Greenery takes a beating as weather makes sharp turns –
Highlands Ranch Herald
If a cold snap last November wasn’t enough, Mother’s Day really took a toll on trees across Douglas County, experts say. Just as hackberries, honey locust and ash trees were trying to leaf out for spring, a drastic freeze set them back.
“We are just getting totally inundated with calls about people’s trees,” Douglas County horticulturist Jane Rozum said.
It all started last fall, when temperatures plummeted from 50 degrees to well below 0, and for trees that’s a very stressful event, especially if they’re young and haven’t acclimated yet, Rozum said. Then the temperature hit 26 degrees on May 9 and just as some were trying to grow new life, they froze.
But things may look a little different now, said Highlands Ranch Metro District forestry supervisor Dennis Donovan.
“Our trees are leafing out, as we speak,” he said. “We have to let Mother Nature take its course and have a wait-and-see kind of attitude.”
Donovan helps take care of roughly 14,000 Metro District-owned trees in what the municipal services department likes to call an “urban forest.” His job, as well as that of other forestry employees, includes pruning, watering, pest control, planting and tree-limb recyling. Highlands Ranch alone has about 50 different tree species, with about 1,500 ash trees.
While new life is springing, the downside is that trees may look sparser in appearance and have more dead twigs and branches, Donovan said.
“Trees are pretty resilient and will push new growth, but after several freezes they don’t have the energy reserves to come back,” Rozum said. “These climatic events make it tough for them to grow, but they still have to get ready for the next thing that could possibly come their way.”
Another upcoming challenge could be a dry, hot summer. Rozum encourages tree owners to water under the canopy every two weeks if the summer’s extreme heat has an effect on the trees’ reserves.
Colorado Extension’ s PlantTalk Blog also covers treatment of hail-damaged trees in an article here:
Hail Damage to Trees
If you’re working on cleaning up, here are some updated guidelines and regulations from Denver Department of Public Works regarding tree damage cleanup.
See our Highlands Ranch Tree Service Blog article for more local cleanup tips here.
Need help with cleanup? Want to save your beloved tree?
For your free tree care evaluation, schedule online today.
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