Friday, June 29, 2012

New Mexico Trees

Now that spring has sprung and the summer is in full bloom, we can finally enjoy the greenery in Albuquerque until the fall when it will again begin its rapid decline. We should all take a moment to appreciate the variety of trees in Albuquerque and how they provide the shade that protects us from the hot summer sun.

Photo courtesy of J.N. Stuart

Pinon Pine
How can we talk about trees in New Mexico without mentioning the Pinon tree? The Pinon tree happens to be the state tree in New Mexico. It is most well-known for nuts that it produces that are enjoyed by wildlife and humans alike. 
Photo courtesy of azmichelle

Photo courtesy of _-Ellie-_

Rio Grande Cottonwood
The Rio Grande Cottonwood can grow to be 90 feet tall and is mostly found along the Rio Grande River. It is one of the only species of cottonwood tree that is not banned in New Mexico. Perhaps the only extensive band of Rio Grande Cottonwoods remaining today exists along the Rio Grande from Espanola south to Belen. So when you want to take a shady stroll, head down to the trails along the Rio Grande.
Photo courtesy of Theilr


Photo courtesy of Peter Guthrie

Quaking Aspen
The Quaking Aspen can be easily recognized by its white colored bark. They are usually around 40-50 feet but can be as tall as 70 feet. The leaves are rounded with a point and are a very distinctive golden color in the Fall.
Photo courtesy of Matt Lavine

The Bur Oak is a drought resistant tree common in New Mexico and can grow to be over 40 feet. The leaves are a distinctive shape and they produce the largest acorns of any other native oak tree. 

Siberian Elm

Although the Siberian Elm is an outlawed tree species in New Mexico, they spread so rapidly that you will still see them just about everywhere you go. They are leaches for water and are known to aggressively take over any nearby water supply, preventing other plants from receiving much needed water.

Photo courtesy of Matt Lavin

Photo courtesy of Marjorie Lipan

Blue Spruce

If you're stepping on crunchy cones you might be walking under a Blue Spruce. These trees can grow from 75 to 100 feet tall. They provide excellent cover for birds in the winter. The cones contain seeds that provide food for many seed-eating wildlife.

Photo courtesy of Tony Frates

The next time you are walking in the shade, take a minute to enjoy the trees around you and see if you can identify them.
Find more info about trees in New Mexico with these great books from your ABC Libraries:

Trees and Shrubs of New Mexico by Jack L. Carter

A Waterwise Guide to Trees by The Water Use and Conservation Bureau

Trees by Paul McEvoy

No comments: