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Rodolph Brothers Blog

Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail...Monday, March 20, 2017

I spend most of my days here in Casper finding ways to help poorly planned landscapes. We come in after the fact and retro-fit five year old irrigation systems watering capabilities to the maximum because the builder never thought of watering the trees outside of the lawn, and now those trees are struggling to live without much water.

We come into a landscape and remove 20 tons of dirt from off the mature trees root systems (using the high pressure Air Spade) because 3 years ago someone decided to build a garden on top of those tender roots. Obviously, they didn't realize that those roots are too delicate to be buried under 2 feet of soil.

Additionally, many times over the years I have been called to remedy the 15 foot tall bush that is now blocking the doorway because nobody realized that it would grow so large. Apparently, they weren't familiar with the mature growth specifications of that species when they purchased it at the nursery. Typically the poor bush in this situation must be apologized to profusely before being cut down and replaced with a more properly sized plant.

The stories go on, but all of them could have been prevented IF someone would've taken some time to plan and design a bit before landscaping. You see, landscape design is the most critical part of every landscape. If you are intending to landscape your new home, build a garden, plant a tree, or modify your irrigation system then you need to start by planning to consult a Landscape Designer. Here are a few examples:

1.Planting trees: Trees vary widely in their space and water requirements. A Landscape Designer will start by helping you find the right species. There will likely be more tree species options than you previously thought existed since horticulture brings new breeds to the “market” regularly. The Landscape Designer will site the tree so that it can live its full life in the space provided while providing optimum goals of privacy, color, or shade. Then, the Landscape Designer will ensure that the water requirements are met as some trees tolerate more or less water than others. Properly matching space and water requirements will enable your tree to thrive for decades.

2.Planting a garden: The Landscape Designer will help you decide where to put the garden based on sun and shade available at your site. Functional vegetable gardens can often be placed out of sight and protected from pillaging rodents, whereas flower gardens can be placed for optimal views from windows, the street, and outdoor living spaces. The Landscape Designer will know the latest and greatest plants to use for your garden, as well as their highly technical water and light requirements.


3.Enhancing curb appeal: Many of us did not have the opportunity to design the home or landscape that we live in. A Landscape Designer will start by talking with you about your likes and dis-likes regarding your home’s curb appeal. Those ideas will be completed by drawing some 3-D renderings of your home with the ideal landscaped curb appeal. You will be able to see exactly what your home should have looked like before you spend one penny making it look that way. You will be able to start landscaping confidently, knowing that your curb appeal will look amazing.

4.Renovating your landscape: When you want to change the entire landscape it is critical to get a Landscape Designer on board. They will guide you through the design process as you explore the endless options of a complete renovation. They will know how to renovate without destroying the valuable elements like mature trees or hardscaping. You could experiment with water features, Japanese gardens, fire features, landscape lighting and all of this will be done on a computer screen because there is no end to what can be dreamed up in 3-D CAD renderings. While all this dreaming happens, the Landscape Designer will assign a budget to each item so you know exactly what your costs will be. Of course, you will dream bigger than your budget, but the Landscape Designer can break up the cost over a couple seasons so you can do the renovation in a series of well-planned projects, thereby making it affordable over time. Once you've settled on a project and price, then you will be confident of how your landscape will look. You’ll be relieved to begin even the smallest renovation because all of the thinking was completed in the beginning and you have 3-D renderings to ensure that there are no surprises once the project is underway.


5.Building Outdoor Living Spaces: Many people call us asking to install a paver patio and a pergola out in that unusable corner of their backyard. The Landscape Designer will meet with these well-meaning people and help them realize that the unusable corner of their backyard is, in fact, unusable, but there is instead a much better spot to install that outdoor living space that they have been dreaming of. Siting this type of space is very critical in Wyoming because the outdoor season is so short that we need this space to function perfectly during the months that it can be enjoyed. The Landscape Designer will work through that process until the site, size, and materials to build the outdoor living space are absolutely perfect.


