often don’t pay much attention to the trees. As a result, they aren’t careful when using equipment such as lawnmowers and edge trimmers around trees.

Bumping into a tree with an edge trimmer may not seem like a big deal, but it can actually cause a great deal of damage. Edge trimmers and lawnmowers are powerful enough to remove pieces of bark from the tree. In some cases, they can do enough damage to interrupt the transfer of nutrients within the tree. The tree will also become more vulnerable to pests and diseases if its bark is wounded by a lawnmower or edge trimmer. To prevent this problem, it’s important for commercial property owners to work with Denver tree service companies as opposed to landscape companies that have little experience caring for trees.

Planting the Tree Incorrectly

People can trip over exposed tree roots and seriously injure themselves, which is why many commercial property owners do not want them growing aboveground. But, tree roots are somewhat uncontrollable. As the tree grows, the roots will grow in every direction where there is space. Some commercial property owners try to keep the tree roots completely hidden by planting the tree deeper in the ground than it needs to be. They assume that by keeping the tree deep in the ground, the roots will have more space to grow underground so they don’t ever grow aboveground. However, planting a tree deep within the ground is not recommended. The top layers of soil contain nutrients and water that the tree roots need in order to keep the tree healthy and strong. If the tree roots are buried deep within the soil, they won’t have access to these nutrients, and the tree will suffer as a result.

Take a look at the trees on your property. Are there any that do not have any visible roots? If so, it’s probably best to call a tree service company to examine the situation. A professional may need to remove some of the soil around the base of the tree in order to give the roots access to the shallow soil they need to survive.

Using the Wrong Fertilizer

All fertilizers are not created equal. Each type of fertilizer contains a unique combination of nutrients, so it’s important to figure out which nutrients your soil needs before fertilizing it. To do this, purchase a soil testing kit at a local home and garden store or contact a professional to perform the test instead. The soil test will tell you the nutrient content of the soil, which is information that you will need in order to pick the right fertilizer. For example, if the test shows that the soil is low in potassium or phosphorus, you would know to use a fertilizer that contained these minerals. Learn how to test your soil.

By using the wrong fertilizer, property owners are often creating a poor growing environment for their trees that could result in irregular growth or unstable trees. For instance, if the soil on the property is already rich in nitrogen, there’s no need to use a fertilizer that contains nitrogen. If you do, leaves may grow uncontrollably on the tree, but the tree’s flowers will not bloom.  

Using Too Much Mulch

Adding a layer of mulch around the base of a tree is a great way to hide unsightly roots and keep the property looking neat and orderly. However, many property owners make the mistake of using way too much mulch around their trees. If too much mulch is applied around the base of the tree, the roots will not be able to absorb oxygen they need to keep the tree alive.

It’s also important to remember that mulch absorbs moisture. If mulch is piled high against the base of a tree, the moisture absorbed by the mulch will slowly seep into the tree trunk. This creates the perfect environment for pests, mold, and mildew, which can all cause serious damage to the tree. Even though a property owner may think a high pile of mulch looks good, it could lead to a diseased or dead tree.

For more information on caring for trees on commercial properties, talk to the experts. Arbor Garden is a locally owned and operated tree services company that specializes in tree pruning, removing, stump removal, planting, and pest management. We work with both residential and commercial property owners, so we would be more than happy to help you care for the trees on your commercial property. Contact us today to learn more about our tree and integrated pest management services and receive a free estimate.

Tree Trimming in Denver: Why Topping Isn’t Recommended

November 1, 2017

Landscaping professionals often discuss the importance of tree trimming in Denver, but it’s important to understand that tree topping is not an effective method of tree trimming. Tree topping is the process of cutting large branches down to stubs in order to reduce the overall size of the tree. Basically, topping removes the entire crown of the tree. Topping can do much more harm than good, which is why this practice must be avoided at all costs. Here are some of the many reasons why tree topping is not recommended:

Causes Starvation

No more than one-third of the tree’s leaves are removed when the tree is trimmed properly. However, tree topping typically removes 100% of the leaves. This creates a problem since the leaves are responsible for producing food that the tree needs to survive. As a result, the tree will temporarily starve until it is able to grow new branches and leaves that are capable of producing food. Learn how trees make food for themselves.

