Latest News & Blog

Tree Trimming Issues Every Denver Homeowner Should Be Aware of


September 19, 2018

Winter has arrived, and with it some tree trimming projects. If you are considering having your Denver home’s trees trimmed this winter, either due to to dormancy period or otherwise, there are a few issues to be aware of when taking on such projects. Your trees are your constant wooded companions, providing shade and ornamental properties to your landscape, and you want to take the utmost care in maintaining their health.

Knowing when to prune


The timing of any pruning project can be critical to its success, and it is essential for anyone interested in having their tree’s prune to carefully consider what is best for the plant. Certain trees can be pruned any time of the year, while others require pruning to be done during dormant periods. If you are unsure of what your tree requires, it is important to research the best method depending on the type of species.

For many deciduous plants, pruning in the late winter to early spring can be the ideal time, as it promotes vigorous growth during the spring. Mild, dry days are the best time to take on a pruning project. By pruning, you provide the plant with additional rote and energy reserves, which is invigorating for the growth of the organism.  Pruning in the winter gives you the added benefit of being able to see the branches more clearly, as the foliage is not present to provide any visual obstacles. 
 

Knowing which plants to prune


As stated earlier, it is important to know which plants require winter pruning and which do not. Winter is not always the most ideal to prune for all plants, but there are a number of plants where winter pruning is recommended. Here is a short list of plants to prune, courtesy of Rodale’s Organic Life:

Shrubs:
Barberries
Glossy abelia
Beauty berries
Camellias (after they finish blooming)
European hornbeam
Euonymous
Mallow
Hydrangeas

Trees:
Bradford and Callory pears
Crabapples
Poplar
Spruce
Junipers
Sumacs
Bald cypress
Cherries
Plums
Honey locust

How to Prune

If you are considering a more intensive pruning project, we recommend you seek out the services of one of our qualified arborists. But if you are considering taking on the task of pruning your plants yourself, there are a few things to be aware of.

With any pruning project, it is important to remove dead or dying branches and limbs, as these are unnecessarily depleting your plant of nutrients that could be better served elsewhere. You want to make sure to prune out diseased limbs immediately, as this could spread to other areas of the plant if not addressed. 

In these instances you will want to cut well below the diseased area to ensure that the disease is fully cut out. You will want to prune a diseased plant on a dry day, as water can spread the disease. For those that want to be extra cautious, a ten percent bleach solution can be utilized on all of your cutting tools to ensure none of the disease remains after you have finished pruning it.

It is important to cut branches that can be an obstacle to you in your daily life or for other landscaping activities, such as mowing the lawn. If branches interfere with these activities, pruning them back is important, not just for functional reasons but to avoid the inevitable situation where you damage the branch due to such activity.

If you see branches crossing, this is a likely candidate for pruning, as further growth may lead to a plant that is stressed and overgrown. In this scenario, prune the smaller branch. Additionally, it is important to keep in mind sunlight and oxygen exposure for your trees and shrubs when pruning. Prune plants so the middle of the organism is exposed to some amount of sunlight, as this allow light and air to enter to the center of your plant.
 

Take advantage of winter pruning benefits


Winter time is a beneficial period to consider having your tree or shrub pruned. Much like the plants themselves, diseases and pests also go through a dormancy period, which can decrease the likelihood that pruning will lead to any type of infestation or disease. Pruning exposes the plant to these elements, so cutting back your tree or shrub during this time can be a great way to add protection in this regard.

As mentioned earlier, the prospect of pruning any plant becomes less of a challenge when the leaves have fallen. A lack of foliage can provide any arborist a better idea of what cuts to make and also gives easier access to make any of these desired cuts. Often times, diseased or damaged branches can be hiding within the foliage of a plant, and engaging in pruning during the winter will greatly improve your ability to witness such issues.

