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Tree, Shrub & Landscaping News

Denver Tree Service Offering Winter Pruning Discount

February 28, 2018

There is no better time than the present to have your trees and shrubs pruning needs addressed for the upcoming growing season. When trees are dormant, during the winter months, the pruning is easier and less impactful on the overall health of trees or shrubs. The Denver area landscape does have certain tree species that require pruning work be completed in the winter months, due to the risk of disease. Workers are able to easily access the trees when pruning during the winter months, and defects in a tree are readily detected.  Structure pruning will lend to the promotion of branch integrity for the future of the tree, as well as an important to start for proper development when trees are young.  Pruning during the winter months prior to flowering and leafing is ideal, prior to our spring storms that can result in storm damage, if a tree has not been properly pruned.

As the calendar continues to turn and days pass one after another, the winter weather will eventually dissipate as temperatures begin to increase. Rising soil and ambient temperatures aid trees in breaking dormancy to start the process of leaf emergence and flowering.  If you are interesting in receiving a free estimate for pruning while we are still offering our 10% winter pruning discount please contact our office (discount is valid for residential properties until March 31, 2018).

There are a variety of reasons that make winter when to trim trees and shrubs, including each of the following:

Tree Damage and Wounds

Pruning trees during the winter months has less impact on trees and shrubs than during the spring season. Pruning during flowering and leafing times can be stressful on trees and shrubs, as they are in the process of growing.  Pruning during the winter months also results in the stimulation of growth. Pruning during the winter months promotes wound compartmentalization prior to the spring, when insects and diseases are active. Further, our trained staff can easily identify dead, diseased, or broken branches when compared side-by-side with healthy, growing tissue.  Many trees in the Denver area have very obvious and prominent buds during winter months.  The dead, broken, or diseased branches pose potential fall hazards and should be removed immediately for the safety of those on the ground, as well as the overall health of the tree.  Dead branches in trees that are over 2" in diameter are easily blown out of trees during high wind storms.

Lessen the Risk of Disease or Infestation

American Elms, ornamental, and fruting trees are recommended to have pruning operations completed during the winter (dormant) months. Please find more information below regarding the diseases the afore mentioned trees are susceptible to.  Just as humans can be susceptible to certain disease in different stages of their lives, so too are trees in their particular life cycle. By waiting until the later winter months, both risks are inherently lessened with the cooler temperatures and relative non-existence of any disease and pest infestation.

Less Sap Flowing

As the trees evolve during the seasons, when completing dormant pruning there is  sap flowing freely, because trees have less need for the uptake of water and nutrients since they are not actively growing.  Increased amounts of sap levels will not only attract insects and wildlife, but could also become a mess and difficult to clean for  homeowners dealing with such a tree. While it is not unusual for certain species of trees and shrubs to have an increased flow of sap during the spring months, it also not an optimal time for pruning.

Sight Lines are Dramatically Improved

Pruning during the winter months while the tree does not have a full canopy of leaves is actually preferred by most climbers, as it allows for better, unobstructed views.  It allows better identification of areas in need of attention and easier access for the necessary equipment and the crews.

Fire Blight

One such disease which is prevalent in ornamental and fruit trees attacking the foliage in the spring, is fire blight. This often exceptionally destructive disease can be limited with appropriate levels of pruning and maintaining a tree’s overall health. It is a very active disease for the Denver area during the spring.  Each spring season and the amount of damage varies.  Denver tree specialists best recommendations for the management of fireblight includes winter pruning to remove the diseased tissue and a spring application to aid in the prevention of the disease.

American Elm

These trees are very vulnerable to a pest infestation vectoring a disease the will result in over-all decline and eventually death if pruning is performed during the growing season. The attraction of pests like the elm bark beetle increase after pruning if the work is completed during the growing season.  However, if the pruning is performed during the dormant season, this can be avoided altogether . Any steps which can be taken to limit the possibility of a pests infestation or causing increased and unwarranted damage to the tree is always recommended.

