Denver Mulch Donation to Community Garden in Montclair

Lakewood Mulch

Despite the snowy foggy morning, we just delivered 10 yards of donated mulch to a Community Garden in Denver’s Montclair neighborhood this morning – check out the steamy delivery! This is our classic “natural” mulch that is locally-made with the clippings from our tree pruning jobs. We age and rotate our mulch to fully sanitize it, and it’s super loose and easy to shovel and spread on your garden beds. Did you know that mulch decreases evaporation rates by as much as 35%? Make sure to put some on your beds this spring for a healthy, beautiful landscape.

Enjoy the organic mulch, gardeners, may you have a wonderful growing season!

Looking for locally-made organic mulch?
Check out the mulch colors and pricing here: Denver Organic Mulch »

Denver Mulch

Check out our mulch colors below – view mulch pricing here »

Denver Mulch in BulkDenver Organic Mulch Denver Bulk Mulch Denver Bulk Mulch Denver Organic Mulch Denver Bulk Mulch Denver Mulch in Bulk

What Coloradans Need To Know About Emerald Ash Borer

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Emerald ash borer larva
Colorado State Forest Service

Here is a good article from KUNC.org about how Coloradans can help prevent the spread of the devastating Emerald Ash Borer, here’s an excerpt:

As spring weather gets warmer and plants start to bloom, it’s also the time for insects living within Colorado trees to awaken and emerge. One of these in particular, the invasive, tree-killing emerald ash borer is especially concerning to foresters since the insect’s target – the ash tree – is widespread along the Front Range.

Emerald Ash Borer in Denver

Click here to view a larger diagram and more info on whether or not you should protect your Ash Tree from the Emerald Ash Borer

Because the pest can go virtually undetected for the first few years of an infestation, forest authorities want the public’s help in containing the spread.

The first step to creating a plan is to identify ash trees. Next, evaluate the tree’s condition for signs of EAB infestation:

Does it have dead branches, fading foliage, thinning around the crown, or issues around pruning wounds?

Are there serpentine tunnels made by larvae under the bark, or D-shaped exit holes?

Are there new green sprouts on lower branches or lower trunk, or vertical splits in the bark?
Free Emerald Ash Borer InspectionAny increased woodpecker activity?

Should you protect your Ash Tree?

Read the rest of the article here »

Read more about the Emerald Ash Borer »


 

Meet our Plant Health Care and Lawn Crews – Great Guys, Great Crews!

Meet our Plant Health Care and Lawn Crews – They are the best!
Back row left to right:  Loftin Davis, John Martinez, Mike F, Matt Grabiananski, Nate Switt, Jason Byerly and Mike Huerena
Front row left to right:  Lee Kral, Zach Brooks, Vince Manus, Alex , Jerry Reynolds, Brad Harrison, Craig Little and Wes Klunk.
There are a few guys missing, we’ll catch them next month!

Lawn and Spray Crew edited with Lee 2

It’s not to early to think about water conservation!

LANDSCAPE
Water conservation may not be one of the hottest topics, especially when we have a winter where the mountains are well above average for snow pack or we have an exceptionally wet spring, but it should be. We live in a high alpine desert where water is certainly our most precious resource and conserving that resource is not all that difficult when it comes to your sprinkler system. There are some very simple things that you can do yourself to minimize the potential waste a sprinkler system may generate.

One of the easiest things to add to a sprinkler system is a rain/freeze sensor. This wireless device will freeze-sensorsinterrupt or delay a sprinkler program if enough natural precipitation is registered or if the weather turns and gets too cold to water. Another very simple thing you can do is monitor your lawn throughout the season and adjust the run times of each of your turf zones as the year progresses. Periodically checking the system for breaks, misadjusted heads or leaking valves will also make a significant difference in the amount of water wasted.

There are some other modifications you can make to your system that will also make a difference in the overall efficiency. Changing old sprinkler heads to more efficient spray or rotary nozzles may increase the run time of your zones. Since they put the water down on the turf much slower than traditional spray heads there is less pooling and runoff and with the larger droplets they are less susceptible to wind. A soil sensor measures the moisture in a particular area of the yard and will interrupt a cycle if the predetermined level is reached. Weather monitoring devices (site or internet based) use current conditions with recent weather history to determine what adjustments need to be made to the controller and can adjust the run times accordingly in real time.