Pruning in the late summer or fall can often times stimulate growth that may not be hardened prior to a cold front hitting. This can mean that the plant is more vulnerable to damage and disease as a result. During the winter time, this is not a concern, and properly time pruning projects can stimulate growth during the spring time, which is more ideal for the organism.
 

Have a plan before you prune


When engaging in a pruning project in the winter, it is important to have a clear idea of how you want to go about pruning your plant. Take into account the desired shape of the canopy and overall plant shape when thinking about pruning. There are two types of pruning techniques that are used with woody plants.

Thinning is when you entirely remove the branch back to another branch or the trunk of the tree. This method promotes better form and health for the plant, as it completely removes weaker parts of the plant and can allow for increased air penetration.

Heading back is when you shorten a branch back to a bud or side branch. This type of cut should be done without leaving behind a stub, which will eventually rot and fall off. Make a pruning cut at an angle slightly above the bud or side branch when employing this technique.

If you are interested in having your tree pruned this winter, or are simply curious to find out more about the health of your plants, contact Arbor Garden today to speak with one of our qualified professionals.

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Denver Tree Service Shares What You Need to Know About Drip Irrigation


September 5, 2018

When it comes to keeping your yard and landscaping properly watered, you have a few options to choose from. You can hand water each plant, rely on sprinklers, or install a simple drip irrigation system to keep your landscaping in good condition. Though each option has its benefits, many Denver landscaping companies have seen great success when clients implement drip irrigation systems throughout their yard. If you’re looking for a simple way to streamline your watering process, but aren’t sure what to expect from a drip irrigation system, you’re not alone. Here’s what you need to know about drip irrigation, its installation process, and how it can help keep your trees growing strong year after year.

Drip Irrigation is Not Right For Every Home
Though effective, drip irrigation is not the best option for every home and landscape. Before installing a system, it’s important to look at your yard, the types of beds and plants you have, and decide just what you want the irrigation system to accomplish. The hoses deliver water to concentrated areas and are thus not ideal for irrigating a lawn or yard with minimal groundcover. However, if you have multiple trees, carefully crafted garden beds, and even a vegetable garden in the back yard, a drip system may work.

These Systems Work With Other Irrigation Methods
Even though drip irrigation systems are not ideal for every type of yard or landscape design, they can be installed and used in conjunction with other irrigation systems. Install sprinklers for a large lawn and focus the spray to cover the grass only. For other plants and flower beds, the drip irrigation system will be sufficient enough to properly hydrate the roots and keep the plants growing efficiently throughout the year. The soaker hoses emit enough water to keep even established trees hydrated and happy.  

Installation Requires the Right Timing
Installing a new irrigation system of any kind requires digging up at least a portion of your yard. While drip systems won’t require you to completely destroy the garden bed just to install new lines, it will disturb the soil. Instead of waiting until the middle of summer to install a new system, wait until the end of the growing season to schedule an installation. This way, the garden will already be fading and any disturbance in the soil will not impact the way your plants flower or produce fruit. Most Denver residents see great results installing new systems in early spring or early fall, depending on the type of plants they have in the yard. An experienced landscaping team will be able to determine which season is the best for your yard.

The Lines Need Filters
It should come as no surprise that filtered water is better for your plants and landscaping. When installing a drip system, make sure the water intake is filtered properly. All you need are small hose-sized filters to collect unwanted sediment and contaminants. Without the filters, the drip lines and soaker holes can easily become clogged. If the lines get clogged, they can’t keep your landscaping properly watered and your plants will suffer.

Water Pressure Makes All the Difference
Drip systems, more so than any other type of irrigation system, require the proper water pressure to work. If the water pressure is too low, the hoses won’t distribute the water your plants need. If it’s too high, the ground will become rapidly saturated and lead to root rot and fungal growth in the garden bed. Before installing the system, have an experienced landscaping company check your water pressure to ensure that it’s strong enough to deliver the right amount of water to your plants.