6.New Construction: Many newly built homes are over budget, and the owners are feeling the financial pinch before the landscape is ever conceptualized. Many people just install a basic sprinkler system and roll out some sod hoping to come in and complete their ideal landscape later when they have more money, but often it ends up being a waste because installing their ideal landscape will end up ruining all of the sod as well as the sprinkler system. This is like installing the carpet in your home before you hang the sheet rock, texture, and paint. Instead you should call a Landscape Designer as soon as the exterior of your home is finished, because they will save you a ton of money. The Landscape Designer will plan out the landscape carefully so that you can achieve your dream over the course of time that best fits your budget. After your home is built you can get the infrastructure in place before you lay sod so that each year you can finish a different component until the ideal landscape is finished.

Wyoming is a tough place to keep a landscape thriving so you need to make sure that it is well designed to begin with. We are so committed to proper design that we send our Landscape Designer to every single project we touch (no matter how large or small) to make sure that it is designed to perfection.

If A Dead Tree Falls In The Forest…...Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The city of Casper estimated that tens of thousands of trees died because of the record-breaking freeze that occurred on November 13, 2014. Elm trees appeared to have suffered the worst, but many other species of trees were also severely damaged. Thousands of these damaged trees are still standing throughout the city and now is the time to decide what should be done with them. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done.

Earlier this fall, I spent a few days studying the issue of damaged trees, under the tutelage of Jeremy Barrel, an internationally recognized expert on the subject. Jeremy has spent much of his adult life studying and preserving damaged trees. He has worked with multiple groups to protect the oldest tree in England and has also worked to keep high value trees in Thailand from being damaged on a construction site. During my week with him, Mr. Barrel took myself and others to a 100-year-old estate in Sheridan, WY where we studied and analyzed a variety of damaged trees. My goal in analyzing these trees was to come up with a solution to deal with damaged trees in such a way as to continue their life cycle for another 20-25 years. After spending the week immersed in scientific case studies, I have good news to report!

It is possible to preserve the damaged trees of Casper, and the Rodolph Brothers have now begun to do so successfully.

We examined dozens of case studies that focused on trees that were damaged just as severely as the trees in Casper. These trees were successfully pruned and treated in a way that will preserve them for another 50 years. The lesson to be learned from this is that pruning damaged trees properly can mitigate risk and conserve large portions of said tree. This will help the tree regain foliage and, ideally, once again become the beautiful specimen that it once was. There are a number of viable techniques to achieve the desired result, none of which are better or worse than the other but the point is this- the damaged trees of Casper will be able to continue to live if they are given just a little bit of professional attention.

As I work throughout the city, I see that there are still a great many damaged trees here in Casper that have not been pruned effectively or even cut down. When I see this, a multitude of thoughts run through my head, such as:
- "Are people waiting for these trees to just heal and come back to life?"
- "Do people think their tree is too difficult to access and to work on safely?"
- "Is nothing being done simply because people think the cost is too high?"
- "Or maybe, just maybe, do people simply refuse to give up hope on a once beautiful tree?"

My biggest thought, really, is simply this- why is your damaged tree still standing?

Well, as the old saying goes, inaction is an action so now is the time to do something about your tree because you cannot afford the risk of your tree or even part of your tree falling down and hurting something or, even worse, someone.

We can help.

The damaged portions of the trees that haven't been able to grow for 2 full seasons now are NEVER going to grow. Most damaged trees have utilized some incredible biological tools to wall off those dead branches, instead concentrating their energy on the viable growth elsewhere in the canopy. However, those damaged sections that have begun to decay will fail soon if you do not remove them.

