Archive for the ‘Environmental’ Category

Denver Tree Watering Tips

by Denver Forestry Inspector Paul Cancik

In Denver’s semi-arid climate, trees and water are both precious resources. However, with a few expert tips, you can preserve mature trees on your property and establish new trees that will help grow our urban canopy, diminish heat islands, and combat the arrival of Emerald Ash Borer.
Does my tree need more water?
In most cases, sprinkler irrigation and natural moisture from the occasional rainstorm do not provide consistent moisture for trees in Denver. It can be difficult, however, to tell whether a tree needs additional water simply by looking at it, so follow these tips to determine your tree’s needs:
o Stick your finger into the soil at the base of your tree:
o If it easily penetrates, the tree is adequately watered
o If it’s difficult to penetrate the dirt, the tree needs more water
o If you observe standing water in the hole when you pull your finger out, the tree is over-watered, which can be as damaging as under-watering
· A soil moisture meter is another option for determining a tree’s watering needs
How much water does my tree need?
Once you’ve determined that your tree needs more water, there are some standard guidelines for determining exactly how much. Regardless of the tree’s age, a tree in a non-irrigated area needs 10 gallons of water per week per inch of trunk diameter. For example, a two-inch diameter tree requires 20 gallons of water per week. This can be spaced out over two to three days per week.
An easy way to match your watering technique to your tree’s needs is to put a hose on a low-pressure setting and put it into a 5-gallon bucket (commonly found at home improvement stores), then time how long it takes to fill the bucket. Once you know the timing for your watering system, start a clock and move your hose around the base of your tree.
How do I effectively water my tree?
A simple hose is the most basic tool needed to water your tree, but soaker hoses, soft spray nozzles and soil needles can help break through the soil surface. Most absorbing tree roots are found in the first 12-inches of soil depth, so be sure water is applied slowly and has time to absorb into the soil and reach these vital roots.
Adding mulch around the base of your tree is a simple and effective way to help retain moisture. A maximum mulch depth of three- to five-inches is optimal, but be careful not to let the mulch directly contact the trunk of the tree.
Additional resources
Before you begin any watering program, it’s important to get familiar with Denver Water’s summer outdoor watering rules, which take into account our high summer temperatures and recent drought conditions. And while hand-watering trees is not restricted, we encourage following the recommended watering times of between 6 p.m. and 10 a.m. to optimize your efforts.
The Colorado State University (CSU) Extension is also a great resource for tree care and other home landscaping needs, including seasonal watering recommendations that are customized to our unique Colorado climate.

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Swarm of Bees

Call the state swarm hotline at
1-844-SPY-BEES (1-844-779-2337).
Otherwise, call your neighbor Kathleen at (3) 898-3900.
Let’s find those girls a good home! 

Spring Planting

Spring flowers are some of the most beautiful and appreciated blossoms. After we dig out from a season of snow, we can count on all that moisture to bring us a glorious array of varieties and colors. And, they arrive before the Japanese Beetles! (More on that later.)

No garden should be without peonies. Once planted, they can live for decades with very little attention and have a wide range of bloom times so that you could have fragrant bouquets for up to 7 weeks. Petal colors range from white to yellow, coral, pink purple and red in delicate single layers or lush doubles.

Heirloom varieties have heavenly fragrances and are less expensive. Hybridization has created plants with stronger stems, but little fragrance. ‘Hot Chocolate’ is a late mid season fragrant Japanese type. ‘Eden’s Perfume’ is considered one of the most fragrant peonies, with a Damask rose fragrance.  

Root stock peonies are planted in the fall and may take a year or two to produce flowers, but then keep going for 50+ years.  Potted plants from a local nursery bloom this year. Plant with a little bone meal and compost in a location with 6-8 hours of sun. They don’t like to be moved, so picking the right spot and amending the soil are keys to success. After that, just cut the foliage to the ground in fall, add a layer of mulch and know that the cold weather is helping create blossoms for another year.