Watering Schedules Still Matter
As with any type of irrigation system, you’ll still want to institute a watering schedule with a drip system. Leaving the unit running 24/7 will only flood the landscaping and running it too infrequently will cause your plants to wilt. Instead, work with an experienced landscaping company to determine the proper watering schedule for your new system. This way, you’ll be able to set the timer accordingly and trust that your plants will get the water they need when they need it. Remember, the schedule might differ from the one you used when relying on sprinklers alone as less water evaporates each time the system is running.

You’ll Save Money
Water is expensive and the more that evaporates before it reaches the plants’ roots, the more you’ll need to use to keep the landscaping looking its best. By investing in a drip system, you’ll reduce the amount of water used to keep the plants hydrated. Over time, the system will reduce water consumption and, thus, lower your water bills month after month. If they start to increase, you’ll know that the system has a leak and needs to be repaired by an experienced contractor.

Drip Systems Still Need Maintenance
Drip irrigation systems, like any other system, requires regular maintenance in order to ensure that the unit works properly. During the winter, the lines need to be blown out to remove any excess moisture that could freeze and cause underground water leaks. The filters and screens installed must be periodically inspected and cleaned to prevent sediment buildup and system interference and the lines must be flushed at least once a year to maintain water quality for the beds. While most of the maintenance can be done on your own, it’s best to leave it to an experienced landscaping company.  

No matter what type of yard or landscaping you have, the right irrigation system can make all the difference in the health and wellbeing of your trees and plants. Whether you’re looking for advice on the best watering schedule for your trees or need to remove a dead tree that suffered from root rot, Arbor Garden is here to help. Our experienced tree care team can help with everything from routine pruning to full tree removal to clear up your yard and get rid of pests. Call (303) 722-8820 for a free estimate today.  
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Denver Tree Service Explains Great Grass-Free Groundcover Options For Your Yard


August 22, 2018

When it comes to creating a beautiful landscape for a front or backyard, many people opt to plant a lush lawn on the property. However nice a thick carpet of grass might be, it’s not the only groundcover option. Grass is incredibly high maintenance, requires a lot of water to thrive, and can be a source of annoyance for many homeowners. As a solution to the problem,, many Denver landscaping companies opt for more versatile and unique groundcover options. Here are a few popular grass alternatives to breathe new life into your yard without dramatically increasing your weekly yardwork tasks.

Creeping Thyme

Creeping thyme is a relative of the commonly used cooking herb. Though it’s not edible, it does make fantastic groundcover, especially for yards with dry soil. The plant spreads quickly, is easily controlled and directed, and requires virtually no mowing. Under ideal conditions, creeping thyme only reaches a maximum height of six inches, but when homeowners are conservative with water, it typically stands at three inches tall. The leaves form a thick carpet, making it ideal for homeowners with small children. Best of all, the roots won’t choke out other plants, and it’s fine to incorporate the groundcover in heavily landscaped areas or garden beds. You’ll even be able to enjoy the bright red flowers during the summer, adding color to your yard.

Clover

If you’ve ever thought of clover as a weed, you’re not alone. While many homeowners choose to remove this plant from their yards, you don’t have to. In fact, clover is an ideal groundcover for most Denver homes as it grows naturally, requires minimal water, and creates a lush green bed throughout the yard. Though clover can diminish the appearance of a grassy lawn, when left to its own devices, it creates a beautiful grass alternative for your yard. Best of all, the plant requires minimal mowing and no fertilizer as it adapts quickly to the soil conditions in your yard. Keep in mind you will want to mow occasionally to keep the plant from blooming. However, if you’re not opposed to small white flowers or the pollinators they attract, you’re free to let it grow with abandon.

English Ivy

Ivy is an incredibly hardy plant, but it does carry with it a few risks. The roots run deep and can be difficult to remove should you decide to use it as groundcover. However, ivy is also cold weather resistant and comes back year after year. If you have a yard with soil that’s difficult for grass to thrive in or heavily shaded, ivy can be the perfect option. You will need to prune the plant back if it starts spreading to the house or clinging to trees and structures around the yard. Letting it grow unchecked can cause your yard to quickly get overrun.

