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Arbor Day Tree Give Away - City of Las Cruces Will Donate 100 Trees to Las Cruces Residents 2019

The City of Las Cruces Parks and Recreation Department was recently awarded a grant for 100 native and climate-adapted trees by the Apache Corporation Tree Grant Program. The City will offer the trees to residents of Las Cruces as part of an Arbor Day give away to promote neighborhood beautification using native and climate-adapted trees.

“Trees provide many functions that benefit residents and the environment,” said City Manager Stuart C. Ed. “Trees provide shade, which reduces cooling costs, filters air pollution, produces oxygen and food for people and animals, and sequesters carbon, which helps mitigate a warming climate, reduces runoff from rainfall, and increases property values to name a few.”

This year, the annual Apache Tree Grant Program donated 50,000 trees across Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and New Mexico. More than 4.6 million trees have been planted with partners in 17 states since the program’s launch in 2005.

"Apache is excited to provide trees for this year’s Arbor Day event, and we’re so thankful for the work of the City of Las Cruces and the residents who will plant and care for these trees as they grow. Our Tree Grant Program would not be successful without such wonderful partners," said John J. Christmann IV, Apache's chief executive officer and president.

The City will be receiving 25 of each of the following: desert willow (Chilopsis linearis), Chinese pistache (Pistacia chinensis), honey mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa), and screwbean mesquite (Prosopis pubescens). Each of these trees are extremely drought tolerant once established, which usually takes between two and three years.

Las Cruces residents can receive up to two free trees of their choice on a first come, first served basis. Along with the tree(s), residents will receive a refrigerator magnet with recommended watering instructions; four tree care pamphlets regarding new tree planting, pruning young trees, proper mulching techniques, and trees in turf; as well as tree guards for anyone who will need to mow around their newly planted tree.

To participate in the Arbor Day give away, residents will need to register in advance at the Parks and Recreation office in the Mondy Castañeda building, 1501 E. Hadley Ave. (look for the flag pole with both United States and New Mexico flags). To be eligible, residents must provide a copy of their most recent water bill. Last day to register will be Monday, April 22. Trees will be given between 8 a.m. and noon on Arbor Day, Friday, April 26, 2019 in front of the Parks and Recreation office.

Specifications for the trees are as follows:

Desert willow is a medium-sized native tree that can grow to about 20’ tall with a 15’ spread and get beautiful pinkish bell-shaped flowers in spring, often reblooming throughout the growing season. Desert willows are beneficial to hummingbirds, orioles, and many species of bees.

Chinese pistache are large shade trees, growing to about 40’ tall and wide, with a beautiful fall color ranging from bright yellow to fire engine red and all colors in between. Although related to pistachio trees, they do not produce nuts, but the female plants produce clusters of blue berries that are popular with birds.

Honey mesquites are medium to large trees that tend to be broader than tall, reaching a height of about 25’ tall with a 35’ spread. These trees are excellent plants for attracting both native and honey bees. Honey mesquites do have thorns on new growth but as the tree grows these thorns get covered up by the tree’s bark. Flour can be made from the dried seeds of honey mesquite and the pods can be chewed on and taste like honey, thus the name.

Screwbean mesquites are another native mesquite that is found growing along the Rio Grande but also does very well outside of the valley. Screwbean mesquite gets its name from the clusters of corkscrew-shaped seed pods. The trees get to a medium height of about 25’ with a 20’ spread and older trees have an interesting shaggy bark. Screwbean mesquites also have thorns on newer growth and are excellent trees to attract native and honey bees.

Apache Corporation is an oil and gas exploration and production company with operations in the United States, Egypt and the United Kingdom. Apache posts announcements, operational updates, investor information and copies of all press releases on its website, www.apachecorp.com. Learn more about Apache’s Tree Grant Program at www.apachelovestrees.com.