Emerald Ash Borer convinces Loveland to 800 remove Ash Trees

Denver Emerald Ash Borer Service Company

Mountain High Tree, Lawn & Landscape in Lakewood, Colorado offers a free evaluation of your Ash trees, and we’ll recommend if preventatives measures are needed. Learn more about the Emerald Ash Borer here.

The Loveland forestry people are going to remove 800 Ash trees from their parks and open spaces to help prevent the spread of this devastating pest. We hope this is not a sign of things to come, and we are actively keeping an eye on the Emerald Ash Borer danger to our Denver area Ash trees. While no Emerald Ash Borer’s have been found in Denver yet, the spread is unfortunately a definite possibility. If you have questions about how to protect your Ash trees in Denver, give our Mountain High Tree Arborists a call at 303.232.0666 and we can come out and access if you need to take precautions with your Ash tree.

Check out this recent news article on this Ash tree pest –  this is yet another chapter in the Colorado fight against the Emerald Ash Borer, article excerpt below from KUNC.org:

Emerald Ash Borer’s ‘Inevitability’ Prompt Loveland Ash Removals

Work is underway to remove 800 ash trees from Loveland parks and open spaces. Why? Because of one little beetle. The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) has been in Colorado for years now, but remained undetected until 2013 when it was found in the city of Boulder, the furthest point west that it has been detected. The invasive beetle is native to Asia and has decimated the ash tree population across the U.S. No one has been able to stop or eradicate it.  Read full article »



Weed and Feed for Lawns – 5 Reasons not to use it!

Weed and Feed is a commonly sold combination herbicide and fertilizer product that is offered by many lawn fertilization brands. These are “designed” to feed your grass while also killing weeds. But if you read the back of the bag, you’ll see lots of cautions about it’s use.

We NEVER recommend using Weed and Feed for the following reasons:

1. Using weed and feed products results  in the unnecessary and excessive use of Herbicides

When you apply a weed and feed product, you are applying herbicides to your entire lawn, even where no weeds are present. This greatly increases the amount of herbicides that you are adding into the environment, adding herbicides to your lawn where there are no weeds. In most lawns, weeds only occupy 5-10 percent of the lawn area, so we always recommend spot weed control treatments to address just the weeds to cut back on the use of herbicide.

2. Weed and Feed is bad for Trees and Shrubs! 

Weed and feed fertilizers contain Atrazine, a toxic chemical herbicide that can damage your trees and shrubs, eventually resulting in their death if used year after year. If you read the back of your Weed and Feed fertilizer bag packaging, you’ll see the following kinds of warnings:

“Do not use under trees, shrubs, bedding plants or garden plants.”
“Do not apply on or under the branch spread (rootzone) of trees, shrubs, bedding plants, flowers or garden plants.”
“Do not apply by hand or hand-held rotary devices.”
“Do not apply this product in a way that will contact any person either directly or through drift.”

Scary stuff, right? The thing is, if you have a large tree, the roots of that tree may be underneath the entire area of your lawn, tree roots are known to spread far beyond just immediately underneath the tree. Applying weed and feed will damage your trees, it’s only a matter of the timing and frequency of applications. Over-applying weed & feed product is common among home owners, which results in higher levels available in the soil to be taken up by your tree; increasing the level of potential damage. Applying weed and feed products during the spring, when the tree is actively growing and putting on new leaves is the worst time to apply, and any damage in early spring can affect tree health for the entire growing season. Healthy trees can usually tolerate one weed & feed application per year with minimal impact, however if you are applying more than one time a year or applying too much, and you do it year after year, your tree’s health will deteriorate and eventually die.

3. Granular “weed and feed” chemicals are bad for the environment.

Weed and Feed products most commonly use quick-release fertilizers, which drench your lawn with a heavy dose of nutrients that is likely to wash away with rain or watering. These chemicals get washed down into storm drains and into our water table, ultimately contaminating rivers, streams, ponds and the ocean. Runoff and drift from your weed and feed’ed lawn is hazardous to aquatic organisms. This product is toxic to aquatic invertebrates. Additionally, birds often eat weed and feed granules, thinking it’s grit, leading to the wide-spread death of our already threatened bird populations.

4. Weed and Feed is bad for your health! (Not to mention your pets)

Weed and feed products have bioaccumulative toxic substances linked to cancer and have been shown to lead to reproductive, immunological and neurological problems. That means you are making your lawn toxic – and who wants that?