By far one of the biggest impacts you can make towards conserving water is eliminating turf areas and replacing them with shrub/perennial beds dressed in a thick layer of mulch, watered with a drip irrigation system. Drip irrigation can be set up to water specific plant material (point source emitters) or can be laced in a bed with a large amount of perennials or groundcover and distributes the water through emitters molded into the pipe, spaced at regular intervals (Netafim). With no overhead spray hitting hard surfaces and very little evaporation, this is one of the most efficient ways to water your yard.

What a difference soil quality can make!

TREES – Soil Quality

Isn’t Mother Nature magnificent! Our landscapes are coming back to life every day! It is crucial for you to take advantage of this springtime to ensure the best results for hands holding soil
your yard’s health all summer long. Promoting soil quality should be part of your landscape care program. The benefits of improving soil quality include, but are not limited to, increased root density, improved drought resistance, vigorous growth, increased leaf density, flower retention, increased fruit production, and vibrant fall color.

In Colorado, our plants have to deal with extreme weather conditions, so it’s important to implement a program to improve the soil that supports our plants every day. Soil improvement programs should be tailored to each specific site. For example, a program for heavy clay soil with high salt levels should include amendments that focus on restructuring the soil and leaching salt. Some of the most common soil improvement products include epsom salt, gypsum, sulfur, chelated iron, blood meal, diatomaceous earth, compost tea, Revive products, humic acid, fulvic acid, Superthrive, compost, and mycorrhizae fungi.

Soil sampling and analysis is the first step in any soil improvement program. It is vital to know what you have in soil sampling
your soil before you start trying to change it. Our Arborists are trained and experienced in evaluating soil health, and we are happy to help you outline a program to ensure your landscape is as healthy and vibrant as possible. Get in touch with us anytime.


 

Emergency Vole Alert in Colorado’s Front Range

We started this Vole Alert this yesterday after Lee’s day out with voles! Channel 9 news just did a segement on voles on this week’s morning news that talks about the extreme vole problem we’re seeing in Colorado’s Front Range – view the video and read more below:

Denver-Lawn-Problem-Voles

Denver Lawn Damage by Voles


Lee Kral, Mountain High Tree, Lawn and Landscapes, lawn department manager has been out setting bait stations for voles, and is troubled over the trend that he is seeing.  Voles are at an all time high already this year, with spring bringing one of the peak breeding times.

Denver-Voles

Baby Voles in Denver

The breeding season for voles encompass most of the year, with peaks occurring in the spring and fall. Most voles have multiple families per year. Some voles have been shown to produce upwards of 10 litters of two to five young in one year. The normal is three to five litters a year.

VIBURNUM-CHEWED-BY-VOLES-EDITED

Denver Vole Damage – Viburnum shrub chewed by voles

They are causing severe damage to our lawns and landscapes.  Vole trails may have already been established in your yard, with Junipers and other vegetation being decimated

Voles are not known to be a significant threat to human health and safety, Nevertheless, voles carry lice and have been implicated in the transmission of Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever by helping to spread ticks. Reduce risks by handling with gloves, wash your hands immediately and stay away from urine and feces.

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Denver Lawn Damage – Vole Trails in Grass

Denver-Vole-Damaged-Juniper

Vole Damaged Juniper bush in Denver

If you are seeing any of the damage that has been pictured, please contact us to have an Arborist evaluate your trees, shrubs and lawn.  It may take a few breeding cycles to get control of voles, but control can be achieved.

Please contact us for a free evaluation and recommendation:

Estimate Request

Denver: 303.232.0666 or home@mhtree.com

Colorado Springs: 719.444.8800 or al@mhtree.com

 

Meet Patrick Ahart

Meet Patrick Ahart!

Patrick Ahart A Denver area native Patrick has been in the tree and lawn care industry for 23 years. He is in charge of coordinating with customers, our sales team and other departments to route our PHC and lawn care crews this helps us to be as efficient as possible so we get the work done for our customers in a timely manner.

