Have A TREEmendous New Year!

Hope this finds everyone well and safe.
This past year (2021) in Taos started with below-average snowfall. Spring was warm and dry until late June. July added some helpful moisture which ended in August. Fall was exceptionally hot and dry which has continued into December. The Soil Moisture Test, I measures throughout Taos County were at 20-30% moisture levels, which are low readings for this time of year. 
December 15, a high wind storm knocked out power and blew over trees in some areas of Taos County. The storm produced very little moisture. We need to think about next year's growing season and how we can help our landscapes. Watering on warm days will help our Evergreen Trees which are semi-dormant. January and February, we should water on warm days, once a month. Water may puddle due to the frozen soil. A wet freeze is better than a dry freeze. Wet soils prevent freeze injury to roots because moist soil holds more heat than dry soil.
Mulching and Watering:
In March if weather permits, we should water all trees every 2 weeks and add mulch to retain the soil moisture. Mulch can be wood chips from our local tree companies. Kit Carson Electric has a wood chip list that anyone can get on. You can add old mature and straw to make a compost mix, (1/3 wood chips, 1/3 old manure, and 1/3 straw). Remember to cover your wood chips or compost for 4 weeks to help cure (to cause to be free of a disease or unhealthy condition); if you can cover the pile with clear plastic which allows the UV rays through and speeds up the curing process.
Soil Health is important to our plant communities. Planting the right tree, in the right place and at the right time makes for healthier, happier trees. Proper Tree Care for established trees can reduce climate stress and increase tree vigor and vitality.
Proper tree care includes proper watering, beneficial ground covers, and promoting good soil health. Proper watering is having available soil moisture in the right place. Tree roots have a permanent absorption root system called the ephemeral root system. These absorption roots start 3 to4 feet from the trunk. Watering and mulching should be 3 to 4 feet from the trunk and cover an area 3 to 4 feet past the drip line of the tree. The drip line is where the active new absorption roots develop.
Ground covers help capture carbon from the atmosphere into the soil. Some legume ground covers like red clover fix nitrogen into the soil for micro-organisms and plant roots. Carbon and Nitrogen feed the soil organisms which helps support the tree root development.
Education and Seasonal Newsletter
I will be teaching this Spring from Mid-March until the end of May. I will send out the syllables in January. Starting March 1, I will send out a seasonal newsletter to keep the tree information flowing.
Healthy Trees are Happy, Resilient Trees
Thank you for your Tree Stewardships!
Paul Bryan and Sheri Jones