Lamb’s Ear

Lamb’s ear may not be the best ground covering for a full yard, but it’s a wonderful addition to garden beds, walkways, and even around the base of your trees. These plants are well-known for their soft and fuzzy green leaves. Unlike decorative grasses, they require minimal maintenance and are completely safe for pets and kids alike. The leaves are soft enough that they won’t cause skin irritation, even if your little one decides to play with them for hours on end. The plant thrives in full sun, but requires minimal maintenance and is relatively drought-tolerant making it ideal for most Denver homes. Best of all, you won’t have to worry about mowing or pruning them as they rarely grow more than six inches tall.

Gravel

IF water conservation is your priority, gravel may be the right option for your yard. Gravel is available in different sizes, textures, and colors, giving you the ultimate control over the way your yard looks. The material is easy to spread and the only maintenance you need to do is periodically remove weeds and sweep any stray chunks of rock back into place. Many homeowners looking to create a low-maintenance play area for small children see great success with gravel, especially rounded pea gravel. Regardless of the type of gravel you choose, you’ll never have to worry about mowing or watering the surface. Keep in mind that you may need to work with an experienced landscaper to spread the gravel properly and replace material that goes missing after a few years.

Artificial Turf

Artificial turf has come a long way from the fake grass of the 1970s. Modern artificial turf looks remarkably like real grass and feels great under bare feet. Just like regular grass, it can be placed anywhere in your yard. Unlike normal grass, it requires absolutely no maintenance and will last for many years even after exposure to the high levels of sunshine common to the Denver area. If mud or dust collects on the surface, all you need to do is spray it away with a high-pressure nozzle or hose. The material can’t become infested with weeds, is naturally mold and mildew resistant, and will give you years of comfortable maintenance-free landscape design.

Mulch

When you’re looking for groundcover for a garden bed or even a play area, nothing works better than mulch. This all-natural groundcover adds nutrients to the soil, improves plant growth, and adds a unique and beautiful pop of color to any yard. Mulch has the added benefit of being an affordable groundcover choice and requires minimal maintenance. Keep in mind that any area you mulch will eventually need to be refreshed with new material as the old mulch will break down over time.

The right groundcover can lead to happy landscaping and trees throughout your property. If you’re looking for help finding the right groundcover to keep your trees healthy year-round, contact Arbor Garden today. Our dedicated tree care experts will help you maintain your existing trees or help new additions thrive in your Denver yard. Schedule a routine tree trimming appointment today and set your yard up for success before the growing season is over.
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Uses for a Fallen Tree After Tree Removal in Denver


August 8, 2018

Having shade provided to your yard by fully mature trees can often create a nice atmosphere outside your home or business. However, with these benefits also arise issues which can cause problems should a large limb or even the full tree fall onto your own or a surrounding property. Not only can these trees cause tremendous damage to personal property, such as a vehicle or residence, but they also create more than a handful of problematic issues when reaching the ground uninhibited by any other objects. Once down, it becomes the responsibility of the landowner on which the tree is lying to provide for the removal if he or she so desires.

For example, two neighbors who may or may not get along for any number of reasons have a fully grown tree (between 40 to 70 feet on average) which falls after a heavy rain and high winds. It appears the saturated ground became way to unsteady and winds blew the tree over, root system and all. The tree, originally located on property owned by Neighbor A falls onto land owned by Neighbor B. Now, where 100-percent of the tree was once entirely the responsibility of Neighbor A, only 10-percent resides on Property A and the remaining 90-percent has landed on the ground, fortunately not causing any other damage to anything else, owned by Neighbor B.

Whose problem is it now and who will bear the responsibility of removal?

According to most, if a tree falls into another person’s yard, the land owner of the property where the tree has fallen is now responsible for cleanup. In the scenario above, Neighbor B would be charged with incurring both the cost and execution of clean up (if so desired).