Rapid Growth

Many people top their trees because the trees are too large and need to be trimmed down so they don’t brush against a home or power lines. But, a tree that has been topped will go through a stage of rapid growth, which defeats the whole purpose of topping the tree in the first place. In addition, the new branches that grow after a tree has been topped are not anywhere near as strong as normal tree branches. This means that not only will the tree be back to the size it once was fairly quickly, but it will also be much weaker than it was before it was topped. A strong windstorm could be enough to break these branches, which could then fall on top of power lines, your car, or home. Therefore, it is a mistake to think that topping a tree is a good way to deal with a tree that is too large or branches that could be a safety hazard.

Produces Unattractive Trees

Lush, green trees can completely transform the look of a yard, but unfortunately, tree topping rips away a tree’s beauty. Topping leaves only the trunk and the short stubs of the tree’s branches behind, so the tree is no longer attractive. Having trees with short and stubby branches can make the rest of your home look more unattractive as a result. The branches and leaves will eventually start to grow back on trees that have been topped. But, this does not mean that the tree will regain its original beauty. A topped tree’s shape will never return to what it once was, so even when the leaves and branches have grown back, the tree will not be as beautiful as it was before it was topped. To protect the curb appeal of your home, choose tree trimming instead of tree topping.

Sun Damage

The leaves on a tree typically act as a shield to protect the tree from the sun. When the tree is topped, the leaves are removed and the tree is exposed to direct sunlight for the first time. Depending on the amount and intensity of sunlight, it’s possible that this direct exposure could damage the tree’s tissues similarly to how sunlight damages our skin. If the sunburn is severe, the tree’s bark could start to split.  

Vulnerable to Decay, Pests, and Disease

Tree trimming creates small wounds that the tree can typically repair on its own. But, tree topping creates a lot of large wounds that are often difficult for the tree to close on its own. The inner bark that is exposed due to these wounds will eventually start to decay, which will affect the overall health and stability of the tree.

That’s not all. The large wounds that are created through tree topping can also make the tree vulnerable to pests and disease. Pests and diseases can easily make their way inside the tree these wounds, and because the tree is in a weakened state, it will not have the ability to fight off an infestation. If this happens, the decision to top a tree could lead to the complete loss of the tree. Once this tree has been infested, the pests or disease could spread to other trees in your yard as well.

High Costs

Even if tree topping did not cause significant damage to a tree, it would still not be recommended because of the high costs associated with this practice. Why is it so expensive? As previously mentioned, topped trees are unattractive. Having these trees in your yard could reduce the value of your home, which is important to know if you are thinking of selling in the near future.

It’s also more expensive to maintain a topped tree than it is to trim trees on a regular basis. As soon as a topped tree begins to grow out, it will need to be trimmed in order to undo some of the damage caused by topping. However, some trees will never make it to this stage because they are too weak to survive after topping. If the tree dies because it was topped, it is your responsibility to pay to have the tree removed.

Topped trees can also be expensive because they are liability risks. The weakened branches that grow on a topped tree could fall at any moment. If one of these branches falls on a person, car, or home, you will be liable for any damage that it causes.

As you can see, there are many issues that may arise if the trees in your yard are topped instead of trimmed. To learn more about proper tree trimming techniques, talk to the experts. Arbor Garden is a locally owned and operated tree services company that specializes in tree pruning, removing, stump removal, planting, and pest management. We will be happy to help you plant new trees in your lawn. Contact us today to learn more about our tree and integrated pest management services and receive a free estimate.

Denver Landscaping Companies: A Guide to Planting New Trees

October 18, 2017

Planting trees in your yard is a great way to improve the curb appeal of your home, create more shade, and help the environment. But, this isn’t something that you should do without consulting one of the best Denver landscaping companies first. Why? Planting a tree isn’t necessarily difficult, but it does require more planning than planting flowers or shrubs. Here’s everything that you need to know about planting new trees:

Choosing the Right Location

The first step to planting a new tree is finding the perfect location for it in your yard. Do you live in a HOA community? If so, take a look at the HOA agreement to see if there are any rules about trees. Some HOA communities limit the areas where new trees can be planted and the types of new trees that can be planted. To avoid a costly fine imposed by the HOA, read through your contract before you go any further in this process.

