Seminar focuses on tree health

Lone Tree city forester, CSU expert offer advice

Posted 5/2/16

Forty years ago the area now comprising the City of Lone Tree was a dusty prairie, drive-through country for travelers on the Valley Highway on their way to somewhere else.

Today that plain is home to around 13,000 people and has been transformed …

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Seminar focuses on tree health

Lone Tree city forester, CSU expert offer advice

Posted

Forty years ago the area now comprising the City of Lone Tree was a dusty prairie, drive-through country for travelers on the Valley Highway on their way to somewhere else.

Today that plain is home to around 13,000 people and has been transformed into a city with what Julius Zsako, Lone Tree's city forester, calls “our urban forest.”

“If you go back to 1955 and take a look at the Google Earth image, you’ll be hard-pressed to count more than two trees. Mother Nature just doesn’t put trees here, because of the harsh environment that we have,” Zsako said at a tree care seminar hosted by the city on April 28.

Residents attending the seminar were advised by Zsako and CSU Extension agent Jane Rozum in tree care, ranging from planting methods maximizing tree health to caring for trees during the wet spring storms that have been so prevalent in the region.

“Flowering trees experienced a lot of damage … resulting from the weight of the snow,” Zsako said. “We’ve all experienced it in recent weeks. We get these heavy snowfalls that do damage to our trees.”

Zsako recommends knocking the snow from laden trees with a broom, gently pushing up on the branches rather than adding more stress by pulling down.

If a tree branch snaps, the trunk becomes exposed to the elements, insects and disease. Zsako warns against pulling on smaller, broken limbs to remove them.

“If you tug on it, you can tear the bark further, and you can have bigger exposure. I recommend using a saw or cutting it with lopping shears. You want to minimize the wound area, and you don’t have to apply any treatment to that wound area. That tree on its own is going to harden and protect that area,” he said.

For larger jobs involving higher branches he recommends hiring an insured certified contractor.

The tree care seminar is one component in Lone Tree’s commitment to maintaining its 13-year designation as a Tree City USA.

“Our local efforts are part of a national movement, and this national movement is to really look at and recognize the importance and value our trees bring to us,” Zsako said.

To qualify, the city must designate an individual 'legally responsible for the care of all trees on city- or town-owned property,’ establish a tree care ordinance, budget two dollars per capita for a forestry program, and observe Arbor Day.

“We are fortunate in that we have some real good partnerships in the community,” said Zsako. “One of the big partnerships we have is with the CSU Extension Service.”

The Douglas County Extension Office’s master gardeners are available to county residents with questions about planting and care of gardens or trees.

According to Rozum, it is not uncommon for people to email photos of damaged or infested plants to a master gardener who conducts research and provides answers.

In addition to the CSU Extension Office, Lone Tree also has collaborated with the South Suburban Parks and Recreation District and Alameda Wholesale Nursery for an Arbor Day tree sale.

Trees are subject to availability to Lone Tree residents through May 6 and must be picked up between 8 and 10 a.m. at the Lone Tree Arts Center on June 5.

Additional information is available on the city’s webpage at cityoflonetree.com.

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