The solution is this:

Remove all portions of the dead branch from the tree and analyze what is left to ensure that the tree itself will not fail. At Rodolph Brothers, we are often removing over half of the structure of the tree and up to 70% of its canopy. Admittedly, this sort of pruning is never recommended on a healthy tree, but in the case of a damaged tree, this course of action can save its life. The damaged tree will regrow over the next few years and eventually you won't even be able to notice that its size was so drastically diminished. Your tree will be much smaller, but it will still be a viable tree. This is a win/win for all parties involved; most especially the tree.

In conclusion, pruning a tree is a lot like making a New Year's Resolution and sticking to it- you are getting rid of the bad, even if it takes some time and energy, to make room for even more good. Your tree, just like yourself, wants to grow, wants to live life to the fullest, wants to radiate beauty, inside and out. As you spend the next year continuing to develop into the person that you want to become, please take some time to properly prune and maintain your trees. Feel free to give us a call to schedule a consultation, because at Rodolph Brothers, we are constantly doing what we love, and we want to make sure that, when it comes to your trees, you love them too.


Year Of The Bug...Thursday, June 23, 2016

Well, we made it through a wet spring without seeing an outbreak of leaf blights in our landscapes. These blights are caused by various fungal pathogens that thrive in the cool May weather. Now that Summer is here, temperatures will become consistently warmer, and these blights will no longer be able to attack your landscape plants.

However, the lack of hard frosts this spring which made for an amazing showing in our blooming plants has been the cause of an abnormally large insect population. Most of the leaf eating insects suffer population setbacks when we get late frosts. Their emerging eggs and immature young cannot tolerate harsh weather, so it takes much longer for their populations to build up after frosts decimate their colonies. With the absence of these natural controls, we will see an extended season for insects to build up large, destructive populations in our Casper landscapes.

I have already found many trees here in Casper that were completely covered by Aphids, Plant Bugs, or Spider Mites in high enough populations to cause serious damage. These insects rob enough nutrients from the tree that the leaves will begin to lose their ability to produce energy for the tree and fall off. This weakened state causes the tree to become stressed, and then it is highly susceptible to a host of other diseases.

The key to keeping your landscape thriving is to take some time every week to go into your landscape and make some observations. There are several other insects that I haven't found in high populations yet but they will likely appear over the next couple weeks. You will need to help find them.

Look for:
1. Sticky substances on the patio furniture, vehicles, or on the leaves of plants below them. These secretions are being produced by the insects sucking on the leaves of your plants.

2. Leaves falling off. This is usually a sign of a severe infestation.

3. A subtle yellowing or mottling of the leaf surface. Finding this will require some studious observation. If you find some leaves that resemble this you should hold a white sheet of paper under the branch and shake it vigorously. Then examine the paper closely to find some mites the size of a speck of dust. You will see them when they start moving.

4. Holes in the leaves. There are numerous plant bugs that will eat some holes in the leaves which is not too alarming as long as the leaves don't get so many holes that 1/3 of the leaf is consumed.

Most of these insects that cause these four symptoms are easy to control once they are found, but if they are left unnoticed the consequences can be devastating. Controlling these insects rarely requires spraying and most often can be done by injecting a medicine directly into the cambium tissue (bark) thereby killing only the insects that are damaging the trees. This type of application gives all of our beneficial insects the ability to continue do their good work in our landscape.

Call or email us once you find some destructive bugs and we will help you control them so that your landscape can continue taking advantage of this nice, long, growing season.

“The Standing Dead”.... Decisions about Casper’s beleaguered trees....Tuesday, April 19, 2016

I am sure thankful that our poor landscapes didn't suffer any catastrophic weather events in 2015. I don't think we could tolerate another storm or weather event destroying our suffering landscape. Unfortunately, there are still a great many consequences from the storm named Atlas in October 2013 and the freeze of November 2014 (I am not sure what they named it, but many unkind words have been used to describe it).

We are entering the second spring season after the freeze that killed so many trees and this should be a good year to determine the final outcome for most trees and plants affected by that weather event. If your tree doesn't have many live branches, you need to have it removed ASAP, because if you don't, it will only become more dangerous as it decays.

