Deborah (Oswald) Davis along with her husband Glen live in Haswell, Colorado and are the owners and operators of their family farm. Deborah works as a public accountant through the winter months and has worked alongside her husband on the family farm. Deborah has always aspired to be engaged in the community that she lives in as well as those surrounding her.
In the past Deborah was a part of a community effort to apply for and receive Tree Grants from the State of Colorado to plant trees in Haswell. She would use labor as the in-kind contribution to plant these trees and maintain them. She and Glen have also planted many trees on their property in western Kiowa County that they have dedicated time, money, and energy to maintain and help those trees thrive. Maintaining trees in southeast Colorado is a difficult feat, and as the Independent has just learned, prevention of deadly infestations of bugs is key to keeping your trees alive and thriving.
Because of her entrepreneurial spirit as well as her desire to be of service and to remain active, Deborah is now the owner and operator of DD’s Tree Spraying. In January of 2021 Deborah completed her testing through the Colorado Department of Agriculture at the Prowers County Extension Office testing center and is now a qualified supervisor, as well as commercial applicator, on both Right-of-Way (weeds) as well as Ornamentals (trees and shrubs).
This was not only possible for Deborah to accomplish by testing alone, she was also required to have the help of a qualified supervisor for an 8-month process of field experience. She partnered with Mark Lewis of JetCo Inc. from Buena Vista, Colorado for this experience.
She has also relied on the vast knowledge and assistance from local spraying operator and businessman Roger Saffer of Saffer Spray Service. Davis stated, “Roger has done a lot to help me get started in this business.”
When Deborah completed the training and testing, the time then came for Deborah to acquire her own spraying equipment.
“I wanted a sprayer set up like what I used in training with JetCo Inc. It was what I was familiar with and knew I could operate it by myself (woman owned and operated).”
The components of her ‘spray rig’, as she calls it, were purchased in Denver; however, with COVID, supply chain issues, and absenteeism, the company originally hired to build the rig was unable to complete the job in a timely manner. Luckily, Ken Specht of Lamar has had experience with spray equipment and was able to build the spray rig for her.
DD’s Tree Spraying will be a benefit to the southeastern Colorado communities at large and will help to preserve the beautiful trees that offer not only aesthetic appeal to the region, but also will help provide shade in the summer as well as the oxygen that we breath. Deborah states, “The reason for getting into the business was primarily because I wanted to be able to care for the 150 trees that are on our property. I also wanted to stay active and engaged and this is a great way to do that.”
Deborah offered some useful tips about trees and the benefits of spraying them for bugs,
“When a tree is stressed, by lack of water for instance, they become weakened and are more likely to become infested with bugs. For a 10–12-foot pine tree in Southeast Colorado to maintain its health, it needs 25 gallons of water per week, and that is to maintain, not to thrive.”
She also tells us, “Watering deeper is better than watering a bit at a time, so when you go to water your trees it is best to let all 25 gallons soak in at once so that the deepest roots will benefit. It is also necessary to water where the roots are, so larger trees should be watered along a larger area than smaller trees. But be careful not to overwater, as trees can drown like other plants.”
Because it can be hard as well as expensive to water all the trees on your property the correct amount each week, especially in the drought-stricken area that we live, helping them along by spraying trees to prevent and to treat a bug infestation is a great way to care for those trees.
Deborah informed us, “The best time to spray is spring and early summer. Now that we are in early fall people will begin to notice the effects that bugs have on the trees on their property as well as around the community. For example, IPS beetles cannot be chemically treated after they infest a tree; they can only be prevented. After infestation occurs, physical removal of infested material from the site is recommended to prevent beetle spread to other pine trees. So, in this case, prevention is worth more than the potential cost of removing a tree or possibly several trees that can become infested.”
“Although I’m licensed in both weeds and trees, I am focusing my business on tree care right now. I service the Arkansas Valley, Karval, Ordway, Kit Carson and surrounding areas. I might expand into weed control in the future.”
Deborah’s daughter Alison who works as a virtual assistant was key in helping set up DD’s Tree Spraying as she created the Facebook page, website, as well as set up a square account for DD’s Tree Spraying to accept payments.
In the meantime, Deborah says, “Watering through the winter is recommended so long as the ground is not frozen so that the water can soak in.”