ALBUQUERQUE, March 31, 2017 –Tree planting and tree care will receive special emphasis in the Water Authority’s 2017 conservation program, officials announced today.
"What’s the best thing you can do for our community's climate and your outdoor environment this year? Plant a tree!" said Carlos Bustos, conservation program manager for the Water Authority. Bustos continued, "While trees do require water to survive, they actually help conservation by providing shade and reducing energy consumption, but it's important to plant the right tree in the right place so that it can grow and thrive for years to come."
Bustos was speaking at a Water Authority news conference re-launching its "Tree-bate" program and reminding customers to follow the Water by the Numbers program and adhere to seasonal time-of-day watering restrictions for spray irrigation.
Water by the Numbers calls for watering outdoor landscapes two days per week in April and May, three days per week in the summer, and ramping down again in the fall. Time-of-day restrictions, which are in effect April 1-Oct. 31 every year, prohibit sprinkler irrigation between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. (the hottest and windiest part of the day).
Meanwhile, to help its customers narrow down their purchasing decisions, the Water Authority has assembled a list of 20 trees that are proven to thrive in our area and provide multiple environmental benefits, ranging from Desert Willows to Austrian pines. Any tree listed in the Water Authority's xeriscape guide plant list that is not designated as high water use qualifies for the rebate. Water Authority staff will be posting lists of the 20 trees at participating nurseries, and marking example trees with special tags.
Tree-bates consisting of 25 percent of an eligible tree purchase up to $100 for residential customers and up to $500 for commercial customers will be offered in the form of bill credits , with additional Tree-bates available for professional tree care such as pruning, fertilization or installation. Tree removal does not qualify for a rebate.
Amos Arber, the Water Authority's xeriscape inspector and certified arborist, explained, "We’re seeing lots of trees in our community that were planted in the 1930s and 1940s that are nearing the end of their lifespan. We’re losing a lot of tree canopy as a result, and that’s why we want to encourage tree-planting and proper tree care in the community.”
Experts estimate that a single urban tree costing $60-$250 to purchase and care for can return more than $2,500 in environmental benefits and increased property value over its lifetime.