The quandary exists in the many trees and shrubs that are not totally dead. It is difficult to know if those few tufts of lively branches are going to be enough to sustain the tree's root system enabling the tree to grow past the dead and regain vitality. Obviously at some point the large dead portions will need to be pruned out because those dead branches pose the same hazardous characteristics of decay and failure as the completely dead trees. It will take some more time to determine if the tree has enough viable tissue to sustain life after the obvious dead is pruned out. You (the homeowner) must decide how tolerant you are of the "standing ugliness" in your recovering trees. There is no right answer or prescribed equation that can be applied to every tree.....many have said "if half the tree is dead then you must remove it" and this is categorically not true. There are too many variables to expound in this publication that will ultimately decide if your tree will regain its former beauty, but I can assure you that many will return to healthy form.

Nursing your tree back to health will require patient observation and some careful strategy to ensure the best outcome. First, you will need to have an experienced holistic arborist (one who doesn't want to cut your tree down) observing your tree to consult you through the process. You will need to help provide water and nutrients to the tree because it cannot survive this unless you provide it the ideal circumstances. Fertilizing your tree in the spring and fall will provide the nutrients that the tree roots cannot get from the dead branches. Remember, the freeze didn't affect the root system, only the branches, so replacing those lost nutrients will provide energy to the roots that later translates into new branches. Second, you will need to protect the tree from pests and disease. These trees are very vulnerable to pests and disease much like a weak cancer patient and you must protect them throughout their recovery. Third, you need to be patient and observant. It will take 5-10 years for things to really turn around and your participation will be required every step of the way. Obviously, there is some liability to consider here and you will need to be vigilant as you ensure that dead limbs and dead trees are removed before they fall on something or someone.

Lastly, remember that there were no trees here 100 years ago. However, many visionary community folk refused to stand around lamenting the abundant sage brush so they defied nature and planted thousands of trees that still resonate beauty here in Casper. So, while you nurse mature trees back to health for the next 5-10 years, take the time to plant some more; because in 10 years they will have grown notably and in 100 years you will be applauded for your courage to make our city beautiful.

Important Evergreen Tree Health Notes for Casper 2015...Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The evergreen trees and shrubs throughout Casper were severely damaged on November 9-13, 2014 when the temperature dropped from 60 degrees to 27 degrees below zero. The evergreens were not entirely dormant due to the warm temperatures when this weather event occurred, thereby causing the needles to freeze and die. You may have noticed these dead needles when you saw that some of the evergreens around the city are a reddish brown color. Some evergreens were not affected by this weather event because they were completely dormant due to freezing temperatures previously in October that signaled the evergreens to move toward dormancy. Evergreen dormancy is a genetic determinate that varies from species to species. All evergreens do not go dormant at the same time. It had been so warm up through November 9, 2014 that many trees were not ready for the extreme cold weather, and this is the reason that the needles are now dead.

The damaged evergreen trees are NOT necessarily dead. We will need to wait and see if the tips of the damaged branches (the terminal buds) are dead. If the tips (terminal buds) come out green, then the evergreens will grow out of this damage. The reddish/brown needles will most likely fall off, and the tree will look a little bare for the season, but eventually the terminal bud will grow new needles. Watch for new growth from the terminal bud as we move into May, and then prune off the branches that don’t grow green needles from the terminal bud.

If your evergreens are not dead and begin growing again this season, then there are some extra precautions that you will need to put in place to ensure their healthy recovery. First, you will need to provide adequate water and fertilizer to compensate for the loss of energy producing needles. Second, due to the extreme stress caused by this freeze damage, the trees will be susceptible to disease and insects. Stressed trees will likely need arborist applied treatments to ensure that they remain healthy during recovery. Third, you will need to be patient while these trees don’t look good for a few years as they re-grow new needles.

