ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A new study reveals a lot more about the trees in New Mexico — which ones thrive, and which ones just don’t belong here.
The state recently took an inventory of trees in public spaces with a big mission in mind. Altogether, 33 county seats were used in the study and more than 7,000 trees were cataloged.
The State Forestry says the Siberian Elm is the tree they found to be the most invasive and have identified it for eradication. Many of them were planted in the 1930s and ’40s, but they send out seeds in the spring and sprout from the roots, becoming a nuisance.
“The challenge ahead is to identify trees that will do well in New Mexico, just like they did but have been problematic in terms of invasiveness,” said Jennifer Dann with the State Forestry.
According to the study, the only truly native species are Pinon, Cottonwood, Gambel Oak, White and Douglas Fir, Arizona Ash and Arizona Sycamores, along with New Mexico Locusts.
The Cottonwood tree — of course, one of the most prevalent in the state — is commonly found lining the Bosque. However, State Forestry says as they age they can present a danger. Therefore, there aren’t many new ones being planted in public places.
The study also looked at the health of the trees. Of the 7,000 looked at, it found about 200 in excellent health, about 5,000 in good or fair health, and about 200 close to death.
New Mexico State Forestry has created a website to show the results of the study. It has a detailed history of each tree.