Fortunately, there are a number of options available for the tree in question including, but not limited to, each of the below.

Firewood

If optimistic and you have a wood burning stove, fireplace, or simply an outdoor fire pit - a fallen tree can essentially provide free wood. While the owner will obviously take time cutting the tree into useable pieces, the wood provided from such an act can be extremely beneficial. Depending on the tree type in question, the wood may be used shortly after falling, and should be capable of providing significant heat or hours of entertainment if elected to be used in a fire pit.

Should the landowner not have an immediate need for any firewood, there are often individuals who will gladly pay for the wood and may cover the cost of removal if granted possession of the entire tree. These individuals will then potentially use the wood themselves or attempt to sell it elsewhere for a profit.

Decoration

There have been many useful tree stump ideas for the remnants of a removed tree but often these are only available when a mature tree has been removed professionally. If a storm or high winds fell a tree, often the results are splintered trunks or entire root systems which have been unearthed, instead of a clean-cut stump which can be easily converted into a decorative planter or table top.

Regardless, the entire trunk can be utilized as a decorative piece in addition to shaping the branches and limbs into something more aesthetically pleasing once a tree has fallen.

Natural Habitat

Hollowed out trunks can be inviting homes for a number of wildlife creatures and leaving a fallen tree, if located in an inconspicuous location, could have lasting benefits for those animals in their natural habitat.

This life in dead trees provides a suitable home or nesting spot for many animals, birds and even insects to flourish. The cover provided by a hollowed out trunk from a cracking fall can be one of the most natural habitats in all of the woods and may provide an owner with a unique opportunity to somewhat foster the growth of an ecosystem by opting to stick with the natural occurrence instead of attempting to reverse a natural cause.

While providing both an economical and ecosystem friendly solution, inviting these animals and insects into an area within close proximity to your home can also be a risky situation. An owner must weigh the benefits and rewards if choosing to let a fallen tree lie where it lays for any extended amount of time.

Mulch/Chipping

On the opposite end of the spectrum, is complete removal but a repurpose of the tree itself - at least the branches and many of the limbs. Chipping these into mulch can provide a healthy layer of protection around your garden, plant beds, or other trees themselves. These wood chipped mulch pieces will help to keep a steady soil temperature for the plants at which it is utilized in addition to helping combat the effects of erosion around other plants.

Boundary Marker

A final option, if both parties involved in the outcome of a felled tree are extremely lucky is to have the fallen tree serve as a boundary marker for the future. Should the tree fall precisely on the line or somewhat close, then both parties may determine that non-removal is the best option and instead utilize the presence of a now somewhat permanent and definitely visible representation of the property line.

While unlikely, this option could serve as a benefit to both those neighbors who get along great and in the same situation for those who may not see eye-to-eye.

Arbor Garden Tree & Landscaping has been serving the Denver metro area for 23 years. We began in 1994 with one truck and now have a full service arborist business. Our locally owned and operated company is proud to serve Denver metro area residents and business owners including the Denver Country Club, Castle Pines Country Club, city and county governments, various homeowners associations and private homeowners. Our knowledgeable and certified arborists would be more happy to provide you with tree trimming, tree removal, tree planting and landscaping services. When you’re ready to get started give us a call at 303-722-8820 or fill out our contact form today.
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What to Keep In Mind When Landscaping For Backyard Playsets


July 25, 2018

Summer is the perfect time for enjoying the outdoors, but keeping the kids entertained with the same old toys can prove to be difficult at best. Taking them to the park day after day is not always possible. This leaves many parents searching for a way to bring the playground to their house and nothing helps more than a backyard playset. However, before you can start building out the perfect playset, you need to make sure your yard and landscaping are ready and able to accommodate the structure. Your local Denver landscaping companies want to help you get your yard ready. Here are a few important considerations to keep in mind when installing a playset in your backyard.