Spring will reveal some additional freeze damage to our deciduous trees (trees with leaves) and perennials. You may notice dead tips throughout Cottonwood, Elm, Ash, Linden, and Birch trees. You may notice more significant die-back on ornamental trees, fruit trees, and shrubs that are not native to this zone. It has been a difficult time for all of our trees with the limb breaking storm of October 2013 and now the needle freezing storm of November 2014. Many trees, shrubs, and perennials will need a little extra care and pruning to help them overcome this freeze damage. A little care, patience, and persistence will encourage the beautiful trees of our city to thrive again.


Beginning Well…...Tuesday, May 20, 2014

May is a month that brings complete uncertainty and the utter scrambling of our emotions as winter loses its battle to the sunshine of spring. The apple trees are blooming and the aroma of lilac and honeysuckle delight our senses, reminding us that this Wyoming of ours is the most beautiful place on earth during the summer. You find yourself dreaming in green colors again instead of the dim grays that have almost permanently impressed themselves upon the way that you view the city. Every single May I find myself shocked yet again by the beauty of life springing up from the ground, although I shouldn't be since the calendar clearly states that May has come and with it SPRING! We have been preparing our landscapes for this grand spring event since March, and we are now ready to embrace the life that comes with Wyoming spring, so let it come. That being said, be sure to stick to your plan no matter what weather this month brings.

1. The blooms will get frosted off our apple or lilac trees somewhere in the city. It is unavoidable. Do not be alarmed, just be sure to keep your garden covered every single night until after Mother's Day and don't plant anything tender before then, unless you plan to cover it.

2. Plant your garden no later than May 15th. Of course you can do it later in the season if you buy bigger plants. The point is this: you need all the days of the Wyoming growing season that are available, so take a day off work (if needed) to plant so that the harvest will come before the fall frostings.

3. The fungus diseases are in full swing during May so get the water schedule set, but monitor it closely. The wild temperature fluctuations of May give perfect opportunity for lawn fungus, leaf fungus (outside the plant), and vascular tissue fungus (inside the plant). Fungal pathogens (seeds of fungus) thrive during May and June. Fungus attacks occur when plants are under stress, and your plants are working really hard right now trying to grow and bloom, so don't let them get drought stressed. Water well, but don't over-water because this moisture can promote fungus. NO WATERING the lawn at night. The grass blades need to be dry during the night so fungus can't attack them during the night when temperatures are favorable to fungal growth. Water early in the morning so the sunlight (which typically destroys fungus) can dry out the grass blades quickly. If you suspect fungus, treat it quickly because the damage is devastating if left unchecked.

Begin now by putting some additional work into your landscape to help things get established and then you can spend the rest of the summer enjoying the fruits of your labor.

Sprung...Wednesday, April 9, 2014

By: Aaron Rodolph

The tulips are in full bloom. The apple trees are in their long awaited splendor of pink and white “cotton candy” colored bloom. You take every opportunity to go outside in between the rain and snow showers that roar through, but end so quickly as the cold temperatures succumb to the bright Wyoming sun.
It is now mid-April and that powerful Wyoming sun has warmed the soil to around 50 degrees, causing all of the root systems to push their stored energy upward. Everything is beginning to grow. What is your role in all this?

