In an arid city like Albuquerque, trees and the urban forest are even more important than in places with more moisture. Trees provide shade and habitat, and help cool the urban landscape. To sustain a healthy canopy trees require special care given the arid climate, ongoing drought, and warming temperatures. This year’s hot, dry conditions highlight the need for New Mexicans to take even more care of their trees – and to plan for which species will grow best in increasingly warm conditions. This was especially true this past September when a windstorm wreaked havoc on trees throughout the city.
In collaboration with Our Land New Mexico, a local environmental show on NMPBS, we are sharing a short (7 minute) episode they did about the urban forest in Albuquerque.
The episode discusses how the vitality of a city can be measured in part by the health of its trees and plant life. There is also evidence that tells us how exposure to nature provides emotional and social benefits, lowers stress levels and encourages more community engagement in residential settings.
We encourage you to take care of your trees to support our urban forest and if you are adding a new tree email AskAnExpert@abcwua.org with questions. Local tree experts around the Southwest, including conservation staff from the Water Authority, with the guidance of the Nature Conservancy, have put together a climate-ready tree list that includes trees that will thrive in our current and future climate.