Treecycling is important and runs through Jan. 8

Treecycling is important and runs through Jan. 8

Tracey FitzgibbonQ. I heard the tail end of an announcement on television about recycling Christmas trees here in the city. Can you offer more information for us? Thanks & Happy New Year! N.D., Albuquerque

A. The free service you’re inquiring about is the annual “Treecycling” offered by the City’s Solid Waste Department. This is a nifty way to have the tree that graced your home turned into a reusable resource so that is a very good thing. The collected trees are mulched and then the mulching is used for varying landscaping projects. It’s so much better than filling arroyos or throwing them out on the mesa.

This year’s drop-off dates from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday through Sunday, Jan. 8. There are three treecycling locations that will take your trees to be mulched – Montessa Park Convenience Center, 3512 Los Picaros SE, Eagle Rock Convenience Center, 6301 Eagle Rock NE and Ladera Golf Course, 3401 Ladera Drive NW.

The city does have a few very sensible rules when using treecycling services. First aim to “undecorate” the tree. Your goal is to get the tree as naked as when you bought it. Please be thoughtful and tie the tree down when you’re transporting it. You can collect some of the mulching if you choose. Just be sure to take your own shovel, container and a strong back as there isn’t “help” offered to load the mulch.

Q. We are buying a home, our first, and we’ll close near the end of this month. We purchased a ‘living tree” to use as our Christmas tree and it’s already back outside, settling down, like you’ve taught us to do. Since we want to plant it at the new house our question is how often will the tree need to be watered and how long do we have to plant it? S.E., Albuquerque

A. I’m glad to hear that you didn’t keep your “living tree” indoors long. It’s hard on them if kept indoors, start to wake up, and then be plunked back outdoors in the cold. I will suggest that you keep the tree in its container and water perhaps weekly.

Stop at the place where you purchased said tree and ask how often they are watering their container trees this time of year. Weekly should be enough, unless the weather stays quite warm, then perhaps more often. Your aim is to keep the container “heavy.”Since it sounds like you’ll gain possession of the new home in February, I’d recommend planting as soon as your hectic schedule will allow. It’ll be the usual drill when planting – digging the hole twice as the container but just as deep. The soil should be mixed with some compost to add some much- needed nutrition. Do be sure to invest in liquid root stimulator and follow the directions on the product label. Once you get the tree planted, you should water every 10 days, then gradually start to wean the waterings so the tree settles into its new surroundings easier. I will suggest that you get the new tree planted at the new home as soon as you can.

Here’s to a happy and healthy 2023 while you’re out there Diggin’ In.


Tracey Fitzgibbon is a certified nurseryman. Send garden-related questions to Digging In, Albuquerque Journal, 7777 Jefferson NE, Albuquerque, NM 87109, or to features@abqjournal.com.

 

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