  1. Now is the time to fertilize everything. This is a crucial moment in the cycle of growth and a timely fertilization can provide an ample boost as well as strengthen the landscape to fend off disease. Always use the highest quality fertilizer available to insure that you don’t get salt build up in your soil. Now is the time to sign up for a professional fertility program for your trees and lawn. Professionals have access to the highest quality formulations, and they will insure that the timing of the applications are adequate. This is also the ideal time to apply weed control, since the noxious weeds are just blooming and haven’t had time to produce seeds.
  2. Aerate your lawn. Nothing is more effective in helping water absorption and relieving the winter soil compaction, than a heavy aeration. Never mind those unsightly plugs; they will dissolve soon enough.
  3. Over seed your lawn with pure Blue Grass seed after you aerate. These seeds will germinate in the cool spring weather and fortify your lawn with new grass plants. Over seeding can also help to fend off lawn diseases by introducing these new disease resistant grass plants to your lawn. You will want to purchase a high quality grass seed. You should apply 1-3 pounds of seed per 1000 square feet of lawn. Make sure that you spread it carefully so as not to get it into your planting or mulch beds.
  4. Beware of the broken trees! Many of the trees are still damaged from the severe snow storm last October. The winter wind and normal winter shrinkage has exposed more damage that wasn’t evident immediately after the storm. Many of these structurally fractured limbs will grow leaves normally because the cambium tissue is still perfectly intact. When the weight of the leaves accumulates on the defective structure of the tree, it will cause entire branches to come crashing down. It is important to have a certified arborist conduct a formal Tree Risk Assessment on your trees to identify and remedy these structural flaws before they materialize. It will take about 3 years before we get our trees back into good shape. It will be important to give them a lot of extra care in the form of: fertilization, disease prevention treatment, and pruning their shape back. Be sure to consult an arborist all along the way.

    Keep preparing for spring and before you know it you will be harvesting tomatoes.

    Ready, Set, Wait…… for Spring...Wednesday, March 12, 2014

    By: Aaron Rodolph

    March is the month that we all realize just how long the winters last here in Casper. We are all starving for some sunlight and standing on the brink of depression just as March comes with promises of longer days and tee shirts. Every daffodil or tulip that pushes up through a snow drifted bed makes our hearts jump for joy to know that spring has finally come! However, the March rain turns quickly to snow and the temperature drops to below freezing without notice, leaving those pedals frozen in a state of premature death. March can also bring spells of drought carried by warm winds that dry the emerging shoots before they can open. It is important to be ready to adapt quickly as you prepare your landscape for spring.

    • The single most important thing that you can do to help your landscape awaken to spring is to provide 1 gallon of water for each square foot of landscape each week. This equals about 1.5 inches of water per square foot. You need to be watching the NOAA weather data very carefully and knowing how much moisture we accumulate each week. Being a little scientific will pay big dividends when your plants are healthier because they had enough water to emerge from dormancy. The plants will begin to emerge from dormancy when the soil temperatures rise above 40 degrees.

    • Many lawns suffer the most from this spring drought because their root systems are only 4-6 inches deep. If the weather warms significantly, aerating can be done to help your partially dormant lawn retain the vital moisture. Remember to provide 1 gallon of water per square foot of lawn during periods of warming. The equation is simple: most garden hoses flow about 6-9 gallons per minute so you can water about 6-9 square feet per minute. I typically see that most lawn problems found in June could have been prevented in March and April with proper watering techniques. If not prevented: your lawn will dry out, get stressed, and then be susceptible to fungal diseases later in the spring and early summer which are expensive to treat.

    • Pre-emptively killing the weeds that are also emerging from dormancy can prove to be very effective in their eradication later in the season. The weeds often come out of dormancy faster than the grass resulting in weeds along the edge of the sidewalk and your lawn where the soil is warmer. Applying weed control correctly at this time is very effective.

    • Fertilizing your lawn, trees, and shrubs will allow them access to the nutrients that they lack during this very important period of development. The plants will use 80% of their available energy during this period, so you have to make sure that it is available for their use.

    Spring is officially here but you still have to wait!

    Will Your Trees Survive the Storm of 2013?...Wednesday, November 13, 2013

    It was October 14, 1998 and the snow was falling hard and piling up fast. You could stand outside and see the flashes in the sky caused by failing power lines. Many of the streets were completely blockaded by downed trees. It was the most devastating storm that I had ever seen.