Back to the Beetles…they are here to stay.  There is no known way to totally eradicate them right now. Reproduction rates may stabilize, however. The best control still is early morning flicking into a cup of soapy water.  Traps that you may have seen hanging in trees around the neighborhood are only causing us all more problems. Beetles travel up to 5 miles. The traps just bring more bugs to our neighborhood.  Putting the traps in the parkways doesn’t remove them from your garden. The parkways aren’t watered as much as your lawn probably is and don’t have the delicious variety of plants – Japanese Beetles are known to munch on over 400 species. Females repeatedly tunnel into your lawn over a two-to-three week period and lay up to 60 eggs each. The more you water and the shorter your grass, the happier they are.  July and August are very hot months for us, but if you can cut your watering a little and let your grass grow to 3 inches, it will be harder for them to get down where they need to go. There is a biological grub control that can be applied in late summer to fall that will kill only scarab beetle larvae: grubGONE! Ask about it at your nursery or click 

Remember to protect bees and other pollinators when choosing chemical controls in all areas of your garden. In the meantime, enjoy the crocus, tulips, daffodils, hellebores, allium, iris and peonies, beetle free.

Election Sign Recycling

Dear Neighborhood Association and/or Neighborhood Association Representative:

Now that voting is done, it’s time to think about what to do with the election signs found in yards and along roadsides throughout the city. Denver Recycles is offering Denver residents a solution for keeping some of those signs out of the landfill.  Our Cherry Creek Recycling Drop-Off is now accepting corrugated plastic election signs for recycling through November 17th.  Signs must be separated from their stands.  Corrugated plastic signs can only be accepted at the Drop-Off; residents should not put them in their purple carts. Directions and hours for the Cherry Creek Recycling Drop-off can be found at  Signs made from soft plastic, plastic film, or plastic coated paper are not accepted for recycling at either the Drop-off or in recycle carts.  

We would greatly appreciate your help promoting this resource to your neighborhood residents through your email lists and online platforms.  We will also post recycling information for election signs on our Facebook page (, which we encourage you to follow and share to your page. If you have questions please contact me.   

Thank you for your help and support of our programs.

Best Regards,


Becky Goyton | Education Program Assistant
City & County of Denver                      

Department of Transportation & Infrastructure | Solid Waste Management
303.446-3641 (w)

City Issues Statement on Ips Engraver Beetle

Denver Parks & Recreation Office of the City Forestry has identified conifer trees in the Denver area infected with the Ips engraver beetle. The bark beetle is always present in Denver’s urban forest and flares up every 9 to 10 years. The beetle rarely attacks healthy trees and mostly occurs in newly transplanted or stressed trees. In 2002, we lost over 300 spruce throughout the city; in 2012, we lost over 200. Currently, we have documented about 74 this year throughout the city and the park system.
Denver Forestry’s strategy for the park and parkway system is to remove infested trees quickly, inspect existing trees, and apply a preventative treatment to trees that are in proximity but not infested. All removed trees will be replaced.
The Ips engraver beetle is 1/8 to 3/8-inch-long, reddish-brown to black in color and lives under the bark of conifer trees, producing girdling tunnels that cause foliage discoloration, crown dieback, eventually killing the tree.
To aid in the prevention of beetle infestation, practice proper tree maintenance including adequate watering, pruning out deadwood, protecting the tree from injury from construction activities, mechanical damage and soil compaction.
Preventative treatments may be helpful for other trees but once infected, no chemical treatment exists, and swift removal is the only option to keep the beetle from spreading.
To identify if your tree may be infected, look for fading needle color at the very top of your conifer or signs that the top of the tree is dead. If you suspect your tree is infected, contact a licensed and insured tree company for inspection. Colorado State University Extension also provides information on this pest and others.

Update on Parkways and Beautification

When the founders of the Denver Country Club (formerly Overland Park Club) purchased the 120 acres for the Club in 1902, they also formed the 4th Avenue Realty Company and acquired additional land to the north for housing development. William E. Fisher was hired to establish the layout of the project. His design incorporated a series of landscaped parkways from 1st to 4th Avenues along Franklin, Gilpin and High Streets, expanding green spaces within the City of Denver.
Today these parkways are managed by Denver Parks and Recreation as part of Denver’s urban park system. Because they are an important asset for our neighborhood, representatives of the CCHN Board work closely with the Operations Supervisor of Parks & Recreation to protect and maintain these historic parkways.
Concerns about the condition of the parkways were raised this year by several CCHN residents. CCHN President Diane Woodworth-Jordon and I met with the Parks Supervisor to establish a plan to rejuvenate this aging landscape, which incorporates lawn, shrubs and trees. Acting quickly on the plan, Parks & Rec has already redefined the tree rings and shrub beds and will mulch these areas in the spring, when they will plant replacement shrubs.
The lawns have been aerated and over seeded. This winter, Denver Forestry will prune trees. Tree replacement is on a rotating schedule by zones throughout the City. This part of Denver isn’t up for replacement for a few more years. We are working with Forestry to maintain a list of trees to replace. Also on the winter schedule is resetting of the remaining concrete “Dragon’s Teeth” placed at the north and south ends of each parkway so that they stand upright.
Parks and Rec has asked all residents to call 311 if they see sprinkler issues or fallen trees in the parkways. They also request that residents not put their own broken branches or trees in the parkways for cleanup. There aren’t enough funds or personnel to handle park debris after a major storm, so removal of residential trees and branches needs to be the responsibility of the homeowner.
When Spring 2020 arrives, the parkways of Franklin, Gilpin and High Street should be bursting with new growth and again beautify the neighborhood.
If you have interest in being part of our neighborhood beautification effort, please contact our neighborhood president for more information about how you can become involved.