5. Overall lawn health is compromised with Weed and Feed Products

The long-term health of your lawn is compromised if you use weed and feed products year after year, as your lawn becomes dependent on the chemicals. These products also harm the beneficial fungi and organisms in the soil, making it difficult to build naturally healthy turf.

Why hire a Professional to do your Lawn Fertilization?

If you are in the Denver or Colorado Springs area, we are happy to talk to you about your lawn. Our lawn experts know exactly when to apply fertilizers properly, and we use the best fertilizer products in the market that are specifically designed for our Colorado climate. We are also experts in applying just the right amount of fertilizer at the right time, we can’t tell you how many times we’ve seen burned lawns from over-application by homeowners. For weeds, we only use spot weed control treatments when needed, we never spray for weeds where there are none! As we care for our trees and environment, our organic lawn fertilization programs are designed to work in harmony with nature so that you can have a healthy green lawn!

Call Mountain High Tree in Denver at 303.232.0666 or our Colorado Springs Office at 719.444.8800 and we’ll discuss the perfect lawn fertilization program for you:
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Winter is the perfect time to check tree structures!

Tree Tips:
Winter is a great time to take a close look at the structure of your mature deciduous trees. During the growing season, leaf canopies obstruct our ability to see branch structures from the ground.

It is important to take the time to look closely for problems   that could create current or future hazardous conditions. Branches that are damaged from high winds, heavy snow and lightning can remain partially attached or hung up in the tree.  These damaged branches may remain in the tree for weeks or even months just waiting for the next weather event.

Below are a few things to look for when examining a tree’s branch structure:

  • ​Branches broken away from the tree but caught up in other branches​.holes
  • Branches with abrupt angles pointing down that could indicate a previous heavy snow load.
  • Cracks or splits in the bark or wood that indicate a significant amount of strength loss.
  • Open cavities along the branches indicate the presence of decay inside the tree.
  • Mushrooms or fruiting bodies are also an indication of internal wood decay.​

It is also important to know the natural growth habits of a tree in order to identify deformities that need to be addressed.  Our Arborists can help you identify situations that need to be managed to keep your family, home and property safe.


Meet Shane Tucker – Trim Manager

Shane Tucker
Trim Manager/
Certified Arborist
Shane grew up in Michigan and moved to Colorado 21/2 years ago for a better job opportunity.  He was our lead foreman until 6 months ago when he became the Trim Department Supervisor.
He has over 20 years in the tree industry and has worked in Chicago, Florida, New York City, & Ohio.  He has been on high profiles properties such as Trump International Golf Course in West Palm Beach, FL and The Breakers Hotel.  He was a foreman of a crew of 60 that climbed and inspected all of the trees in Central Park for Asian Longhorn Beetle!

He loves the tree industry because it is challenging and different every single day.  He decided to get his arborist license so that he could be informed of all the correct ways to do pruning as well as be knowledgeable in diagnosing Plant Health Care issues.  He also wanted to know as much about trees as possible. Shane was featured in the Lawn & Landscape Market Leadership Magazine’s November issue.

Shane loves working at Mountain High tree Service!! He particularly loves how involved Ralph is and what he does for his employees; he feels like Ralph treats everyone with so much respect. He relishes working in a team environment and his favorite part of his job is doing large removals and being part of a large project where he has to solve a puzzle in order to accomplish the end goal.

In his spare time he loves spending time with his 5 year old daughter, whom he absolutely adores.


Douglas-Fir Tussock Moth “They’re back”!

Douglas-Fir Tussock Moth (Orgyia pseudotsugata)Tussock moth infected tree web
Populations of this defoliating caterpillar surged in 2014
in Colorado Springs.  You can see groups of partially or totally defoliated trees in many areas.  Especially noticeable were Spruce trees with a distinctive orange colorations along the Academy Blvd. corridor and a
large area of Gray Fir trees on Cheyenne Mountain below NORAD.  Blue Spruce, Douglas Fir and White Fir trees are hosts to this insect.These caterpillars feed on new needles, partially eating them and causing the remaining portion of the needles to turn an orangish-brown.  Eventually larvae move to feed on older needles, stripping the branches.  After the initial season of feeding, a tree can usually put out new growth the following year, but with repeated defoliation a tree will die.
Tussock moth webIt is important to spray for this insect. Chemical
controls should be applied shortly after egg hatch in late May or early June.  A biological option; Bacillus thuringiensis, is also available.  It is a bacterium that feeds on caterpillars. Timing is critical and it is not as effective.