    Rodolph Brothers had just completed its first season in business, and I was nineteen years old. My older brother Isaiah and I were in complete dis-belief as we rushed to many of our new clients’ homes to help clear their roofs of fallen limbs. We quickly realized that we were completely unequipped to handle the danger involved in treating these precarious situations. However, after purchasing the right equipment, and adapting our rock climbing equipment to the nuances of tree work, we quickly found that we could overcome the precarious plight of storm damaged trees. We worked around the clock for many weeks to clean-up every single client’s home, and through it we developed a love for trees. We are still caring for many of those clients’ beautiful trees to this very day. It was out of that storm that Rodolph Brothers Tree Service was born. We have spent the last 15 years engrossed in learning and developing our Tree Service into what it is today. I have watched those same ugly, storm damaged trees heal and become beautiful again over the last 15 years. It is difficult to see them torn and broken today all over this city, but I am confident that they will overcome, yet again. Here is what they will need:

    1. A thorough inspection by a good certified arborist. This is defined as a Tree Risk Assessment. Storm damaged trees may have severe structural damage that is not obvious: spiral fractures, cracks that have seemingly closed, weight imbalance due to broken limbs on just one side of the tree that could cause the tree to fail later….and this is just to name a few.

    2. Corrective pruning at some time in the next 12-18 months. Even if your tree only lost a few branches it is important to re-establish their growth habit correctly. The branches that are left will begin to grow substantially next season so pruning will ensure that the correct branches are growing. Corrective pruning will get your tree back on track to healing and regaining its former beauty.

    3. Fertilizing your trees will speed up the healing process significantly. Many trees lost so much energy producing foliage that you will need to have them fertilized just to replace the lost energy; or otherwise they will begin to decline, decay, and die because of the storm damage.

    It was Friday October 4, 2013 and the snow was falling and piling up fast; tree branches were breaking…..Don’t worry neighbors, the trees will overcome and be beautiful again!


    Surviving or Thriving?...Wednesday, October 16, 2013

    I ran into a client the other evening while out to dinner with my family, and she told me how amazed she was at the superb growth of her trees that we had planted for her just 3 years ago. She reminded me that her back porch was all too close to the neighbor’s bay window and even her six foot tall privacy fence did not offer enough privacy. We had suggested planting some Austrian Pine Trees, but the access was so limited that we could only get six foot tall trees into her back yard. She was very skeptical at the time because the trees were only as tall as her fence and she assumed that it would take a long time for them to grow up and block the neighbor’s view. We assured her that if she would let us “do it right” then the trees would thrive and grow quickly to accomplish her goal of privacy. She skeptically quipped “what does it mean to DO IT RIGHT?” We explained:

    • Planting trees correctly in the first place is very important. Many of the trees that our arborist encounters were not planted correctly and their growth is stunted as a result.

    • Every tree must be fertilized at least once each year. Trees are not native to most of Casper because the soil is so poor. A proper nutrition plan is a must.

    • A high quality tree fertilizer will contain elemental compounds that can lower the soil’s high pH that is detrimental to growth. The soil in Casper has a high pH: this is the primary reason that trees grow so slowly here in our town.

    • A high quality tree fertilizer should be administered in the area where the feeder roots are growing, which is about 6 inches below the surface. This area, called the rhizosphere, can only be fertilized effectively by injecting high pressure water and nutrients that breaks up the clay soil: this then promotes exponential root growth. This type of fertilization is accomplished with the use of a 6 inch probe attached to a high pressure pump capable of building over 300PSI.

    • Conifer trees like pine and spruce should be sprayed with a protective coating that helps protect them against our dry winter winds. (Remember, trees weren’t growing here before) The wind completely sucks the moisture out of the pores in the needles which ultimately causes the tree to die on that side. This protective coating helps to prevent that.

    She agreed to let us “do it right” and over the last 3 years we did just that: now the trees are over 12 feet tall, and she can’t see the neighbors anymore. Casper is a tough place to grow anything, but don’t give up just “do it right.”

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