Posts tagged durango colorado sustainable tree care

Fencing that Protects Trees from Wildlife in SW Colorado

Fencing: The Most Effective Control

Trees in our landscapes are prone to damage from many factors, including wild and domestic animals. Let’s talk about one method of control that can lessen the impacts on our trees.

Fencing can be a very effective method to prevent animals from coming into contact with our plants, if we can fence the entire property with an eight foot wire fence and provide a gate for vehicular access, then you have gone a long way to prevent damage from deer and elk and the damage they bring to our trees.  However, this is not usually a practical solution for the average homeowner, the neighbors and the City will have something to say about the prison look you have introduced to the neighborhood.

Effective deer fencing in Durango Colorado

So, given that we cannot control the larger movement of animals, let’s just stop them from hurting the individual tree, or groups of trees.  We can put up fences to protect the trunks from rubbing of antlers and the feeding on leaves.  I like to use Remesh, the wire grid that concrete installers put in large slabs to strengthen and prevent cracks from happening in concrete.  You can purchase it at lumber stores, it comes in 150′ x 5′ rolls and is made from 10 gauge wire.  It is very heavy , usually rusty and is rather unpleasant to work with, but it will stand up on its own when cut into a circle and placed around the tree.

Individual fence around a tree to protect deer & wildlife

This fence will last for many years, some clients remove it during the summer, when deer and elk are less apt to be in the yard, looking to feast on your plants, or rub the velvet off their antlers, then put it back up in the fall.

I hope this is helpful, let me know if you have specific questions about containing and eliminating damage from specific critters you may have.

Cheers,

David Hart

Gardenhart Landscape & Design

970-749-1555

http://www.gardenhartlandscapedesign.com

Facebook for more sustainable landscaping tips.

Please review us on Google Places

Advertisements

Leave a comment »

Is Your Spruce Tree Browning? Answers to Common Spruce Tree Problems

common spruce tree pest doesn't harm tree

Cooley Spruce Gall

Cooley Spruce Gall

My neighborhood spruce trees have been attacked by aphid-like insects, Cooley spruce gall adelgids that make the ends or the new growth of each branch brown.  Colorado State University Extension has the best description of this pest.

My neighbor has asked to remove his tree because of his mis- diagnosis of the problem.  This gall doesn’t harm the tree, it just makes it look less healthy than it could.  Even applications of pesticides are not that effective in controlling the problem.  The indicator that I find strange is that it needs a douglas fir species to complete their life cycle, since we don’t have Douglas Fir in our immediate neighborhood, I’m quite perplexed to see such an abundance of the spruce gall affecting about 30 trees.

Western Spruce Budworm Damage

Western Spruce Budworm Damage

Western Spruce Budworm

Utah State has a great description of the Western Spruce Budworm  as does the Colorado State Extention.  This is a very debilitating worm that can kill off stands of spruce, douglas fir, white fir and subalpine fir.  Its larvae feed on young developing buds, needles, shoots, and other plant parts.

Spruce Tree Fungus

Spruce Cytospora Canker

Cytospora Canker

Colorado State Extention Description is very good.  This canker  is a fungi in the species cytospora and can kill the plant.  This canker affects many different kinds of trees and the only evergreen tree that is affected is the spruce.  The other trees that are also affected include apple, ash, aspen, birch, cherry, cottonwood, elm, maple, peach and willow.

Spruce Tree Rhizosphera NeedlecastRhizosphaera Needlecast

The Rhizosphaera Needlecast symptoms of the disease are discoloration of the needles, needle drop, and eventual defoliation. Infected needles turn yellow in July and then reddish-purple in August. The needles eventually turn brown and fall off one to several branches. A severely affected tree will have many bare branches. Premature needle drop is the primary damage, causing the tree to become unsightly. However, branches that are defoliated for four or five years may die. If left uncontrolled, the disease can eventually kill the tree.  New Mexico State University has the best description.

