Chris Toney, ISA Arborist and owner of TLC Tree Care in Eldorado Springs talks with us about our trees and how they were affected by the flood. He has valuable information to share.
Our tree situation:
- ·Major types of trees include willows, pines , narrow-leaf cottonwoods, box elders
- Compaction is our major problem but it isn’t around the trunk that is our main concern, but along the drip line where the tree takes up nutrients. The drip line can be found by looking up at the trees branches and following them outward. Where the branches end is the tree’s drip line.
- Meristems are like capillaries for trees. They spread out from the roots and take up nutrients. When they become compressed, they get closed off and can’t take up nutrients.
- Because of the impact of the compressed sand/dirt/debris plus all of the heavy equipment driving over the meristems, the trees, especially the willows along the creek, have been compromised. It could be two years before we actually see a problem. The trees may even bloom this spring, but a problem won’t be seen for two years.
What we have going for us:
- Trees adapt and some of the varieties we have are hardy and resilient
- We have help and can find grant funding for restoration
TLC Tree Care Recommendations:
- Evaluate which trees can be saved
- Address any hazardous trees – ones that may look okay but whose stability is compromised and may become a hazard
- Hand dig on specific diameter trees – 8” or less
- Leave the large willows along the creek until excavation work is complete and then decide which ones we want to save
- Do not pile any heavy materials on the drip line of a tree – including rocks, wood piles, and dirt piles. It doesn’t take long for the meristems to get closed off and the tree can be permanently damaged
- Water the trees in the driest months of the year– December, January, February – this is very important for the trees survival and resilience
- Replant species that are immune to pine bark beetle – pines, spruces, firs, cottonwoods
- Contact tree farms in CO and ask for donations of 3-4 trees from their stock. Arrange for spring pickup rent a truck and pick them all up.
- Plant around May 1st.
How to properly dig out small trees:
- Dig trees to near original ground level then take away soil/sand/dirt all the way out to the drip line, be careful not to scratch the roots
- Use a metal rake to scratch the surface and loosen the soil at the drip line to help loosen the compaction
How to properly water a tree:
- Use a deep water spike once a month (tool that has a long spike on the end and a hose hook-up that can deliver water deep into the ground)
- Because we have water access issues, Chris recommended we contact a large tree company (Davies Tree, Kent OH) to see if they would be willing to donate their time/resources to bring up a truck for tree watering during the driest months.
- Don’t water a snow encrusted tree trunk
- Never water a tree’s trunk, always the drip line
- Stick the water spike into the ground along the drip line, attach the hose and let it run for 30 seconds to 1 minute
- Pull it up and take a step out to the side and put the water spike in and repeat all the way around the circumference of the drip line
New Town Square Park Project:
- Amend the soil in the park by adding 300-400 cubic yards
Chris is willing to volunteer along with other arborists to teach us how to plant a tree properly and to help plan out new tree plantings