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January 31, 2020
Right Trees Right Place: Responsible Forestry Sometimes Requires Removal Of Trees

Siberian Elms Out-Competing Native Species

Managing our forests and trees is more than just trimming and irrigation. It requires the City of Santa Fe to make smart choices about what trees we plant and where we put them in order to make best use of our environment, resources and work force.

Sometimes those choices involve removing invasive and non-native trees like the Siberian Elm, which are currently overgrowing in Railyard Park and affecting the health of more desirable trees. Removal of Siberian Elms is currently underway in Railyard Park and will continue through Monday, Feb. 3, 2020.

When the park was planted more than a decade ago, some Siberian Elms were left in place along the acequia, and young cottonwoods were planted among them. Due to competition for light, water and nutrients from the Siberian Elms, the cottonwoods have struggled significantly and the strain on some of them can be seen in and on their trunks and branches. Cottonwoods are a fast-growing species and they will thrive and grow quickly once the elms are carefully removed.

The elms are a non-native species that produce millions of seeds every spring that float on the breezes and germinate everywhere. Because the Railyard Park and the City of Santa Fe’s Parks and Recreation Department do not use any chemicals in the maintenance of the park’s 10-acres of gardens, community volunteers laboriously remove sprouting weeds by hand.

We here in Santa Fe love our trees: we will continue to implement best practices and a coordinated strategy formulated by Parks experts and with the guidance of city’s The Municipal Tree Board.

Contact: Shannon Palermo, Railyard Park Conservancy Office: [bot protected email address]

(505) 316 - 7056

Mobile: (971) 212 – 9150

Enrico Ruiz, Santa Fe Parks and Recreation: [bot protected email address]

(505) 955-2107

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