How to distinguish between Needlecast and Cytospora

Overall, if you have browning needles on your spruce tree, they may be one of these problems.  It is best to determine which one it could be and utilize a control as soon as possible.  There are a few others possibilities that may make your spruce turn brown, although I haven’t seen much evidence around Durango Colorado.

Cheers,

David Hart

Gardenhart Landscape & Design

970-749-1555

http://www.gardenhartlandscapedesign.com

Facebook for more sustainable landscaping tips.

Please review us on Google Places and Buzztown.

Leave a comment »

Landscape Watering Dilemmas in Durango Colorado: How Much?

Wildlife Resistant Landscape

How Much Do I water these Trees and Perennials?

How much do I water my SW Colorado landscape?

There is a very similar outcome when you water too much or too little.  One way to really decide whether to water or not is to actually feel the soil.  If you will dig down about three inches and grab a handful of soil and try to squeeze  it into a ball.  If it sticks together, then it still has sufficient moisture.  The problem with over watering is that the water molecules replace the oxygen in the soil and causes distress to plants.

Durango Landscaping Services by Gardenhart Landscape & Design

Sod & Grass use different amounts of water than many Trees and Plants

Signs of Over watering from Gardenhart Landscape & Design

It seems to me that my garden has not been growing very well and perhaps it is because it has been over watered.  The soil at my house is very hard packed river bottom and even though we have  tilled the garden area and applied compost and soil amendments numerous times, we still do not have a “well-drained soil”.  Watering here is difficult, too much and it runs off and not enough we water only the surface, which encourages shallow roots.  Ideal soil will absorb water down to about eighteen inches or deeper, then allow it to gradually dry out over a predictable period of time.  The plant roots will seek the moisture by going deeper in the soil,  thus they are less susceptible to dry times.

Durango Colorado Landscaping Companies help figure out how much to water

How Much Water Does Sod Need?

In summary, watering is very site specific, depending on your soil composition and the requirements of the individual plants.   As long as the soil will absorb water, deep watering is preferred.  You must pay attention to what is going on with your plants and the soil they are trying to grow in.

Cheers,

David Hart

Gardenhart Landscape & Design

970-749-1555

http://www.gardenhartlandscapedesign.com

Facebook for more sustainable landscaping tips.

Please review us on Google Places.

Leave a comment »

Durango Colorado Tree Pruning Tips

Durango has been designated a Tree City USA by the National Arbor Day foundation for 36 consecutive years.  In 1978 Durango City Council  adopted a resolution to assume ownership & maintenance responsibilities for trees on City property and in the Right Of Way.  Park Department personnel determined in 1980 that a formal tree management program was needed and they have taken the appropriate actions since.   The four requirements to obtain this designation from the Arbor Day Foundation:

  1. Ordinance for Tree Protection  and Licensing program
  2. Hold annual Arbor Day ceremony
  3. Establish Parks & Forestry Board
  4. Hire full-time Forestry Staff.

In the March issue of Lawn and Landscape Magazine they have focused on tree care.  This article on preventing tree topping gives several great reasons why this is not a sustainable practice.

Some photos of tree topping:

I notice this tree topping practice and cringe.  You might as well simply cut down the tree instead, because by utilizing this practice you are decreasing the health and vigor of the tree and thus make it  susceptible to diseases and insect infestation, thus it will  most likely die.  Fortunately, Durango has some control over the pruning practices that occur within city limits.  In order to prune trees in town for hire, the individual must obtain a licence from the city.  This process requires a written and a practical test overseen by the City Arborist.

If you are considering hiring a person to prune your trees and shrubs, be sure to ask for and see their licence from the city of Durango. You can call the city at 970-375-5010  to see if they hold a current licence or view their list.  This is a good way to determine the licensee’s understanding of horticulture and their skill with a saw and pruner. Also, you can report questionable persons or their work to the City Arborist, whose number is 970-375-7383.

Cheers,

David Hart

Gardenhart Landscape & Design

970-749-1555

http://www.gardenhartlandscapedesign.com

Facebook for more sustainable landscaping tips.

Leave a comment »

%d bloggers like this: