Professional TREE CARE Services FAQ

Tree Care Services - Boulder and Fort Collins Area

Organo-Lawn is a professional tree care company. Our tree care experts are state licensed and we specialize in environmentally friendly tree care services. Boulder and Fort Collins Colorado are in a high plains desert. The Northern Front Range of Colorado only receives about 14 inches of natural precipitation per year and this is problematic for trees. Fortunately, Organo-Lawn is an expert in tree care in Colorado. Our expert tree care technicians can help with deep root tree fertilization, insect control, treating chlorotic trees, and winter tree trimming.

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Deep Root Organic Tree Fertilization FAQ

Q. Do I need to do anything to prepare for the arrival of my professional tree care technician?

A. Prior to our tree care technician's arrival, we request that you water around the base of your trees out to the edge of the tree’s canopy. This softens the ground so we can get the deep root tree probe into the soil. We also suggest if you have a confusing property or if we are not treating all the trees on your property, that you also create a map or mark the trees that you want us to treat. Making a map of your trees will help the tree care technician be able to identify which trees you want to have fertilized more easily.

Q. How is the deep root tree fertilizer applied?
A. The deep root tree fertilizer is a liquid and it is injected into the root zone around the canopy of the tree using a special tree stake gun.

Q. When is the best time of year to fertilize a tree in the Boulder and Fort Collins area?
A. We fertilize trees in the spring and the fall when the soil temperatures are between 40-60 degrees F. In the Boulder and Fort Collins area this is typically from April until early June, and September through October.

Q. What do you need to do after the trees have been fertilized?
A. You don’t need to do anything, but if it is dry out you can water them deeply to help them absorb the product more readily.

Q. Is it beneficial to water trees in the winter?
A. Yes, it is very beneficial to water trees once per month in the winter, especially if it has not snowed or rained recently. They need the water for a strong recovery in the spring.

Q. How many gallons of water do trees need?
A. We recommend watering 6 gallons of water per 1 inch of diameter breast height (DBH). For example: If a tree is 6 inches DBH than the tree will need 36 gallons of water per month.

Q. What is in your organic tree fertilizer?
A. Mycorrhiza (literally fungus roots), our organic liquid fertilizer Super MDS, Lignin Sulfate, Microplex, humate, yucca extract, and Ferrus Plus which is a mix of micronutrients and chelated iron (iron that is available for uptake by the plant).

Q. What is mycorrhiza?
A. Mycorrhiza is a beneficial fungus that has a symbiotic relationship with roots. Mycorrhiza helps plants survive stressful conditions such as low fertility, drought, temperature extremes, and root pathogens. The fungus prevents the plants from absorbing pollutants such as heavy metals and acids in soils. Mycorrhiza promotes an increase in xylem cell number, cell wall thickness, and lumen diameter. Mycorrhiza and trees have a symbiotic relationship: trees can’t survive without Mycorrhiza and Mycorrhiza can’t survive without trees.

Q. How does mycorrhiza work?
A. Mycorrhiza bonds itself to the root-hairs of tree roots and acts as a barrier against pollution and pathogens. It also adds mass to tree roots so the uptake of water and nutrients is easier for the tree.

Q. How long does mycorrhiza work/last?
A. Mycorrhiza will last as long as it is alive. Older trees require more mycorrhiza and younger trees typically have a hard time extracting mycorrhiza from the soil.

Q. How often should I fertilize my trees?
A. We recommend at least once per year for healthy trees and two times a season for struggling or younger trees. Maples, Oaks, Ashes, Birches, and trees with fall color need to be fertilized at least once per year. These species tend to develop chlorosis from a lack of iron and our fertilizer will prevent this condition, called chlorosis.

Q. I can’t afford to fertilize all my trees; which ones do you suggest fertilizing?
A. Young trees, struggling trees, Oaks, Ashes, Birches, Maples and especially trees that are new transplants, should be the priority.

Organic Tree Care Companies - Boulder



EcoTrol Organic Insecticide for Aphids and Spider Mites On Fruit Trees FAQ

Q. What is EcoTrol?
A. EcoTrol is an insect treatment that we apply to vegetable gardens and fruit trees to control aphids, spider mites, ash sawfly, as well as other insects. We use EcoTrol instead of Merit or Orthene on fruit trees because synthetic products contaminate the fruit. Ecotrol is made from essential oils including Rosemary Oil (10%), Peppermint Oil (2%), and Other Ingredients (88%) including Wintergreen Oil, Vanillin, Lecithin, and Butyl Lactate.

Q. How is EcoTrol applied to a tree?
A. Ecotrol is applied as a foliage spray.

Q. How long does EcoTrol last?
A. EcoTrol is a fast acting product that will kill insects within 2-5 days and will only kill the insects it comes in contact with during the application. We do not guarantee residual control.

Q. Will EcoTrol prevent insects from attacking the tree again?
A. Doubtful; EcoTrol is fast acting and it should be used when you have an infestation on a fruit tree that requires immediate control; however it sometimes has residual control up to 3 weeks, but we do not guarantee residual control.

Q. How toxic is EcoTrol to bees?
A. We cannot legally answer this question, but we have provided a copy of the label and MSDS on the website so you can research the information and make an educated assessment about the product. EcoTrol is an OMRI approved insecticide, meaning it can be used in organic farming.

Q. When should we have the EcoTrol treatment applied?
A. EcoTrol should be applied any time there is insect pressure on a fruit tree that you want to protect.

Q. I had the treatment done and I still see the sticky substance on the leaves. Does this mean that the treatment did not work?
A. The sticky substance is the honeydew from the aphids and is not a telltale sign that you still have aphids. You should go out and look at the under side of the leaves and if you do not see any aphids moving then the treatment has worked. You can get rid of the sticky substance by washing the leaves with water or just leave it because it will not do any damage to the tree.

Q. Is there anything I should do for the tree after the application of Ecotrol is completed?

A. You do not have to do anything; however, you can water the tree around the root zone to help reduce the stress of the insect pressure. The aphids and spider mites uptake moisture from the tree so watering the tree is always beneficial.

Q. How long do I have to stay off the lawn after the application is performed?
A. You may reenter the area after the organic insect treatment has dried. If you want to be extra cautious you can stay off the treated areas for 24 hours.

Q. What trees are most susceptible to insect pressure?
A. Many trees have many different problems. We have an tree insect chart, which explains what species of trees are affected by what type of insects.

Q. Does EcoTrol kill all insects?
A. No; EcoTrol does not work on many borers, certain scales, coddling moth, and many other damaging insects.

Q. Why doesn't Organo-Lawn apply EcoTrol to non fruit bearing trees?
A. We prefer to use either Merit, Safari, or Orthene for non-fruit bearing trees. Even though Merit, Safari, and Orthene are not organic products, we feel that the application method of injecting into the ground is less damaging to beneficial insects than aerial applications of Ecotrol.

Organic Tree Care Companies – Fort Collins



Emerald Ash Borer FAQ

Q. What is Emerald Ash Borer?
A. Emerald Ash Borer is an invasive beetle that has been introduced from Asia most likely from shipping containers containing lumber from overseas. It is considered to be the most destructive forest pest ever seen in North America, killing millions of ash trees on the East coast and Midwest, finally being found in Boulder, Colorado in the fall of 2013.

Q.What trees does EAB attack?
A. Emerald Ash Borer only attacks varieties of ash trees, but will attack both healthy and stressed ash trees, unlike many insects which typically target stressed and weakened trees.

Q. How do I know if my ash tree has Emerald Ash Borer?
A. Initial detection is not easy. It may take 4-5 years for the canopy of an infested ash to thin and decline. When a tree shows thinning a decline it is usually too late to save. Since borers infest the upper branches of the tree first, and they only make the D shaped holes upon exiting the tree the D shaped holes may be seen until the tree is severely infested. It might be impossible to tell if a tree is infested, until it is too late. This is why preventative measures are so important when dealing with the EAB.

Q. What will happen if I don’t treat my tree for Emerald Ash Borer?
A. If you do not treat your ash trees for Emerald Ash Borer and the insect attacks your tree, it will most likely die. This insect is responsible for killing millions of ash trees all across the country.

Q. How do I protect my tree against Emerald Ash Borer?
A. It depends on where you live. EAB has been found in a few cities in Colorado and was first discovered in Boulder. For property owners inside the cities of Boulder, Niwot, Longmont and Lafayette where the insect has been located, we strongly recommend starting treatment with a trunk injection called
Tree-Age. This treatment will kill the insects if they are already in the tree as well as protect the tree for 2-3 years. For property owners within Boulder county but in the following cities of Erie, CO, Lousiville, CO, Lyons, CO or Superior, CO, we recommend soil injections of either Merit or Safari as a preventative measure. For all other homeowners outside of Boulder County we recommend evaluating whether you want to save your ash tree(s). Soil injections may be done at the discretion of the homeowner. We will update our recommendations as new information becomes available.

Q. When is the best time to have the Tree-Age trunk injection performed?
A. Anytime that the ash tree has leaves, typically about May through September.

Q. What trees are worth treating for Emerald Ash Borer?
A. Any valuable ash tree in your landscape that you want to save. Even healthy ash trees are susceptible to insect pressure from the Emerald Ash Borer.

Q. How often do I need to treat my ash tree with Tree-Age?
A. Tree-Age lasts for 2-3 years, but we recommend starting soil injections for preventative insect control starting after the second year, so as not to have any lapse in protection for your ash tree.

Q. Is there a tree that is too small to treat with Tree-Age?
A. We are not sure; it is not recommended to treat trees smaller than 2” diameter breast height. We cannot guarantee that smaller trees will not die from the treatments, however, we have treated smaller trees and have had good results, but we cannot guarantee that a tree of this size will live through a treatment.

Organic Tree Care Companies – Longmont



Orthene Insecticide for Aphids, Spider Mites, and Other Tree Insects FAQ

Q. What is Orthene?
A. Orthene is an insecticide for insects on trees called Acephate. We use it for controlling aphids, spider mites, ash sawfly, and many more insects on non-fruit-bearing deciduous trees and shrubs.

Q. What insects does Orthene control?
A. Orthene will control a variety of insects on trees including: aphids, bagworms, birch leafminer, tent caterpillars, ash sawfly, box elder bugs, leafhoppers, thrips, and two spotted spider mites. There are many insects that Orthene does not control so we recommend contacting our office and one of our tree care experts can help decide if Orthene is an appropriate insect control for your trees.

Q. How is Orthene applied to the tree?
A. At Organo-Lawn we care about the environment and bees and we will only inject Orthene into the ground around the canopy of the tree where the roots can uptake the product and push the insecticide into the leaves. The tree damaging insects will then eat the leaves where the insecticide is located and the insects will die.

Q. How long does Orthene last in a tree?
A. Orthene is a fast acting tree insecticide that will start working in as little as two days but will only work for about three weeks.

Q. Is Orthene toxic to bees?
A. Legally we cannot answer this question. Please refer to the label and MSDS on the website so you can research the information and make an educated assessment about the product.

Q. Why is injecting Orthene as a soil injection or soil drench into the ground better than aerial insecticide tree spraying?
A. By injecting Orthene into the ground, we are ensuring that the product is getting to the target tree and not drifting to non-target plants like vegetable gardens or other non-target trees. This process also allows us to apply it on a rainy or windy day. Soil injection also does not negatively cause harm to beneficial insects, birds, animals or people.

Q. When is the best time of year to have Orthene applied?
A. Orthene should be applied any time that there is insect pressure on a deciduous tree or shrub that you want to protect. Note: Orthene does not work on coniferous trees like pine, spruce, and fir.

Q. I had the tree treatment done and I still see the sticky substance on the leaves does this mean that the treatment didn’t work?
A. The sticky substance is the honeydew from the aphids and is not a telltale sign that you still have aphids on your tree. You should go out and look at the under side of the leaves and if you do not see any aphids moving then the treatment has worked. You can get rid of the sticky substance by washing the leaves with water or just leave it and wait until it rains.

Q. Is there anything I should do for the tree after the application or Orthene is performed?
A. You do not have to do anything for the tree, however, you could water the soil around the base of the tree to help it uptake the Orthene faster.

Q. How long do I have to stay off the lawn after the application of Orthene is performed?
A. You do not have to stay off the lawn after the application is performed because it is all underground. If you want to be extra cautious you should stay off the area for 24 hours.

Q. What trees are most susceptible to insect pressure?
A. Many trees have many different problems. We have a chart that explains what species of trees are affected by what type of insects.

Q. I currently have insects attacking my tree; is Orthene or Merit the best treatment?
A. If you have insects attacking your tree now you should us the product Orthene or Safari, because they start to control insects quickly. Merit is too slow and will not begin to control the insects for 3-8 weeks after the application is performed. If you want to be proactive and prevent insect pressure you should have Merit applied in the fall or early spring.

Q. Does Orthene kill all tree insects?
A. No; Orthene does not work on borer insects, scales, and a few other damaging insects. It also does not work on coniferous trees like pines, firs, and spruces. We have tree care experts that can help answer your tree insect questions. Just call our offices with the type of tree that is seeing insect pressure.

Q. Will you treat fruit trees with Orthene?
A. No; we do not apply synthetic insecticides to fruit trees because they contaminate the fruit.

Organic Tree Care Companies – Broomfield



Merit Insecticide for Year Long Control of Insects on Trees FAQ

Q. What is Merit?
A. Merit has an active ingredient of Imidacloprid and is used to help control and prevent certain insect pressure on trees.

Q. What insects does Merit control?
A. Merit controls many different tree insects including aphids, ash sawfly, leafhopper, leafminer, mealy bugs, Japanese beetles, thrips, whiteflies, birch borers, and many more. Please note that Merit does not control spider mites. Merit does prevent emerald ash borers on trees but it does not kill them if they are already inside the tree.

Q. How is Merit applied to the tree?
A. Merit is applied by soil drench or injecting the product into the ground around the canopy of the tree. The tree roots uptake the product and push the insecticide into the leaves.

Q. How long does Merit last in the tree?
A. Merit controls and prevents insect pressure for up to one year. Most trees are very slow to uptake Merit after the application and it usually takes 3-8 weeks for the tree to fully push the insecticide into the plant tissue.

Q. Why is the application technique of a soil drench for insecticides better than aerial sprays on trees?
A. By injecting Merit into the ground around the canopy of the trees we are ensuring that the product is getting to the target tree and not drifting to non-target plants like vegetable gardens or other non-target trees. This process also allows us to apply it on a rainy or windy day. Soil drench also will not affect beneficial insects and other animals and people.

Q. When is the best time to have Merit treatment applied to a tree?
A. Merit should be applied at least 4-6 weeks prior to insect pressure. Merit lasts for 1 year so we recommend this application to be performed in September as it will continue to control tree insects the following year. If the September application is missed we recommend an application in April. This gives ample time for the tree to push the Merit into the leaf tissue before insect pressure occurs in the tree.

Q. I have insects attacking my tree right now! Is Merit the best choice for controlling these insects?
A. No; if you have insects on your tree right now we would prefer to use either Orthene or Safari for immediate control. The type of tree and the type of insect that is attacking your tree will help us decide which product is correct for proper tree care. The main reason we don't recommend Merit is it will not begin to control the insects for 3-8 weeks.

Q. Should I have Merit applied to my fruit trees?
A. No. We do not apply any synthetic insecticides for control of insects on fruit trees. If you have aphids or spider mites attacking a fruit tree we recommend using Ecotrol which is a organic insect control for trees made from Rosemary Oil (10%), Peppermint Oil (2%), and Other Ingredients (88%) including Wintergreen Oil, Vanillin, Lecithin, and Butyl Lactate. Ecotrol is a great organic option for control of aphids and spider mites on fruit trees.

Q. How long should you stay off the lawn after the Merit tree insecticide application?
A. You do not have to stay off the lawn after the application is performed because it is all underground. If you want to be extra cautious you should stay off the lawn for 24 hours.

Q. Is there anything I should do for the tree after the application is performed?
A. You do not have to do anything for the tree, however, it is dry we do recommend watering the canopy of the tree to help it uptake the Merit.

Q. Do I have to have Merit applied to my trees every year?
A. If you want consistent preventative control on the tree you will need annual treatments. If you are unsure if you should be treating your tree yearly please contact our office and discuss your options with one of our tree care experts.

Q. Is Merit safe for bees?
A. We understand that Merit is Imidacloprid and in the neonicotinoid family of pesticides. We understand that neonicotinoids are highly toxic to honeybees and we greatly care about the safety of honeybees. We have researched the use of Merit as a soil injection and have found no evidence that when used as a soil injection that the honeybees come in contact with the insecticide Imidacloprid.

The reason for this is because Imidacloprid cannot penetrate the abscission layer of the tree and therefore cannot get into the flower nor pollen of the tree. If we find scientific evidence that states otherwise we will discontinue the use of this insecticide.

Organic Tree Care Companies – Louisville



Tree IV for Iron Chlorosis FAQ

Q. Does the drilling of the hole into the tree cause significant damage to the tree?
A. No; we only drill small holes into the tree and the tree will repair the damage from the holes typically within 1-2 months.

Q. Do you remove the plugs from the tree?
A. No; we leave the plugs in the tree, but we do remove the needles. We DO NOT recommend removing the plugs from the trunk of your tree.

Q. Can you reuse the plugs from the tree if a second application is required?
A. No; the tree has callused over the plugs and they will no longer be effective. If we have to treat the tree again then we will drill new holes and use new plugs.

Q. How long does it take for the tree to green up after the Tree IV application?
A. That depends on the species of tree and the severity of the iron chlorosis. Trees that will recover quickly from 1-3 months include: minor chlorotic trees, actively growing trees, younger trees, oak trees, and trees that are taking up water quickly. Trees that will recover slowly from 3 months to many years include: severely chlorotic trees, older trees, maple trees, and trees that are in very dry areas.

Q. How long does it take for the IV treatment to be performed?
A. It takes anywhere from 5 minutes to 8 hours depending to complete this tree care service on the tree. The uptake depends on many factors including the stage of chlorosis, how moist the soil is, how hot the outside temperatures are outside, etc. In cases where the tree is absorbing very slowly, we may leave the equipment hooked up and return the next day to retrieve it.

Q. What will my tree look like after the application is completed?
A. That depends on the tree. Some trees will just slowly perk up and the leaves will turn green. With some trees all the leaves will turn brown and fall off and then new green leaves will begin to grow. Older trees may not change much after the application; however, the following year the new growth will bud as green growth and stay that way. The results really depend on how severity of the chlorosis.

Q. What trees tend to develop Iron Chlorosis?
A. Typically the fall color trees including: Birch, Maple, Oaks, and Aspens. In the Oak family the red oaks tend to be more susceptible to chlorosis. In the Maple family the red maples and silver maples tend to be the most susceptible. We tend to only need to use the Tree IV treatments for Oak and Maple trees.

Q. What will happen if I don’t treat my tree for Chlorosis?
A. The tree will become more and more chlorotic and eventually die. Iron Chlorosis is a slow death and typically can take between 3-10 years to kill a tree.

Q. When is the best time to have the Tree IV for Iron Chlorosis performed?
A. We can treat when the tree has foliage on the tree and is not going dormant for winter. We have found that late May - June and September are good months to treat Oak and Maple trees for iron chlorosis. Late May - June is a good time because the tree still has color in the leaves and the injection might be useful for the summer months. September is preferred because at this time of year the tree is pushing nutrients into the roots for winter storage. We have tested timing for this application and have found that September tends to be one of the best month to treat for chlorosis but May is also an excellent time for treatment.

Q. What stages of Iron Chlorosis are worth treating?
A. Our applicator will advise against treatment if the tree is not going to live even with treatment. Typically we can save a tree that is in stages 1-8. Stages 9 and 10 are more difficult and will have variable results. Also, trees that are planted too deeply are very difficult to recover due to root girdling.

Q. Should I treat my tree with the Tree IV even if it is not chlorotic?
A. We do not recommend treatment with the tree IV for non-chlorotic trees. It is too invasive; we recommend deep root tree fertilization with iron instead.

Q. After the tree recovers and is no longer chlorotic what should I do to prevent future iron chlorosis?
A. It is strongly recommended that you have 2 applications of deep root tree fertilizer each year with extra iron. This will help prevent the tree from becoming chlorotic again. We also strongly recommend following the 1,2,3,2,1 lawn watering technique which is designed to water the lawn and trees deeply and infrequently.

Q. Is it possible for the tree to become chlorotic again even if deep root tree fertilization is being performed two times per year?
A. Yes; the problem that causes chlorosis is in the soil. Trees that live in areas with a high pH have difficulty absorbing nutrients like iron and magnesium. Deep root tree fertilization helps reduce chlorosis but we cannot guarantee against a future problem. We also strongly recommend following the 1,2,3,2,1 lawn watering technique which is designed to water the lawn and trees deeply and infrequently.

Q. If my tree becomes chlorotic again, typically how often does this occur?
A. If a tree is treated using the Tree IV and becomes healthy again it might take 3-5 years for the tree to become chlorotic again. Or, the tree might not become chlorotic again the same season. Trees are living organisms and each tree responds differently to the same treatment.

Q. Is there a tree that is too small to treat?
A. We are not sure; it is not recommended to treat trees smaller than 2” diameter breast height. We cannot guarantee that smaller trees will not die from the treatments, however, we have treated smaller trees and have had good results. Typically with smaller trees, all the leaves will be burned and fall off within the first week after application. The tree will then re-grow the foliage in about a month and the new foliage will be green. Once again we cannot guarantee that a tree of this size will live through a treatment.

Organic Tree Care Companies – Lafayette



Tree IV Insecticide Using Tree-age FAQ

Q. Does the drilling of the hole into the tree cause significant damage to the tree?
A. No; we only drill small holes into the tree and the tree will repair the damage from the holes typically within 1-2 months.

Q. Do you remove the plugs from the tree?
A. No; we leave the plugs in the tree, but we do remove the needles. We DO NOT recommend removing the plugs from the trunk of your tree.

Q. Can you reuse the plugs from the tree if a second application is required?
A. No; the tree has callused over the plugs and they will no longer be effective. If we have to treat the tree again then we will drill new holes and use new plugs.

Q. How long does it take for the IV treatment to be performed?
A. It takes anywhere from 5 minutes to 8 hours to complete this tree care service on the tree. The uptake depends on many factors including the health of the tree, how moist the soil is, how hot the outside temperatures are outside, etc. In cases where the tree is absorbing very slowly, we may leave the equipment hooked up and return the next day to retrieve it.

Q. How long does it take for the tree to absorb the Tree-Age?
A. It takes about 1-6 months for the tree to push the insecticide through the entire tree. This varies depending on the type of tree, the size of the tree, the health of the tree, the moisture in the soil, etc.

Q. What trees do you treat with Tree-Age?
A. The main trees that we treat with Tree-Age are ashes, Scotch pines, Austrian pines, and Ponderosa pines, but it can be used against other boring insects as well. Contact our office for further information.

Q. What will happen if I don’t treat with Tree-Age?
A. It depends on the tree and what insects attack it. Some insects like the Emerald Ash Borer and Mountain Pine Beetle are fatal to the tree and should not be ignored.

Q. When is the best time to have the Tree-Age performed?
A. Anytime that the tree has leaves, typically about May through September.

Q. What trees are worth treating?
A. Any tree that you consider valuable to your landscape and would not want to have to replace, which could be susceptible to a boring insect.

Q. How often do I need to treat my tree with Tree-Age?
A. It depends. This treatment last for 2-3 years. Depending on what insect we are treating for, you may want to do another treatment after 2 years if the insect could be fatal to your tree, or after 3 years if the insect will weaken but not kill your tree. If we are treating for Emerald Ash Borer, we may switch to annual root injections after the initial Tree-Age treatment.

Q. Is there a tree that is too small to treat?
A. We are not sure; it is not recommended to treat trees smaller than 2” diameter breast height. We cannot guarantee that smaller trees will not die from the treatments, however, we have treated smaller trees and have had good results, but we cannot guarantee that a tree of this size will live through a treatment.