Next, think about how big the tree will be when it is fully grown. Many people make the mistake of planting a tree in a spot that it will soon outgrow. For example, a tree that is planted too close to a house will need to be moved if it starts to brush against the house once it is fully grown. You should also pay attention to how close the tree will be to outdoor sheds, fences, pools, and driveways. Prevent a problem in the future by researching how big the tree will be ahead of time so you can find an appropriate spot for it.

Finally, research whether the tree needs to be in the sun or the shade in order to grow. To find this information, either look online or talk to a landscaping professional. Knowing what type of environment a tree needs to survive will help you narrow down potential locations in your yard. Learn how to plant a tree or shrub.

Planting the Tree

Begin by digging a hole that is about twice the width of the tree. Place the container that holds the tree inside the hole to make sure it is the right size. Next, loosen the soil within the hole. Many people skip over this step, but it’s important that you do not make this mistake. It is much easier for roots to grow into loose soil, so if you forget to do this, the roots may never be able to branch out.

If the tree is in a container, carefully cut the container off to free the tree’s roots. Then, pick up the root ball of your tree and slowly place it inside the hole. Make sure your hand is covering the majority of the root ball to ensure that the roots stay intact. Once the roots are in the ground, gently loosen them with your fingers so they can easily start to grow into the surrounding soil.

Do one last check to make sure that the hole is the appropriate size by looking at the top of the tree’s roots. If the top of the tree’s roots are sticking out over the edge of the hole, it is not deep enough. The top of the roots should be level with the ground.

Now, begin filling the hole with soil to hold the tree in place. As you fill the hole, keep an eye on the trunk of the tree. The trunk should remain straight at all times, so if you notice it leaning to one side, the roots may need to be adjusted within the hole. The soil should look somewhat flat once you’re done, so make sure that you haven’t accidentally created little mounds of soil around the base of the tree.

Caring For the New Tree

The work isn’t over once the new tree is in the ground. New trees must be cared for to ensure they have everything they need to grow. Start by placing mulch around the base of the tree, but be sure to leave about 4 inches between the trunk and the mulch. The layer of mulch should be about 4 inches thick so it can protect the roots of your new tree.

You may be eager to see the tree grow, but that doesn’t mean you should overdo it with the fertilizer. Using too much fertilizer on a new tree can severely damage the tree’s roots. Talk to your landscaping professional to determine if you should use any fertilizer at all. If he suggests skipping it for now, then start fertilizing once the tree is in its second year of growth instead.

Finally, take a step back and look for any dead or diseased branches. These should be pruned immediately after the tree is in the ground. But, this is the only pruning that you should do on a new tree. If there are no dead or diseased branches or limbs, hold off on pruning a new tree until it is well into its first growing season.

Hiring A Professional

It’s best to let a professional plant trees instead of trying to do it on your own. It may seem easy to plant and care for new trees, but there’s a lot of work involved. A professional can make sure that you choose the right type of tree, find an appropriate spot for it, and plant it correctly. Professionals can also care for the new tree, which is incredibly important in the early stages of the tree’s life. Let a professional handle the dirty work while you enjoy the beauty of your growing trees.

Do you want to plant new trees in your yard? If so, contact the professionals to discuss your needs. Arbor Garden is a locally owned and operated tree services company that specializes in tree pruning, removing, stump removal, planting, and pest management. We will be happy to help you plant new trees in your lawn. Contact us today to learn more about our tree and integrated pest management services and receive a free estimate.

Denver Tree Service Tips For Caring For Your Trees in the Winter

October 4, 2017

The trees in your yard must be cared for throughout the year, but their needs change as the seasons come and go. Now that winter is right around the corner, it’s a good idea to learn how to care for your trees during the coldest season of the year. Here are some tips from a Denver tree service company to keep your trees healthy in the winter:

Remove Snow

Snow may look light and fluffy, but it can actually be quite heavy especially when it comes during early fall or spring.