These are just a few of the highlights to why winter a great time to prune trees. Proper pruning and the development of a care plan will provide your Denver Landscape with the most benefits, critical to the over-all health of your landscape, while also protecting the investimate you have. While these tips are only the beginning, they help to set a roadmap of future pruning expectations and can assist your trees to live full, healthy lives. All while providing the beauty, shade, and potentially foods for many years to come.

If you’re trees are in need of pruning or perhaps you wish to have a professional check the property for all the amazing advantages of executing a pruning plan, let the certified professional arborists at American Arbor Care assist you today. They can help with any and all of your tree trimming and debris removal needs, in addition to offering stump grinding and a variety of irrigation services. As the winter months continue, AAC is currently offering a price special on all of their pruning services, which runs through the end of March and can help both your wallet and landscape at the same time. The experts at American Arbor Care have been proudly serving the Denver area for over 20 years and can set you up with an appointment or free estimate for pruning or any of their other excellent services. Contact us today online or call 303-639-8584 to get started right away!

Caring for Your Evergreen Trees and Landscaping in Denver this Winter

January 3, 2018

While the leaves may have fallen off the other trees in your yard, your evergreens will be flourishing. Such a wintertime staple, the evergreen is the perfect tree for the season. They can last all year long, especially during droughts and harsh conditions. By properly caring for them during the winter, your evergreens will keep up their beauty and luster. Now that we’re entering into the winter months, make sure you care for your evergreens and other landscaping in Denver. It’s also important to know when to call in experts too that can help your lawn stay beautiful.

Evergreen Maintenance

During the winter, evergreens can be susceptible to winter burn. This is when the tips of their needles turn red or brown, or just fall off altogether. It occurs for a variety of reasons—one due to the large temperature dips in the evening, leaving the tips to freeze. Another reason is because of photosynthesis. Evergreens will gather energy then release water. If unable to replace that water due to the ground freezing, winter burn can occur. To help avoid this, you can water your evergreens in the winter. It also helps to wrap them. By reviewing the guide “Winter Tree Care in Denver: Trunk Wrapping,” you can learn why this method will help all of your trees and shrubs. It also helps to keep your evergreen trees in areas of the yard with a full range of sunlight.

As the winter months roll by, monitor the health of your evergreen trees. If evergreens are negatively impacted by the drop-in temperatures, you may notice cracks in the bark and other areas of the tree. This is an issue wrapping the tree can fix (if the evergreens are small).  You can discuss with your neighborhood arborist to see if you need to take any additional precautions. Also, while dehydration is not as likely in evergreens during the winter, it can happen. Over the winter, watch the color of the trees. If you have used a synthetic mulch, it can be the root of the problem because it prevents water from penetrating the mulch and into the soil. Make sure to use an organic mulch in the future. Last, you may also notice damage due to critters in your yard. If you find there is damage, invest in repellents to prevent further damage.

Additional Winter Maintenance

Denver is home to cool season grass, which is a type that can handle freezing temperatures, as well as warm ones. To aid in their vitality, you must fertilize your soil before the first freeze of the season. To also help your lawn, keep debris such as leaves or twigs, lawn tools, or other items from sitting atop the grass for too long. This includes parking vehicles in the lawn that can damage the grass. If you have plants outdoors, potted plants should be in larger containers. You also need to continue to give them water. For these and other planted shrubs, bushes, and more, make sure to wrap them just like you have for your evergreen trees. This will serve as an insulator to help retain heat and protect them from the elements. Watering of your lawns on warm days will also reduce the amount of spider mite activity in full-sun, sloped areas. (Don't forget to water your trees/shrubs/perennials too!)

For your evergreens and other trees in your lawn, consider adding an anti-desiccant to them. This is a spray for their leaves that will help them retain water as the temperatures drop.

It is also important to monitor your lawn in the late winter to early spring for snow mold. As the snow melts, this problem can occur, causing you to see a grey or pink mold in your grass. Each are different and have negative effects on your lawn. If you find this in your yard, be sure to work with your local landscaping company to restore it back to life.

