WHY ASPENS TREES ARE DECLINING
Many factors have contributed to the decline of our landscaped Aspen Trees: lower precipitation in the last decade; below -25 degrees Fahrenheit in 2011; various insects and diseases migrating from the forest into the urban areas, and Aspen Trees planted in a hot site, poor growing conditions and inadequate tree care.
Yes, Aspen Trees (a communal tree) are beautiful and tend to be happy in your landscaping BUT they need to develop into a grove (many offspring that support the health of the Aspen community). Compromising this natural tendency to have sapling growth with weed barrier, drip bubblers at the base of the tree trunk, and inadequate amounts of water decreases the 'Life of the Aspen Trees'.
Another factor about Aspen Trees species, they are a pioneer tree. This means the Aspen Grove grows in the forest and naturally decline to help secondary trees like evergreens to grow and prosper. Some Aspen Groves are short lived and decline. In turn. landscaped Aspen Trees can be short lived.
Many Aspen Groves in the southwest are declining called Sudden Aspen Decline (S.A.D.). This is natures way of regenerating the forest. Sadly, we are here to see this tree-forest-cycle.
If you have Aspen Trees, they should be: watered more often during the hot periods; have an irrigation system that waters a large area using low misters or spinners that can cover a bigger surface area (2-3 feet).
Like all established trees they need to be watered at the drip line (end of the branches) and mulched properly with 2-4 inches in depth and keeping the mulch 8-12 inches from the tree trunk
SHOULD I BE WATERING IN THE WINTER?
Winter watering of evergreens is a must.
Once a month on a warm day will do fine.
New planted plants in the fall also need watering in the winter.
WHEN SHOULD I PRUNE MY EVERGREENS?
Pruning evergreens should be done late winter or late fall. Evergreens are unique trees, shrubs and ground covers. I recommend education and training by a professional arborist'.
WHEN SHOULD I PRUNE MY FRUIT TREES?
Fruit trees should be pruned late winter or early spring. Ideally pruning should occur before bud break.
Fruit trees provide us with food and these trees should be pruned carefully.
I recommend do research on 'How to Prune Fruit Trees'
If you are planning to do the work yourself ask your local arborist for some pruning lessons.
WHEN SHOULD I PRUNE MY SHADE AND ORNAMENTAL TREES?
Shade and Ornamental trees can be pruned late winter to mid- May.
I recommend, If pest (insects and fungi, bacteria, and viruses) are active for that family of trees postpone pruning or consult with a certified arborist.
WHEN CAN I TRANSPLANT FROM THE FOREST?
Transplanting should be done when plants are still dormant.
In our challenging climate (Taos County) transplanting survival drops drastically when plants are actively putting on vegetative and root growth.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO PLANT?
I prefer planting when enough care can be given to the new planted plants. And when the temperatures are favorable.
Planting in the summer is challenging when temperatures are hot and humidity is very low.
Evaporation rate (Loss of Moisture) can be as high as 95% in the summers here in Taos county.
IS FALL A GOOD TIME TO PLANT TREES? YES with Care. In the Fall, soils are cooler, temperatures are cooler and tree roots grow. BUT you have to care for these newly planted trees and Evergreens throughout the winter.
WILL MOTHS DAMAGE MY TREES?
Moths have under developed mouth parts. The majority of moths eat very little. They are egg layers.
Many Moths flying in June are looking for tree sites to lay their eggs.
Moth cakes can deter these moths. Hanging moth cakes, one per tree, can deter the moths.
The hanging moth cakes come wrapped in cellophane. Do not remove the cellophane but cut slits in the cellophane,it will last longer.
Clear wing moths are boring insects that can damage your trees. A large infestation of clear wing moths can decline a weak tree. Moth cakes can deter these clear wing moths