It’s Harvest Time

Just after the first freeze, which usually happens right after Thanksgiving, the El Paso Street Department will be gearing up to begin the first harvest, of approximately 500 trees, from the City of El Paso’s tree farm.

The tree farm, located at 790 Winn Road in the Mission Valley, was established in May of 2004. Thanks to the fortitude of Daryl Cole, Director of the City of El Paso Street Department combined with the ever increasing need for trees in parks, along medians, and at city facilities, the road to re-establishing a tree farm in El Paso is underway. Daryl Cole brought on board Brent Pearson, a certified arborist, to oversee the development of the tree farm, maintain and oversee the upkeep of city medians, and to oversee and coordinate landscaping projects for the City of El Paso.

The tree farm is planted on five acres of land leased to the City from El Paso Water Utilities (EPWU). The City provides the EPWU with trees for the various Utility properties city wide on an annual basis. The Street Department is working with EPWU to expand the existing site by five acres.

There are over 5,000 trees planted at the tree farm today. They all started from seedlings that were about 6 to 12 inches tall. The seedlings cost the City between 25˘ to 75˘ each. All of the tress that will be harvested this fall retail from approximately $50 to $75. The trees farm is not only providing the City with trees that help to clean our air and produce much needed shade, it is also providing El Paso with a very cost effective way of adding to the aesthetic beauty of our community. Brent Pearson stated that, “Rather than spending big money on trees that are not drought tolerant and indigenous to the Southwest, the Street Department is growing healthy trees that are adapted to our region.”

All of the trees at the new tree farm are now watered with reclaimed water from purple pipes that feed water into an underground irrigation system. The reclaimed water has higher levels of salt concentration than your regular tap water. The reclaimed water is less costly to process than our drinking water and has been conducive to the growing of drought tolerant trees in our high desert arid climate.

The City of El Paso remains committed to environmental excellence and the promotion of quality of life. The El Paso Tree Farm stands out as an exemplary example of this commitment. For years to come, the El Paso Tree Farm will be providing over 500 trees annually which will enhance our community’s environment and quality of life.

For more information regarding the El Paso Tree Farm, please contact the El Paso Street Department at (915) 621-6750.