Late winter, from February through early March, is the best time to prune most trees. Trees are still dormant at this time of year and, unlike in early winter, wound closure will be rapid if pruning occurs just prior to the time new growth emerges.
"Pruning trees during the late dormant season reduces impacts on tree health, and builds a strong structure for our community trees in the long term," said Keith Wood, community forestry program manager for the Colorado State Forest Service. Wood says that although some elms, maples, birch and walnut trees may visibly exude sap if pruned in the late winter or early spring, this should not harm the tree.
The CSFS offers the following tree pruning tips:
• Know what you want to accomplish before you saw. Don't remove any branches without a reason.
• Remove any torn, dead or broken branches.
• Try to develop or maintain one dominant vertical top stem, or leader, and don't cut off the tops of trees.
• Space the main branches along the trunk, and prevent branches below the permanent canopy from growing upright or too large.
• Always prune just outside the branch collar -- the point where one branch leaves a larger one (or the trunk), often discerned by raised or wrinkled bark.
• Limit pruning of newly planted trees to the removal of dead, damaged or crossing limbs, or those interfering with the main stem.
• Avoid removing more than 25 percent of a tree's branches in any one year.
• Consider recycling pruned limbs by having them ground into mulch.
If a job requires running a chainsaw overhead or removing large branches or entire trees, Wood says it is best to contact an insured, certified arborist. A list of these professionals can be found at http://www.isa-arbor.com. For more information about urban tree care, go to www.csfs.colostate.edu.
The election results are in at the local, state and national level, and as expected, Democrats are doing well in state and national races. Colorado has elected Jared Polis as governor; nationally the Republicans appear to retain control of the Senate while Democrats now control the House of Representative.
With a ballot full of local and state measures, voter turnout in Delta County topped 71%, with 15,889 ballots cast. Statewide, voter turnout was just over 52%.
Of the three Delta County residents seeking state offices, Matt Soper won over Thea Chase in State Representative Dist. 54; Mike Mason lost to Julie McCluskie in State Representative Dist. 61; and Olen Lund lost to Kerry Donovan in State Senate Dist. 5.
Locally, in the City of Delta voters rejected a .5% sales tax increase to fund recreation, as well as recreational marijuana sales. The sale of medical marijuana and cultivation/manufacturing facilities was approved by a slim margin. Delta voters also gave the city the green light to move forward with selling or trading the Cottonwood and Riverbend Park, and to sell the old Municipal Light and Power Building.