Potential Flooding

Potential flooding of Cherry Creek Trail on Wed. May 22, 2019: Annual reservoir sediment flush

WEDNESDAY, MAY 22: the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will conduct their annual sediment flush of the Cherry Creek Reservoir & Dam. As always, the released water is not expected to reach the Cherry Creek Channel until Wednesday evening, at which point the trail could experience flooding.

This year is a low-flow year, so any flooding should be minimal—operations crews anticipate that the Cherry Creek Trail will remain open but remind everyone to use extra caution if water is on the trail, and to consider using an alternate route if possible. If necessary, please use the sidewalk along Speer Blvd. Crews will be out early on Thursday morning to address any needed cleanup. Thanks for your patience!

Find full details from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers HERE

Swarms Are Coming

Our beautiful neighborhood is a hotbed for swarming bees in the late Spring due to the plentiful gardens and trees. In April, May or early June, you might see a swarm take residence in a nearby tree or other temporary home.

Bees swarm when there are too many bees in the hive. The queen leaves with half of the hive bees, allowing another queen to take residence. The swarm heads for a temporary spot to rest while the scout bees seek a more permanent home, such as inside a rotted out tree.

There is nothing to fear. Bees are in a pretty docile mood when they are swarming. However, do not consider moving them, and do not spray them with anything. You don’t want to anger them, and do not want to kill these precious insects. Instead, call the Bee Swarm Hotline at 1-844-SPY-BEES and someone will come to remove the bees. They will find the lot a good home with a beekeeper, allowing them to have a better chance of making it through the next winter.

To learn more about bees and beekeeping, visit or take a class at the Botanic Gardens or To Bee or Not to Bee in Littleton.

Leafdrop 2018

Drop off your leaves for free! Keep your leaves out of the landfill by composting them through the annual LeafDrop program.

[one_half]WEEKDAY Drop Sites
Oct. 1 – Dec. 7 | 8 AM to 2 PM

7301 E. Jewell Ave. (Quebec St. & E. Jewell Ave.)

10450 Smith Rd. (Enter on Smith Rd.)

678 S. Jason St. (Enter on W. Exposition Ave.)
(All leaves brought to Havana & South Platte during the week must be in bags.)[/one_half]
[one_half_last]WEEKEND Drop Sites
Saturdays and Sundays
Nov. 3 – 18 | 11 AM to 3 PM

E. 40th Ave. & Steele St.

7301 E. Jewell Ave. (Quebec St. & E. Jewell Ave.)

10450 Smith Rd. (Enter on Havana St

S. Vrain St. and W. Dartmouth Ave.

17th Ave. & Sheridan Blvd.

S. Vine St. & E. Iowa Ave.[/one_half_last]

Bring your Leaves in Paper Bags
Denver Recycles, Be A Smart Ash, and Ace Hardware stores are teaming up to give away FREE 5-packs of 30-gallon paper leaf bags to help Denver residents keep leaves out of the landfill! Unlike plastic bags, brown paper bags can be composted along with the leaves; saving time and reducing plastic waste.

Composting Your Leaves this Fall is as Easy as 1-2-3
Display the leaf bag coupon at an Ace Hardware Store to get a FREE 5-pack of paper leaf bags.
Fill the paper bags with your leaves
Drop off your paper leaf bags at a LeafDrop site near you


Annual Neighborhood Party

Neighbors gathered on Friday, September 8 for an evening of delicious food and fun conversation at the annual CCHN neighbor-hood party. Thank you to Geoff and Marty Lord for hosting this wonderful event. A great time was had by all!