Posts tagged Pruning Tips in Durango Colorado

Landscaping Can Prevent Damage From Avalanches in Southwest Colorado

Landscaping Tips to Prevent Damage From Avalanches in Durango, Colorado

This past January a snow slide hit a house.  This Durango house was adjacent to a cliff, with little landscaping above it.  If you are located in potential slide area, Gardenhart Landscape and Design recommends planting evergreen trees above and throughout the avalanche run out zone. Another thing that you could do would be to protect the home with rock outcrops above the home.  Overall the best landscaping tactic is tree planting, as the trees will slow down the overall run-out.

Obviously when looking at new homes, it is best to be wary of purchasing anything that abuts any cliff or dirt, especially brand new construction.  The amount of drainage from such area may be unknown, and destructive, plus weather patterns may change.  The major accumulation of snow would be the north side slope, but a west and south-facing slope may melt faster.

 

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Cheers,

David Hart

Gardenhart Landscape & Design

970-749-1555

http://www.gardenhartlandscapedesign.com

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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

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Pruning Guidelines for Durango, Colorado

I have been doing quite a bit of pruning around  Durango and and La Plata county this spring and have taken a few before and after pictures. I hope that by posting these pictures you might undertake to prune some of your own bushes and trees this spring. If not, give Gardenhart Landscape & Design a call, we would be happy to help you out.

The Best Pruning Rules for Durango Colorado

Remember, the first rule is always remove dead, diseased and touching branches first, this is primarily for the health of the plant. Then we get to look at the overall shape we desire, flat against the building, vase shaped, open in the center for air circulation, low growing so it does not crowd the sidewalk etc. The many different places that we put ornamental plants into the landscape require us to maintain them to an appropriate size and shape.

You can see the difference from removing several branches, the shape of the tree becomes much more obvious, many of the branches were too close together, crowding and competing for sunlight and space to grow.  The crab apple was too tall so I removed several of the topmost branches in order to promote growth in the areas that I desired as well as removing lots of sucker growth.  The Russian olive was heavily overgrown in all areas, so I removed lots of branches that were competing with each other. I think that this tree still needs some work, but it is in a rural setting and does not need to be perfect!

One more bit of advice, do not be in a hurry to remove lots of branches, you can always prune them off later, but they are very difficult to re-attach! Go give it a try and let me know how it works out.
Cheers,

David Hart

Gardenhart Landscape & Design

970-749-1555
Durango, Colorado
http://www.gardenhartlandscapedesign.com

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When is the Ideal Pruning Season in Durango, Colorado?

Do you get confused about when the best time is to prune certain trees and shrubs?

Some guidelines to be aware of include:

1)  Temperature Changes–If you live in a cold place where the temperatures can fluctuate , it is important to monitor those temperatures so that you don’t prune too early.  Generally it is safe to prune when the temperatures are holding steady during the day and don’t dip too significantly at night. 

2) If you notice that plants are beginning to bud then it’s safe.

3) Spring flowering plants (forsythia etc) should be pruned after they flower or you will reduce their bloom.

Early Spring (March-April)

Plant type: Ornamental grasses
Task: Cut as close to the ground as possible.
Tip: Tying the tops before cutting makes the job fast and easy.

Plant type:Semiwoody perennials (Butterfly bush, Russian sage)
Task: Cut back to about 4″ to produce strong new stems and best flower display.
Tip: May be cut back anytime during the winter or fall

Plant type:Broad-leaved evergreens (boxwood, holly, firethorn)
Task: Prune out stems with winter-injured foliage.
Tip: Wait until later in the spring to shear or hedge so new growth will quickly cover cut tips.

Plant type: Summer-flowering trees, shrubs, vines, hydrangea, and roses
Task: Remove dead, damaged, or crowded stems, shape or reduce size if desired.
Tip: Summer flower buds develop on new growth. Spring fertilization and adequate moisture in the summer will maximize number and size of summer blooms.

Early Summer (May-June)

Plant type: Spring-flowering shrubs (forsythia, rhododendron, lilacs)
Task: Prune for shaping or size control following the “prune after flowering” rule. These plants form buds for next year’s flowers during the summer. Pruning after midsummer will cut off flower buds.
Tip:Deadheading — removing fading flowers — benefits plants like rhododendron and lilac by preventing seed formation and directing growth into flower buds for next spring. Thinning multistemmed shrubs by removing several of the oldest stems each year will maintain size and keep plant vigorously blooming on new stems. If any of these plants, like forsythia and lilac, are overgrown, cut down to 3″ to 4″ for a fresh start. A drastic procedure for problem plants growing too vigorously in full sun, this technique is called “rejuvenation” and is not for the timid gardener!

Plant type: Evergreen shrubs (yews, juniper, boxwood)
Task: Hedging and shaping if desired or thinning to reduce size.
Tip: Cut just as growth begins so new growth covers cut tips. Each job should include some inner thinning of the bush to ensure the outside layer of foliage doesn’t become very thick, resulting in a thin shell of very dense foliage that is attractive to insects.

Midsummer/Fall (July-November)

Plant type: Flowering perennials and annuals
Task:
Deadheading — removing flowers as they fade — extends the flowering or promotes a second flush of flowers. After the frost in your area , when the perennials have slowed down and annuals have died, cut down the flower heads  and mulch the area well for next year’s growth.
Tip: Do not deadhead if dried flowers or seed are attractive or desirable for propagation.  Some folks like the look of their garden plants in the snow.

Winter (December-February)

Plant type: Deciduous and evergreen trees, crab apples and other pest-prone plants
Task: Remove any dead, damaged, or hazardous limbs. Prune limbs that interfere with walkways and structures. Remove crossed or rubbing limbs. Prune out suckers.
Tip:Winter is a great time to prune; insect and disease pressure is minimized and the plant architecture is visible. Also it is not as stressfull to the plant as it can be in mid-summer.

Cheers,

David Hart

Gardenhart Landscape & Design

970-749-1555
Durango, Colorado

http://www.gardenhartlandscapedesign.com

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