With the new year, we’re looking forward to healthy growth for you, your trees, and Very Good Tree Service!

At Very Good Tree Service, we consider ourselves arbor-artists, dedicated to supporting healthy ecosystems, and by sharing these health-care tips, we hope to make 2021 a better year for you and our trees.

First, here’s a quick year-end-review of what we saw in 2020:

2020 saw decreased spring snow, low spring rains, an extremely dry hot summer, minimal monsoon moisture, and now a predicted dry winter. Tree failure in the Santa Fe area in 2020 has been unfortunately high. As arborists, we hate seeing trees that are beyond our care. Experience shows deciduous trees can take three years to recover from one year of drought and conifers can take six years to recover, but nowadays we just don’t see that recovery.

Looking forward into 2021, we want to make sure your trees stay healthy and protected, despite a new year that promises better things, but also more devastating pests and ongoing multi-year drought.

How to Make 2021 a better year for your trees:

Healthy trees respond to pathogen attacks and easily protect themselves, but urban trees in Santa Fe can’t provide as much self protection, as they are young/teen-age trees (compared to our natural old growth forests), with roots and leaves that are competing with asphalt, concrete, buildings, cars, chemicals, poor maintenance, aesthetic requirements, light reflection, and ignorance. Additionally they are struggling after years of drought.

Since we can’t be there all of the time (and aren’t a landscaping company), here are some things you can do to help your trees in 2021:

WATER your trees. We must conserve water and your trees need more of it. Water your trees in the spring as early as weather allows. To reduce evaporation and conserve use, we recommend using soaker hoses around and just inside the drip line (out where the tree branches end). Starting in spring, weather permitting, keep hoses on for 6 hours twice monthly, more in the summer and less in the winter. Use a timer so you don’t forget about it! For more on watering, see our latest blog.
MULCHING: Good mulch cools our hot soils, retains soil moisture, promotes root development and feeds beneficial soil microbes, and adds some organic material into our clay-based soils. We’ve seen studies that recommend using wood mulch, about 4 inches deep, about 8 inches from the trunk, just past the drip line.

Here’s how we can help:

Pest control: To help trees respond to stressed conditions, we offer targeted pesticides for beetles that take advantage of stressed trees and the best time to apply is Spring-Fall. These treatments are best applied through a trunk injection and usually last about 2 years. No Spraying!
Immune support: We offer low-nitrogen/high micronutrient fertilizer treatments to help with known deficiencies like chlorosis. These treatments are best applied through soil injections, and in serious cases, trunk injections.
Slow growth: Tree growth regulators help our trees become more drought tolerant and non-invasive cabling assures limbs are less likely to fail. We apply tree growth regulators to most types of trees almost all year round and cabling is preferred between the spring-summer months while foliage is out, though it can be done all year.

Of course, we still offer our tree maintenance, trimming, and removal services, as well as education and inspection services. With spring just around the corner, please give us a call at (505) 819-3649 to schedule your regular tree care or use our online form.

We hope we can help make 2021 a happy and healthy new year for all. Please note, if you approved fruit tree pruning in 2020, we will be in touch to schedule between January-March.

Our best,
Ryan Brenteson and the VGTS Team