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Mar 23, 2021

Posted by | Comments Off on The Best Time to Prune

The Best Time to Prune

An important aspect of pruning is knowing when to prune trees, shrubs, & plants.  Proper timing helps to insure attractive, healthy & productive plants.  A good guideline time to prune various plants are indicated below:

Evergreen Shrubs

Prune evergreen shrubs, such as juniper and yew, in late March or early April before new growth begins.  Light pruning may also be done in mid-summer.  Avoid pruning evergreen shrubs in the fall.  Fall pruned evergreens are more susceptible to winter injury.

Deciduous Trees

February through March is generally regarded as the best time to prune most deciduous trees.  The absence of foliage at this time of year gives the individual a clear view of the tree and allows the selection and removal of appropriate branches. However, if possible, avoid pruning deciduous trees in spring when the trees are leafing out and in fall when the trees are dropping their leaves.  Also, the walling-off or compartmentalization of wounds occurs most rapidly just prior to the onset of growth in spring.  Oaks are an exception.  The winter months – December, January, and February – are the best time to prune oak trees.

To reduce the risk of an oak wilt infection, do not prune oaks from March through October.  Oak wilt is a fungal disease that is lethal to many oaks.  It can spread from infected trees to healthy trees by sap-feeding beetles (“picnic bugs”).  If an oak tree must be pruned in spring or summer (such as after a storm), apply latex housepaint to the pruning cuts to avoid attracting sap-feeding beetles to the wounds.


Evergreen Trees

Evergreen trees, such as pine, spruce, and fir, require little pruning.  Dead, broken, and diseased branches can be removed at any time of year.  Late winter is the best time to remove unwanted lower branches on evergreen trees.

Spruce and fir trees possess side or lateral buds on their newest (outermost) growth.  To promote denser growth, cut shoots back to just above a lateral bud or side branch in early spring.

Growth on pine trees develops from terminal buds.  Pines do not produce side or lateral buds.  The growth of pines can be slowed by pinching or pruning off one-half to two-thirds of the elongated terminal buds (“candles”) in spring when the candles are approximately 2 to 3 inches long.  Do not prune branches back to older growth down the stem as new growth will not develop from these areas.

Fruit Trees

Late February to early April is the best time to prune fruit trees.  Pruning should be completed before the fruit trees begin to break bud (leaf out) in early spring.

Deciduous Shrubs

The proper time to prune deciduous shrubs is determined by the plant’s growth habit, bloom time, and health or condition.

Spring-flowering shrubs, such as lilac and forsythia, bloom in spring on the growth of the previous season.  The plant’s health or condition determines the best time to prune spring-flowering shrubs.

Neglected, overgrown spring-flowering shrubs often require extensive pruning to rejuvenate or renew the plants.  The best time to rejuvenate large, overgrown shrubs is late winter or early spring (March or early April).  Heavy pruning in late winter or early spring will reduce or eliminate the flower display for 2 or 3 years.  However, rejuvenation pruning will restore the health of the shrubs.

The best time to prune healthy, well-maintained spring-flowering shrubs is immediately after flowering.  (Healthy, well-maintained shrubs should require only light to moderate pruning.)  Pruning immediately after flowering allows gardeners to enjoy the spring flower display and provides adequate time for the shrubs to initiate new flower buds for next season.

Summer-flowering shrubs, such as potentilla and Japanese spirea, bloom in summer on the current year’s growth.  Prune summer-flowering shrubs in late winter or early spring.  The pruned shrubs will bloom in summer on the current season’s growth.

Some deciduous shrubs don’t produce attractive flowers.  These shrubs may possess colorful bark, fruit, or foliage.  Prune these shrubs in late winter or early spring before growth begins.

Do not prune deciduous shrubs in late summer.  Pruning shrubs in August or early September may encourage a late flush of growth.  This new growth may not harden sufficiently before the arrival of cold weather and be susceptible to winter injury.

So the question on everyone’s mind is how much does it cost?

JVJ Lawn Care Offers Up Front Pricing  (Call us at 303-805-3927 for a free estimate)

Pruning or Trimming

Pruning, also known as Trimming, costs can depend on several factors including type of tree, size of tree, amount & size of shrubs, amount of clean up, plus disposal labor & fees . Bigger trees typically take more time to navigate and have larger branches to work on.  Other factors can determine the price too such as: are there obstacles (such as fences, roofs, walls, & slope of terrain),to work around in order to keep those obstacles safe from falling limbs and our staff safe as well. The main factors to consider when factoring a cost are the size & amount of trees, shrubs & plants…the accessibility, terrain & size of property… as well as ease or difficulty of clean up & disposal.

Small trees start at around $95.00 for pruning, and around $150.00 for removal. Medium trees can vary depending on the above mentioned factors. Very large trees can cost as much as a $1,000.00 to prune and even more for removals depending largely on the size of the stump. Our smallest pruning or clean up package starts at $180 and can be as much as several thousand dollars.  However, on average the majority of properties we have worked on over the last 20 years came in at around $350 to $950.

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Mar 22, 2021

Posted by | Comments Off on Necrotic Ring Spot (NRS) –

Necrotic Ring Spot (NRS) –

Lawn Care

Necrotic ring spot symptoms may initially develop as light green to straw-colored rings or frog eyes in lawn. Photo from CSU Website.

Quick Facts…

  • Necrotic ring spot is caused by a fungus & is a perennial disease of Kentucky bluegrass.  It is considered one of the most common diseases of turf along the front range & the most destructive. Symptoms often develop in late summer.
  • NRS results in irregular circular shapes or Patches sometimes referred to as “frogeye”.  Shapes can range from several inches to several feet in size.  They can be localized or widely scattered throughout the yard.
  • NRS is one of the most widely studied turf diseases however it is the least understood.   NRS may reappear and intensify in mid-summer in successive years and may take several years to control.

Treatment for NRS!

  • Treat with a fungicide. Apply application when fungus is active in spring and in fall.  Apply a second application about 2 – 4 weeks after first one.  A third application may be necessary on severely damaged lawns.  Lightly water the fungicide into the turf (less than ¼ inch) but do not drench the lawn. Fungicide applications only suppress NRS; they do not eradicate the NRS fungus.  Therefore applications over several years may be necessary to manage NRS on severely damaged lawns.
  • Where to get fungicide.  While these products are not restricted use they for the most part are not are not packaged for sale at retail outlets. Therefore, these fungicides are usually applied by professional lawn care operators.  Call us for a free Quote!  Applications usually start around $55 and go higher for more severely damaged lawns.
  • Prepare soil properly before sodding or seeding.
  • Over seed diseased patches with resistant grasses.
  • Do not overwater. Water turf deeper & less often, usually no more than 2 – 3 times a week, without creating water stress.
  • Keep a good turf height. Mow lawn at a height of 2 ½ to 3 inches. Remove no more than 1/3rd of the blade at any one mowing.  Mulching may actually help turf recovery by recycling nitrogen during the leaf decomposition process.
  • Core aerate established lawns at least once a year (spring or fall) to help reduce thatch buildup and improve soil drainage. Core aeration equipment may spread the NRS fungus although this is not likely a major means of pathogen movement. Furthermore, the benefits of aeration outweigh potential problems.
  • Avoid applying excessive amounts of nitrogen fertilizer.Applications of more than 4 lb total nitrogen per 1000 square feet per year may enhance NRS. Timing of fertilizer applications is as important as the total amount applied.


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Mar 19, 2021

Posted by | Comments Off on Bugs to look for in Late April

Bugs to look for in Late April

Bugs to look for in Late April

Household Insects

Late April

Household Insects

Ants:  Foraging ants in homes are common until temperatures allow them to seek food outdoors.

Tree/Shrub Insects

Cooley spruce gall:  Insects continue development and usually begin to produce egg sack in late April.

Lilac/ash borer: Flights of adult moths may begin.

Poplar twiggall fly: Adults emerge and begin to lay eggs in emerging aspen shoots.

Spider mites on pines:  Populations may increase rapidly on ponderosa and other susceptible pines

Spiny elm caterpillar:  Small colonies of these caterpillars may be seen on willow, hackberry, aspen, elm and other trees.

Douglas-fir beetle:  In forested areas, adult emergence, flights and tree attacks may begin.

Brownheaded ash sawfly:  Adults may lay eggs during warm days following bud break.

Zimmerman pine moth:  Approximate treatment timing for overwintered larvae. 


Turfgrass mites:  Clover mites continue to feed on lawns and enter homes in nuisance migrations.

Nightcrawlers: Tunneling activities and associated lawn lumps continue.

Midges: Non-biting midges emerge from ponds and mating swarms may be observed over lawns.


Spinach leafminer: Egg laying and tunneling begins in older spinach foliage.

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Feb 5, 2021

Posted by | Comments Off on Winter Watering

Winter Watering

Watering of trees, shrubs, lawns, and perennials during prolonged dry fall and winter periods prevents root damage that affects the health of the entire plant. Colorado’s’ dry air, low precipitation, little soil moisture, and fluctuating temperatures and just the characteristics of fall and winter can be hard on trees and shrubs and requires winter tree watering. There often can be little or no snow cover to provide soil moisture, particularly from October through March.

Trees, shrubs, perennials and lawns can be damaged if they do not receive supplemental water. The result of long, dry periods during fall and winter is injury or death to parts of plant root systems. Affected plants may appear perfectly normal and resume growth in the spring using stored food energy. Plants may be weakened and all or parts may die in late spring or summer when temperatures rise. Weakened plants also may be subject to insect and disease problems.

Newly established lawns, whether seed or sod, are especially susceptible to damage. Susceptibility increases for lawns with south or west exposures. Contact JVJ Lawn Care & Sprinkler Co., at 303-805-3927 today for a free estimate and landscape evaluation.

Tree, Shrub & Lawn Watering Basics

  • Winter watering should be done from October through March.
  • Water only when air temperatures are above 40 degrees F.
  • Apply water at mid-day so it will have time to soak in before possible freezing at night.
  • Monitor weather conditions and water during extended dry periods without snow cover—one to three times per month.
  • Trees obtain water best when it is allowed to soak into the soil slowly to a depth of 12 inches.
  • Methods of watering trees include: sprinklers, deep-root fork or needle, soaker hose or soft spray wand.
  • Apply water to many locations under the dripline and beyond if possible.
  • If you use a deep-root fork or needle, insert no deeper than 8 inches into the soil.
  • As a general survival rule, apply 10-20 gallons of water for each diameter inch of the tree.
  • Newly planted shrubs require more water than established shrubs that have been planted for at least one year.
  • Apply 5 gallons two times per month for a newly planted shrub.
  • Small established shrubs (less than 3 feet tall) should receive 5 gallons monthly.
  • Large established shrubs (more than 6 feet) require 18 gallons on a monthly basis.
  • Decrease amounts to account for precipitation.

Read more published information from Colorado State University at the link below.

Winter watering …Note: this link will take you away from our website… see you soon!

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Aug 23, 2018

Posted by | Comments Off on Pest & Disease Control

Pest & Disease Control

Spider Mites

Necrotic Ring Spot (NRS)


Fairy Ring

Grub Worm

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Feb 16, 2015

Posted by | Comments Off on Ascochyta




Quick Facts…

  • Ascochyta is a fungus that is usually just an aesthetic problem on Kentucky bluegrass lawns in Colorado.  It may also occur on tall fescue and perennial ryegrass.
  • Leaves usually start dying back from the tips & severe areas of affected turf will turn straw-colored however your turf is not dead.
  • Ascochyta can occur throughout the growing season, but is more prevalent in the spring when there are extended wet periods symptoms may develop throughout the growing season but are more common when cool rainy conditions are followed immediately by hot dry conditions. The overall appearance of the disease may resemble drought stress, except that the symptoms of Asochyta blight appear quickly (i.e. sometimes overnight).
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Treatment for Ascochyta!

  • Reduce thatch and promote water penetration through the soil by aerating.
  • Sharpen blades & maintain grass height between 2 ½ and 3 inches. Avoid mowing during wet weather.
  • Although the fungus can be spread from one location to another on grass clippings it is unlikely to contribute significantly to disease development because the fungus is already present throughout every lawn.
  • Maintain a balanced fertilizationprogram.
  • Try to maintain uniform soil moisture. Check your sprinkler system to make sure all sprinkler heads are working properly and that water is being distributed uniformly to avoid drought stress. On the other hand excessive irrigation and poorly drained soils may also promote disease development.
  • The damage usually takes several weeks to disappear.
  • If you can’t wait, a fungicide can speed up the healing process especially on more severely damaged lawns…Call us for a free evaluation!

Bleached leaf

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Bleached leaf tips and banding are characteristic of Ascochyta leaf blight.

Ascochyta leaf blight

Ascochyta leaf blight on Kentucky Bluegrass

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Feb 14, 2015

Posted by | Comments Off on Grub Worm

Grub Worm

Quick Facts…

We see Grub damage way less often than other turf damages such as spider mites.

Grubs are a root-feeding immature (larval) stage of beetles, which include the following: Japanese beetle, European chafer, masked chafer, Oriental beetle, green June beetle and the Asiatic garden beetle.

The beetles lay their eggs 1 to 2 inches deep in the soil and the eggs hatch in 2 to 4 weeks.  The young grubs begin feeding on grass roots immediately.  They grow to full size within 3 to 4 weeks.  This is their most damaging time to the turf.  The grubs move deep in the soil for hibernation just before winter arrives.  They come back to the root zone and start eating again in the spring.

Around May, depending on your location, the grub transforms into pupae and a few weeks later they emerge as adult beetles.

Their most visible damage can be seen in the late summer months when the turf is most stressed.

Severe infestations may see numbers of up to 50 grubs per square foot.  Your turf will roll back like carpet & your lawn will yellow and die quickly.

Treatment for Grub Worms!

Usually grub worms are not that large in numbers to severely damage your lawn, so just let nature take its course.

If there are large numbers, insecticides may be necessary to control them. Applications should be done when they are close to the soil surface and before they have damaged the lawn.

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