Patrick likes to spend his off time outside exploring Colorado with his wife Judy and their dog Barley.

Is Your Lawn Ready for Spring?

Early Spring Lawn Care: 

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Take care of the soil so it can help take care of your lawn! Spring aerating is very important to overall lawn health in the Front Range. Our poor soil conditions make it hard for lawns trying to pull out of winter dormancy. The holes created by the aerator allow air and water to reach roots and for fertilizers to settle in. Products such as Revive, can also help with moisture penetration and water uptake in our dry climate.

Early spring fertilization:

Early fertilization of lawns helps to build a dense turf which will crowd out most weeds. Thin grass and bare spots provide an open invitation for weed seeds. Weaker areas of turf also allow for crabgrass to easily sprout and take hold. Proper fertilizing will provide root growth to help fight off both weeds and pests. Finally, proper fertilization should be done when the lawn is actively growing. This is not only the best practice for lawns but also the environment.

Another thing to keep in mind is that spring is a time of rapid growth for our cool-season grasses, including Ryegrass, fine Fescue, tall Fescue, and Kentucky Bluegrass. These grass types prefer cool weather and will grow robustly until hot weather slows them down. Then they will resume good growth in fall as temperatures cool. Fertilization of these cool-season grasses in spring is a large key to helping them build strength to fight off the heat of the summer.

Watering Lawns:
When it comes to watering there is a fine line between watering too little and watering too much. Turf grasses need adequate water to develop healthy and strong roots. On the other hand, too much water can lead to disease and make grass more susceptible to drought.

Early spring watering is also a major factor in reducing mite damage. Winter mite activity drains moisture from grass and can kill sections of a lawn. This is especially true on south and west side facings and areas where sun reflects back onto the yard off of rock walls, fences, and structures. Replenishing the moisture stolen by lawn mites will allow for yards to green up evenly without large dead areas.

If you have a west or south facing slope in heavily sun exposed areas, winter mite sprays and winter watering can prevent thousands of dollars in damage.

For early spring watering, sprinkler systems should be properly adjusted to provide a thorough watering about twice a week. When watering there are a couple of factors to keep in mind. First, do not water so heavily there is runoff. Irrigation runoff is expensive, wastes water and is actually bad for the environment. However, watering too lightly, prevents deep root growth since all the moisture is at the surface of the soil.
For best results, water about a half inch of water each time.  On adjusting_spray2slopes this my require running zones twice in a short period of time so the water sinks in rather than running off (check coverage). This method of deeper watering encourages plants to grow deep roots that are more drought-tolerant than turf with shallow roots. Furthermore, not watering as often allows grass and soil to dry between waterings. This is a good way to curtail disease, since most are caused by fungi that need extra moisture to spread.
Mountain High has an Irrigation department to help with all your sprinkler system needs.

Weed Control:
The best way to control weeds is to have healthy, robustly growing grass. This means that fertilization should be done early to establish good turf growth before weeds start to pop. It is also ideal to control unwanted grasses such as crabgrass with a pre-emergent herbicide. Pre-emergents inhibit seed germination, so they should not be used on newly seeded areas or areas to be seeded.  Early post emergent control of weeds is a great way to get rid of them before they can grow seeds and repopulate.

Lawn Mowing:
04_before_after_rulerLawns should be allowed to get a decent start before mowing. The best recommendation is to start mowing once the grass blades reach a height of three inches or slightly longer. When mowing, remember to mow in a way where only a third of the length of the blade of grass is removed with any cutting. The other thing to keep in mind is the sharper the blade, the better the grass can heal the cut. A clean cut means less water loss and allows the grass to better fight off fungi and insect attacks.  When mowing, the grass height should remain between two and a half to three inches in length after each cutting.

Getting Ready For Spring

row of tulips

It’s Time to Get Ready for Spring:

The weather in March can be unpredictable.  In the past few years we have seen everything from deep snow to daffodils.  It’s important to prepare your landscape for the end of winter and the beginning of spring.  There are all kinds of chores to do in order to get your landscape started out on the right foot for spring.  Many of these are essential to help plants produce large and abundant flowers, as well as reduce the likelihood of disease activity.