Figure Out Where It Needs to Go

Play structures take up a lot of space and finding the right place to build them can be a challenge. Think about the parts of the yard you use most already and decide how you want the playset to fit with your current use. Ideally, the structure will be close to the house and visible from inside so you can keep an eye on the kids while working inside. Regardless of where you choose to build, the site needs to be level and clear of debris. Keep in mind, you may need to remove some features of your landscaping in order to accommodate the structure.

There are more safety hazards in the yard than you might imagine. Before you start preparing the area, you’ll need to make sure the chosen spot is far enough away from obstructions. Putting the structure too close to the fence puts your kids at risk for injuries while swinging. Installing it too close to a tree with low-hanging limbs puts the structure at risk for damage during storms and heavy snows. Whenever possible, pick a spot that’s far away from these hazards. A good rule of thumb is to leave at least six feet of free space around each side of the playset. This will give your kids the freedom to run around without getting hurt.

Make Sure the Space Is Level

Once you find the right space, you’ll need to make sure the ground is as close to level as possible. Building a playset on an unleveled piece of land will make the playset unbalanced and unsafe for kids. The last thing you want is for the playset to wobble when your kids are sliding or climbing on the equipment. Some homeowners will find that they’re lucky and have an almost completely level area in the yard without any prep work. However, most will have to remove grass, rocks, and debris, compact the dirt, and level the area by hand before starting to assemble the playset. Your landscaping team may be able to help you with this.

Protect the Landscaping You Love

Like it or not, a backyard playset means your kids will be running around the yard even more than they did before it was installed. While this is great for their health and your mental wellbeing, it can take a heavy toll on your landscaping and garden beds. Before you start work on the playset itself, you’ll want to take steps to protect the plants you love most. Install fencing around the beds your kids shouldn’t have access to and consider letting your landscaper install raised beds to keep the flowers out from beneath the feet of your kids’ rambunctious friends. The harder it is to access those areas, the less likely it is that your plants will be damaged.

Pick the Right Groundcover

Leaving the ground cover around the playset as hard-packed dirt is just as dangerous as building it on unlevel ground. Instead, give your kids something softer to land on that won’t impact the rest of your landscaping. Rubber mulch is ideal for younger kids that are more prone to falls and scrapes as the material cushions the impact when they trip. However, for older kids or homeowners that are especially concerned about maintaining a manicured and natural look in the yard, wood mulch is ideal. If you love the look of grass and want to regain the feel of a plush lawn throughout the yard, have your landscaping company lay sod around the playset. Once it’s established, your kids will have a plush carpet of grass to roll in.

Frame It Out

If you’re worried about keeping your kids out of the landscaping and away from potentially hazardous areas of the yard, build a border around the playset. This will give them a visual marker for where they’re allowed to play and where they need to show a bit of caution and spatial awareness. If you’ve filled the playset area with mulch, the border will also help keep the mulch in place. However, if you’ve opted to put grass back in, you’ll want to choose the right border material. Raised edges are great, but they can be a tripping hazard for younger kids as they run around. Instead, consider flat paving stones around the perimeter. This way, they’ll be less likely to trip over the border as they play.

Keep Up With Tree Trimming

The more time your kids spend outside, the more likely you are to notice the little details around your yard. Schedule pruning appointments with your landscaping company throughout the year to keep bushes from becoming overgrown and hire a tree trimming expert to periodically assess the health of the trees in the backyard. Low-hanging limbs can be dangerous, but catching diseased or dying areas of the trees is just as important when looking for ways to keep your kids safe.

Diseased and damaged limbs often fall unexpectedly. When your kids are out in the yard, that falling branch can cause severe injuries. The sooner an experienced arborist can inspect the health of your tree, the faster they’ll be able to isolate the damage and help maintain that shade cover you worked so hard to cultivate.

Need help restoring your landscaping to its former glory after building a playset? Don’t panic. Let the team at Arbor Garden help. Our dedicated staff will work to get your trees and landscaping back in shape for a fun summer outdoors. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.
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