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Your Trees in 2024

All of us at Knothead hope you had a healthy, safe and prosperous 2023 and are hoping for an even better 2024. Thank You so much for your continued business and the trust you’ve placed in us to take care of your most valuable landscape.

Current state of the Front Range’s Trees and Shrubs:  

2024 was certainly an interesting year climatically. We experienced the 14th coldest winter along the front range in Colorado history. This was followed by a soggy, cold Spring.  We obtained over the average yearly precipitation in the first 6 months of the year - it was wetter than Seattle!  Funny, isn’t it, that the 2nd half of 2021 was drier than Death Valley! No wonder our Landscapes struggle to survive in this high altitude desert.

All of this cool, damp weather certainly led to a late start to the growing season. Additionally, the excessive moisture led to Oxygen deprivation to root zones of many of our trees, especially those in poor drainage areas. Like any abnormal weather event, this led to stress which then made the trees and shrubs more susceptible to insect and disease pathogens, especially bark boring beetles and fungal and bacterial organisms.

  • Of particular note is the Spruce ips beetle which is killing many old, mature Spruce trees. Similarly, the ips Pine bark beetle and Red Turpentine Beetles are killing not only old and mature Pines, but also young transplanted trees.

  • Bacterial fire blight disease on Crabapples, Pears and Hawthornes this past year was one of the worst we’ve ever seen. Since preventative treatments are not available to help keep these pests from killing your trees, of paramount importance is to help minimize stress and improve the overall health and vigor of your trees. We can’t change the weather, but we can help through deep root fertilization and proper pruning.

  • This weather has also affected our lawns. The lawns need water of course, but just like trees, it is imperative that the lawns be supplied with the right nutrition to thrive.  The Fertilizer we use at Knothead is a completely natural and organic product, it improves the soil structure, promotes water penetration and retention, and provides the optimum setting for plant growth and health.

This is the time for our Plant health care renewals, but it may be worth mentioning that now is the time to prune your trees, especially those species which are vulnerable to bacterial fire blight (Apples, Crabapples, Pears and Hawthorns) since these trees cannot be pruned past the winter season.

Advice to you - my customers:

I get a lot of questions on how to help trees and how to best protect them.  Following is some information on tree and shrub care that I often share with my customers.

  • Bark Boring Insect Sprays: 

Bark Boring insects cause significant damage to many tree species. There are no curative treatments, therefore it is of imperative importance to do as much preventative treatment as possible to help prevent the insects from accessing the trees in the first place.   

Some bark boring beetles carry with them a fungus which once inside the tree, plugs and restricts the vascular systems which carry water and nutrition through the tree.  Preventative treatments are available and are highly effective:  

Pine Trees:  Two applications per year are recommended for Pine trees for season long protection (one in spring/early summer, and one in later summer..  

Spruce Trees: For Spruce trees, we recommend 1-2 applications a year depending on the area you live in and size, age and condition of the tree.  As a general rule young and thriving Spruce trees need only one application at this time in the spring/early summer..  

Ash and Locust: These trees need only one application per year in the spring/early summer time frame. 

  • Deep Root Fertilization: 

In addition to preventative spraying, Deep Root fertilization is extremely beneficial in providing the necessary nutrients and elements for optimal tree health and vigor.  Our deep root, organic based fertilizer has all of the macro and micro elements that would be found in healthy soils.  For particularly stressed trees we add in Kelp extract and a beneficial symbiotic fungus known as mycorrhizae to help the tree recover from the environmental stresses.  Deep root fertilization is beneficial for all trees and shrubs.  If you are not already doing this, I would highly recommend it for your trees and shrubs. 

  • Pruning: 

Proper pruning of your trees does a lot more than just making them look pretty.  Proper pruning can be of tremendous benefit to your trees.  It can improve circulation and sunlight penetration to the tree which in turn stimulates new growth and health.  Pruning and removing dead and diseased limbs can increase fruit production, it can help stop spread of disease, as well as reducing hazards of broken and fallen limbs.  Proper pruning can also reduce breakage and help trees better withstand winter storms.  All in all pruning is of key importance to tree health, but it must be done at the right time and with the right skill to avoid damaging the trees.

As always, I am grateful for each and every one of you. If you ever have any questions regarding the needs of your trees, shrubs or lawn, you are always welcome to give us a ring, and we will do our best to help. 

Here’s to a Peaceful, Prosperous, and Healthy 2024.



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