Here is a short checklist to help you achieve the best results for your landscape this spring:

  • Clean your flower and shrub beds of any leaf litter.  Dead leaves can foster fungal or bacterial spores that may infect new leaf tissue as it emerges in spring.
  • Cut back flowering perennials like roses and butterfly bushes.  If you cut these back Pruning-Cut rosestoo early in the winter the remaining tissue can dry out and delay spring flowering.
  • Inspect your irrigation system so that you can supply the needed moisture to plants as they become active.  This includes inspecting drip lines to ensure they are unclogged and positioned correctly.
  • Apply a pre-emergent herbicide to your turf to decrease nuisance weeds such as crabgrass, foxtail, and spurge.
  • Prune trees like Apples and Crabapples that are infected by fire blight bacterial disease.
  • Make sure you have signed and returned your Plant Health Care Proposal to ensure your landscape will receive the timely care it needs throughout the growing season.
  • Inspect large trees and heavy tree limbs for cracks, breaks, or cavities before the new leaf canopy obscures the view of the tree’s branch structure.

Let us know if you need help preparing your landscape for spring.  Our Arborists are available to walk through your property to help spot issues and develop a plan to resolve problems.

Is Xeriscape for you?

XERISCAPE

When xeriscape is mentioned, most people immediately think of plants that need only water provided by nature to survive and nothing else. This is not  what  xeriscapexeriscape back yard
actually stands for. Xeriscaping is a term that has been used for more than three decades to describe a landscape that is suitable for an arid climate needing little water and maintenance.  When you decide to go xeric that does not mean you have to only plant Cacti, Russian Sage, Yarrow or Sedum. Your local nursery will have a large pallet of plant material that can be used in a xeric landscape.  The key to ensuring the survival of your plant material and turf (yes you can have grass in a xeric landscape) is to plan ahead and make sure that you do not just put some plant material in the ground and hope that it thrives year after year.

Xeriscape SoilThere are some steps that need to be adhered to in order to ensure that your landscape will be a happy and healthy xeric environment. First thing is to come up with a plan. Make sure you are aware of what plants are existing and if they fit the xeric environment that you are creating. Make sure that you research the plant material you plan on installing and ensure that they will thrive in a low water environment. You will want to look at the drainage on the property, what type of soil you have and what type of exposure the yard has. Next, work on improving the soil characteristics. This will allow the soil capacity for water and oxygen to increase, and will also improve the drainage. This could include tilling in amendments and possibly adding small amounts of aggregate (small stones – <3/8”) that will help with creating air space and can improve the drainage.

When planting your areas, create like-minded watering areas. This means group plants according to their watering requirements so that you can better distribute the appropriate amount of water for that zone. Once the plants have been appropriately grouped, you will have to modify your existing or install new irrigation for the area. This is as important as creating a healthy soil environment and should be specific and flexible. You should be installing drip irrigation to the plant material with specific amounts of water to specific plants. In other words, you need to size the drip emitters properly. The irrigation controller is the flexible part of the equation. You should have the ability to set different schedules and durations for each of your xeric areas. Less frequent watering for longer duration will help create a root system that is deeper in the soil than more frequent short watering.

Being xeric means that you are making a conscious effort to conserve water. One of the xeriscape with mulchmost under-appreciated materials we have in our landscapes is mulch. A good wood mulch will not only retain the soil moisture far better than having no mulch, it will also keep the plants root system cool, minimizing the effects of our hot dry summer days. One of the last things you can do to promote the health of your new xeric garden is to practice appropriate maintenance. With proper pruning, weeding, fertilizer and monitoring of the irrigation system you will only increase your water savings.

Earlier I mentioned that turf can be part of a xeric yard. Most of us think of turf as not only a xeriscape with turf nlmaintenance headache but also a huge consumer of water. Our lawns do need more consistent attention than our xeric plants do, but with proper planning you can create a small lawn area in your yard that will require much less water than you think. There are various types of turf grass on the market that require much less water than the typical Blue Grass blends.  Again, with the proper soil preparation, irrigation, fertilization and turf selection, you can greatly minimize the amount of water you use to keep the grass healthy. Generally most lawns are over watered and can survive and will actually do better in drought situations if the watering schedule is monitored and modified.