If too much snow accumulates on a tree’s branches, the weight of the snow could cause the branches to snap.

Prevent this problem by clearing snow off of tree branches throughout the winter instead of waiting for the snow to melt on its own.

Use a broom to gently nudge the branches that are covered in snow upwards. Do not use a shovel or another heavy object that may harm the tree in the process of removing the snow.

Also, be sure that you are not directly underneath the branches as you try to remove the snow. Make contact with the tree at an angle so if the branch is more brittle than you anticipated, it will not hit you when it snaps and falls to the ground.

Ice is another environmental element that could harm the trees in your yard. If the branches are covered in a layer of ice, do not try to shake them. Branches that are covered in ice are extremely brittle and may snap if they are jerked back and forth. Instead, try spraying warm water onto the ice so that it melts and frees your branch from its grip.

Learn more about snow cover on trees and shrubs: when and how to remove it.

Avoid Rock Salt

People often use rock salt to melt patches of ice around their home. But if you want to keep your trees healthy, don’t use rock salt on any ice patches that are located near your trees. Rock salt can damage the tree’s roots and prevent them from absorbing the nutrients that the tree needs to survive. If you need to melt ice around a tree, choose an ice melting product that is made with magnesium chloride, potassium, or calcium instead.

Keep Animals Away

Small animals may start to eat the outer layer of bark on the trees in your yard, leaving the vulnerable inner bark exposed to the harsh environmental elements.

Trees can survive after losing a small amount of outer bark, but if the animal makes its way around the entire trunk, it could cause serious damage.

To protect your tree, put some type of barrier in place before the winter season begins. It’s recommended that you use either a plastic barrier or chicken wire that wraps around the truck of the tree. This will keep small animals away and ensure that your tree makes it to the spring.

Add Fresh Mulch

Prepare for the upcoming winter by putting a fresh layer of mulch around the base of your trees. The mulch will act as an insulator and protect the tree’s roots from exposure to extremely cold temperatures.

Mulch can also prevent winter drought, which is a common problem that affects trees when the ground freezes and the roots are unable to absorb enough water.

In order for mulch to do its job, it has to be laid down properly. Do not apply the mulch directly at the base of the tree—start a few inches away and move all the way out to the drip line.

Be sure to choose an organic mulch instead of an inorganic mulch that is harmful to the environment. The layer should be around two inches thick at the very most. If the mulch is too thick, it may attract mice and other rodents that are looking for a warm spot to burrow in for the winter.

Remove Potentially Dangerous Branches

Being exposed to snow, ice, and fluctuating temperatures can put a lot of stress on tree branches and cause them to suddenly break. Any branch may be damaged by the stresses of winter, but dead and diseased branches are especially at risk.

During the late fall, walk around your property and try to spot any branches that appear to be dead or diseased. You should also look for branches that are hanging too close to your home or your car. It’s recommended that you have these removed before they branches fall and hurt someone or something. But, don’t attempt to remove branches on your property on your own. This is a dangerous job that should be handled by experienced professionals with the proper safety gear and equipment.

Start Early

Don’t wait until the ground is frozen and covered in snow to start thinking about your trees. At this point, it may be too late to prevent some of the winter-related problems that could affect your trees. The earlier that you plan for winter, the better off your trees will be.

Care For Trees Year-Round

It’s hard to keep a tree healthy in the winter if it has been neglected for most of the year. The best way to grow a yard full of healthy and strong trees is to care for them on a regular basis.

Enlist the help of a professional so you know exactly what needs to be done and when. By working with a tree service company, you won’t have to commit as much time and effort to taking care of your trees.

Do you want to learn more about caring for your trees throughout the year? If so, contact the professionals to discuss your needs.

Arbor Garden is a locally owned and operated tree services company that specializes in tree pruning, removing, stump removal, planting, and pest management. We will be more than happy to assist you with caring for your trees all year round.

Contact us today to learn more about our tree and integrated pest management services and receive a free estimate.

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.