Taos Tree Board preps for Arbor Day

By Jesse Moya
jmoya@taosnews.com
Posted 2/13/20

Members of the Taos Tree Board are gearing up for spring as they ready the community for their annual Arbor Day festival.

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Taos Tree Board preps for Arbor Day

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Members of the Taos Tree Board are gearing up for spring as they ready the community for their annual Arbor Day festival.

This year, members of the Tree Board are getting into the schools and sponsoring a tree poster drawing contest in which three winners will be selected to display their art with the town of Taos. Seven schools around Taos will be participating in the event.

Winners will be chosen by the Tree Board on March 13, which is officially Arbor Day in New Mexico. New Mexico's Arbor Day celebration was established in 1891 - 21 years before it became a state.

During the March celebration, the Tree Board will also be hosting information events as well as tree plantings around Taos.

The Taos Tree Board was established in 2015 as an advisory board to the town of Taos. The board helps with understanding the trees and their importance in Taos. In addition, members are skilled in determining which trees are healthy and which need a bit more attention or to be taken down because they pose a public hazard, as happened with some old cottonwoods on the historic Taos Plaza in 2019.

Tree Board chair Paul Brian Jones said they have identified and surveyed over 6,000 trees in the parks and downtown area.

"Now we know what we have and their conditions," he said of the trees.

Jones said the board operated on a $10,000 annual budget for tree care and maintenance. This money does not go too far, according to Jones, if a tree needs to be taken down or removed.

"It's pretty expensive to take down a 100-foot tree," Jones said.

Despite the budget constraints, Jones and the board remain positive and are hoping to excite students around Taos with the efforts for Arbor Day. The board has been celebrating the event for four years and annually plants over a dozen trees in Taos on that day alone.

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