Spring Preparation

Throughout the winter months, make sure you have your checklist ready for spring to keep your evergreen trees healthy. In March and early April, examine your trees to see if any of their needles are browning, or if the tree looks distressed in any way. To help bring them back to life, they must receive fertilizer. While organic fertilizers are best for evergreen trees, you can work with your local arborist to find the perfect fertilizer. You can add fertilizer anytime through the summer, but ideally, the sooner the better. Aim to have your evergreens fertilized by the beginning of April. Ask your local arborist if a deep root fertilization is best for your trees. This type of fertilization places the fertilizer deep within the ground, ensuring it gets to the roots of the tree. Trunk injections can also be applied to help with nutrition, as well as combat disease and insects.

You will also need to add pruning to your spring checklist. When you inspect your tree after the winter  look for any dying or diseased areas. Damaged branches will need to be pruned. Prune using a thinning method to remove the dead or injured areas. Make sure you do not prune all the way to the center of the branch as it can hinder future growth. A guide to successful pruning, pruning evergreen trees will help you learn the best technique to encourage growth.

Calling in the Experts

If you are experiencing your first winter in a new house with evergreens, or are looking for ways to ensure your plants make it through the winter, calling on an expert will help. An arborist will look at your current situation and tell you of any warning signs or areas to improve upon. From there, they will provide you with the tasks that need to be done, as well as areas they can work through to keep your trees and plants healthy. This is a great asset for the overall value of your home.

For an expert you can trust to make sure your evergreens and plants survive this winter, contact American Arbor Care. We have been a trusted source for tree care in Denver for over 20 years. From lawn care and landscaping, to trees and shrub pruning, we have you covered. Call us today at 303-639-8584 or email us at to see how we can help.

Rid Your Denver Landscaping of Potential Vole and Squirrel Damage

December 20, 2017

Landscaping needs are typically highlighted in the fall and spring of the year but winter is fast approaching and also requires a significant and specialized focus to ensure quality growth and sustainability of certain lawn care essentials. The sheer vulnerability of grasses, plants, and trees during winter creates an immediate cause for concern but other items also present a serious threat to the well-being of nature’s foliage and proper Denver landscaping.

Whether you’re concerned about the possibilities of a potential negative outlook or appearance surrounding a home, office, personal business, or potential development opportunity; special considerations must be made. When prepping for winter in your landscape, one of the more common detriments is damage caused by wildlife and in particular, voles and squirrels.


Voles are small rodents that grow from three to nine inches in length and are members of the mouse family. Often confused with moles, the two animals not only have similar sounding names but also cause damage to landscapes in almost the exact same fashion.

Moles dig underneath the surface of the ground, creating an intersecting network of tunnels throughout a yard. Plush and fertile environments and well manicured lawns are often the best source of habitation as it provides the bugs and worms moles rely on for their diet. While these tunnels are not often visible to the eye upon initial observation, the soil becomes soft and squishy from the tunneling underneath while some raised areas may be present from a recent path.

On the other hand, voles create a potentially more problematic eyesore for landowners and those wishing to maintain a picture perfect landscape. Instead of tunneling underground, voles create paths along the surface of the soil making small ditch like runways over an inhabited area. These critters are also known to gnaw on roots, shrubs and trees, eating stems and grasses causing damage not only to the yard but any surrounding foliage as well.

Winter is an especially harsh season for vole damage as the snow covered ground makes noticing the paths created by vole movement more difficult since the rodents will burrow on top of the soil but underneath all of the snow. Also, plants are more susceptible to damage, already being in a vulnerable state due to the harsh weather conditions and then can be potentially hurt more from the diet of a vole.

Vole Removal

Managing voles in Colorado is an especially specific and timely task but can pay big dividends when properly maintained and executed. Eight different species affecting the state makes the task all the more daunting and regulates the approach needed for a specific area. Proper yard maintenance and upkeep with professional Denver landscaping help can assist in ensuring your yard doesn’t become a playground for voles or in the event removal of an infestation is needed.