Tussock moth overwinters in the egg stage near the female’s pupal case.  Eggs hatch in late May and larvae move to feed on new growth, often in the top of the tree. They feed heavily from June into July, growing into large caterpillae, distinguished by tufts of hair. They pupate by August and the nondescript adult moths mate and then lay eggs.  Many of you will see a new recommendation for this on your annual proposal!If you would like your trees checked, please call our Colorado Springs office at 719.444.8800 for a free evaluation.

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Keep your trees, shrubs and lawn safe when using a de-icing agent!

Salt and ice-melt damage to yards:As the freezing and thawing of snow on sidewalks and drives occurs, please keep in mind ice melt can damage lawns and other sensitive plants.  To prevent long term injury/damage, toss cleared snow far enough so it won’t melt back onto concrete and refreeze. This keeps salt applications (and subsequent runoff) to a minimum.

Salt is toxic to plants.  When dissolved in water the sodium and chloride ions separate. The sodium ions replace needed nutrients in the soil (potassium, magnesium and calcium) making them unavailable to your plants and shrubs.  The chloride ions are transported from roots to leaves, building up in the leaves and interfering with photosynthesis. Rock salt absorbs the water that would normally be used by roots, dehydrating the roots and stressing the plants. Salt also reduces the cold hardiness of plants, making them more susceptible to frost damage.

Here are a few tips to keep your plants safe and your sidewalks and driveways clear:

  • Don’t oversalt!  Follow label directions precisely.
  • Avoid using rock salt in extreme cold.  Salt is most effective at temperatures just below the freezing point.
  • De-icing agents with calcium-chloride, or calcium magnesium acetate, are salt-free and should be used in extreme cold.
  • Also, in extreme cold, sprinkle water lightly over surfaces before you apply the ice melt for better results.
  • Erect barriers with plastic fencing, burlap or snow fencing to protect sensitive plants.
  • For plants that do get sprayed by salt (road splashing, etc.), use a broom and lightly brush salt off of the plants.  You may not see the damage to plants and trees by salt or ice melt until spring.
  • Shovel ice and snow as soon as possible, and try to keep sidewalks and paths clear to avoid re-applying products.
  • For areas that do get runoff with ice melt products, to help minimize damage try to flush the areas with water on days when temps are above 40° Fahrenheit.

Get to know Austin Lopez – Colorado Springs Branch

Trim Foreman/Certified Arborist
Adrian LopezAustin Lopez has been with Mountain High in Colorado Springs for almost 2 years. Austin grew up in Colorado Springs, learning as a young boy how to climb trees from his father
Tino, also an arborist.  He has been an arborist and climbing trees for over 15 years.He honed his skills in California working as a trim supervisor for 12 years with West Coast Arborists before moving back to Colorado Springs and his roots (no pun intended).He is an ISA Certified Arborist and Tree Worker/Climber Specialist.Austin has a 6 year old daughter, Jesalyn.  His hobbies are fishing and target shooting.

Winter landscape problems – Sunscald

It is hard to believe that with the shorter days and the much cooler temperatures that there is anything that may pose a risk to the plant material in our landscape.

The younger deciduous trees in your yard may be at risk for something known as sun SCALDscald. When the day time temperatures climb well above freezing combined with the fact that the sun is lower in the sky hitting the south and west sides of the trunk directly, a tree’s outer cells become active. When the temperature drops below freezing at night, these once dormant cells are damaged, potentially beyond repair. Signs of this damage can be seen in the discoloration of the young bark, cracking, or a flat spot under the bark, typically on the south or the west side of the tree.

SunscaldThe end result of sun scald is the diminished transportation of nutrients to the canopy which will cause branches  at the top of the tree to die off. If the damage is significant enough the tree may not recover. As a tree matures and the bark becomes thicker the risk for sun scald significantly diminishes. It can take 2 to 3 years for the bark to become thick enough to withstand the drastic temperature changes in the winter. That can vary greatly depending on what type of tree is planted in your yard. An Oak tree may need to be protected for only a couple of years while you may want to protect a Tulip Poplar, Aspen or Apple tree (for example) for five or more years. Evergreen trees typically do not have issues with sun scald due to the large amount of needles on the trees that help block the sun’s effects.

tree wrap 2There are some simple and  inexpensive ways to help  protect your young trees. The  trunk can be wrapped with a  light colored, porous tree wrap  or boards can be placed against  the trunk. Start wrapping the trunk at the base of the tree, working your way up, overlapping 1/3 up to the first or second branch, finishing the wrap with tape. Prior to the ground freezing in the fall, it is also helpful to give the trees a deep watering.  It is important to make sure that whichever product you use, that there is sufficient air flow for the trunk. Typically you will wrap the trunk to the first or second branch.

Whichever way you decide to protect the tree, make sure that the material is removed in the spring, generally around Easter.

Types of Sprinkler Systems in Denver

In-ground Irrigation

The most effective and efficient way to keep your lawn green is to install an in-ground irrigation system. Green lawns can increase your home’s resale value by 14%, according to experts. This post will explain the basic components that are used in an underground irrigation system.

What is an In-ground Irrigation System?

An in-ground irrigation system disperses water through sprinklers attached to risers connected to a network of underground pipes that run throughout your lawn.

It can also include a drip system that disperses water to a precise area, producing deeper root growth and more abundant foliage for gardens, shrubs, roses and groundcover.

Drip irrigation offers many money and time saving benefits. Delivering water directly to plant roots saves you money by reducing up to 70% in water waste from evaporation and run-off.  It replaces hand watering, and reduces yard maintenance by delivering water directly to plants, reducing weed growth.

Parts of an In-ground Irrigation System

Valves – Valves turn the flow of water on and off for your irrigation system. The two types of valves used in irrigation are anti-siphon and in-line.

Pipe and Fittings – Pipe used for irrigation includes:

  • PVC – Rigid pipe available in sizes ranging from ¾” to 1 ½”.
  • Polyethylene tubing – Flexible pipe that comes in rolls from ½” to 2″.  Typically used in climates where freezing occurs.

Plastic pipes are connected using slip fittings, which glue together. Threaded fittings are used to connect pipe to valves and to risers for sprinklers.

SprinklersThe type of sprinkler head you choose should cover the area adequately and apply water only where it is needed. The two basic types of sprinklers for in-ground applications are rotor and fixed, or spray, heads.

  • Rotor systems – spray a rotating stream of water and have a lower application rate than fixed spray heads, making them more suitable for slopes.
  • Fixed – spray heads disperse water in a set pattern at a high application rate and are most suitable for small level areas.

Risers - Risers are used to elevate spray coverage. They can also be used to add a few inches to improve the positioning of the head, and should not be used near sidewalks and driveways.

Flex Assemblies Flex assemblies, also known as “Funny Pipe™”, are an alternative to risers to for connecting sprinklers to pipe.  

Drip TubingDrip tubing can be installed in conjunction with an in-ground irrigation system. While the hose itself is typically laid above ground, it can be linked to the in-ground system by connecting to a riser.

Timers - Timers tell valves when to open and close to start and stop watering.  They allow you to program schedules for watering different areas, or zones, in your landscape automatically at a given time of day on specific days of the week.

Mountain High Tree, Lawn and Landscape offers a full range of sprinkler services in Denver, including sprinkler installation, sprinkler winterization, sprinkler spring turn-on, and general sprinkler repair and maintenance.


Water your trees in the winter!


Your trees are thirsty! Make sure to water your trees on warmer days, give them a nice long soak with the hose. Did you know that on average, it takes up to 12” of snow to equal just 1″ of actual moisture? That means these light dustings of snow in Denver the past few weeks have not equated to much moisture for your trees.

Water whenever you can during dry, warm spells to help ensure that your trees can survive our often-dry Colorado winters.

Winter Tree WateringHomeowners should evaluate their ability to water their trees, shrubs and turf areas, and don’t be fooled when it snows. Dry winter conditions result in serious damage to newly planted landscapes as well as mature and established trees. Damage to vegetation includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Desiccation and dieback to fibrous
    (nutrient absorbing) root tissue.
  2. Undersized leaves in the spring.
  3. Needle browning and pre-mature
    needle drop in evergreen trees.
  4. Increased susceptibility to insect attack.

Learn more on our Supplemental Tree Watering page »

We also offer deep root tree watering, call our Denver office at 303.232.0666 or Colorado Springs office at 719.444.8800 and buy your trees a drink!