We Are Experts.  We Can Help You.  Please Note Before Pruning:

  • If you feel your tree is worth pruning, then great!  Let’s nurture that tree and encourage it to thrive and be structurally sound.  If you’re wondering the health of the tree, we can evaluate that.
  • The general state of the trees in Longmont, is okay.  Many could be better.  Many trees are in decline (will die soon).  Our soil is alkaline, saline, and heavy clay.  The climate is semi-arid and we live at a higher elevation.  These conditions are rough on non-native, landscaped trees.  Native deciduous trees, for the lower elevations are Cottonwoods and Willows; that’s it.  All other trees have several abiotic stressors (due to location) which invite biotic stressors to the trees.  So, many of the non-native trees are stressed and need TLC.
  • Have an arborist evaluate your tree.  He/she can let you know if the tree is worth pruning.  If so, then great!  Prune the tree.  Nurture the tree as much as you can.

Wait? What? Most of the trees look green, thick, and full.  My tree just has a few dead branches.  How can you say that?

There are several tree species, which look green and thick, so they appear to have plenty of vitality.  From an arborist point of view, most of the growth is interior epicormic growth.  What is epicormic growth?  The trees are reacting to biotic and abiotic stressors with an abundance of epicormic shoots (a.k.a. water sprouts & sucker growth) to make up for the decline they are experiencing (usually the tip dieback or defoliation).   To a person who doesn’t know about tree physiology, the trees look great. But, to a seasoned arborist, they are stressed and likely in decline.

What to look for, to see if your tree should be pruned, or if it is in decline:

  • Trees that are 30% in decline, are terminal.  It would be a waste of money to prune a dying tree.
  • Tip dieback, is known as “flagging”.  Flagging is a sign that the vascular system has been compromised.
    • Squirrel chew  the bark and cut off the vascular system in trees, and can kill trees
    • Certain insects chew inside of the tree and cut off the vascular system of the tree (i.e. Emerald Ash Borer)
    • Fungal and bacterial growth in the cambium of a tree clog up the flow of water and food to the tree, thus kill trees
      • Any oozing, dark or light colored spots, blistered bark,  or smelly branches are an indicator that the tree has a pathogen, that will likely kill the tree.
    • Let’s not forget about pale yellow/green trees.  A tree in a state of chlorosis is a dying tree.  The tree is losing the ability to produce chlorophyll.  Chlorophyll is there to capture sunlight to convert energy into food.  Alkaline soil is the true problem.  Alkaline soil binds up the available nutrients to the tree. No matter how much product or human intervention has been done for chlorotic trees, I have see 100% of them die.  Because there is human intervention it delays the death of the tree; yes.  But, the tree still dies.  If your tree can no longer produce chlorophyll and the leaves are wilted, and are falling off; the tree cannot come back.  It is dead.

Cost Benefit Analysis:

  • Save yourself money.   Do not prune a tree that is severely stressed.  You will pay out nearly 100% the amount you would, if you simply removed the tree in the first place.
  • Pruning out large portions of a dying/diseased tree will not slow down the rate of decline, nor will it reverse symptoms.  In most situations, pruning out large dead branches can require technical skill and labor to be accomplished.  This type of work is expensive… and still will require the tree to be removed.