There are three common practices involved in vole removal and prevention but every situation is unique and should be assessed accordingly. One factor in particular, is the size of the affected area and potential number of voles causing the unsightly damage to the property.

These three means of management include: repellents, trapping, and rodenticide.

Repellents - Other than urine smells of vole predators like fox and coyotes, three more common substances can be used as a potential vole repellent. Castor oil and hot sauce are two easily accessible items but depending on the area of infestation may not provide an ideal solution.

Thiram is a manufactured substance originally used in apple and wine farming to keep deer, rabbits, and rodents from the trees and produce. Use also applies to voles and should help protect both the surface area and any plants, shrubs, or trees that could potentially be harmed by a hungry vole. All of these repellents should also keep all plants, shrubs, and trees safe without causing harm during application.

Trapping - Similar to any rodent or mouse trap, the spring loaded traps can work on voles as well. However, these are preventative typically only after damage has been observed and then noting where traps should be placed.

Rodenticide - Finally, using a pesticide to kill the voles can be potentially dangerous to other surrounding wildlife and should not be administered without professional assistance. Application and effective use must take into account the potential risks and hazards associated with using this particular method.

Squirrels and Squirrel Removal

Squirrels are also members of the rodent family but not nearly as frequently associated with the mouse. There are two main types of squirrels relative to their more natural environment. Tree squirrels and ground squirrels both are common and can cause damage to plants and shrubs in their environment.

With strength in numbers, eliminating a squirrel population is extremely difficult as no real pesticide will do the trick and essentially, trapping and moving the pests is the best option but with so many it will require an inordinate amount of daily monitoring.

Squirrel tree damage is often caused by the animal gnawing on the bark or stripping a tree of its’ outer protective layers. These pests also can cause damage to ground shrubs and in particular gardens and plant bulbs.

A more common approach to preventing squirrel damage to ground plants is using a protective barrier to enclose potential plants and shrubs. Also, ensuring steps are being taken to prevent an inviting environment for the critters will also benefit limiting their opportunity to move in on a particular area.

If you’re landscape is suffering from vole damage or you just need to have a professional check a property for other reasons, let the certified professional arborists at American Arbor Care help. They can assist with any and all of your tree trimming, and debris removal needs, in addition to offering stump grinding and irrigation services. The experts at American Arbor Care have been proudly serving the Denver area for over 20 years and can set you up with an appointment or free estimate for any of their services. Contact us today online or call 303-639-8584 to get started right away!

Happy Holidays from American Arbor Care!

December 21, 2017

Happy Holidays from the team at American Arbor Care! 

We hope everyone enjoys the season, stays warm, and has a happy holiday with loved ones.

Our offices will be closed from Thursday Dec 21 through Jan 2 at 8:00AM to resume normal business hours.

American Arbor Care Gives Back with Gold Crown's Clubhouse

December 19, 2017

Gold Crown's Clubhouse is a free-of-charge, award-winning program model developed by the Boston Museum of Science and MIT Media Laboratory. We are part of the Clubhouse Network which has expanded to 100 Clubhouses in 19 countries.
 Since opening our doors in Lakewood 14 years ago, over 6000 youth have passed through them. Our Clubhouse provides a creative, safe, and free out-of-school learning environment where young people ages 10-18 work with adult mentors to explore their own ideas, develop new skills, and build confidence in themselves through the use of technology.
Serving thousands of youth over the years who have gained confidence, self-efficacy and STEAM skills through the Gold Crown Clubhouse, we wanted to expand our reach; Edgewater is that perfect community! Through a partnership with the City of Edgewater and Jefferson County Schools, we will open our new Gold Crown Clubhouse in Edgewater, CO January 8th 2018! Set within a 16-square block area, there are two Jefferson County elementary schools and a Jr./Sr. high school all within walking distance of the new Clubhouse. We look forward to extending our reach to youth in this community and the neighboring communities of Lakewood, Wheat Ridge and Denver. With the support of the city, community and schools, Gold Crown is transforming what was an abandoned historic church into a state of the art invention workshop!