Monday, November 23, 2015

Albuquerque’s Largest Urban Forest Tree Renewal Project

Urban forests are an important part of city ecosystems. They improve air quality, provide shade, increase property values, and improve our quality of life. Urban forests can be described in a variety of ways, including vegetation in local parks, public areas, private land, and in or around communities. The high elevation desert landscape of Albuquerque New Mexico is no exception to this. Silver Hills, one of the oldest neighborhoods in southeast Albuquerque, began their urban forest in the 1920's. The neighborhood includes University Boulevard, Gold, Lead, Coal, and Silver Avenue.  Silver Hills has always been known for its large beautiful shade trees, Siberian Elms, plantings encouraged by Clyde Tingley, chairman of the Old City Commission who lived on Silver Ave.

Siberian Elms, or Ulmus pumila, are known for being fast growing and hardy in their youth, but as they grow older they become susceptible to insects and disease, and have a relatively short life span.  By the 1970's the original elm trees of Silver Hills were coming to an end of their lifespan;  they seemed fine on the surface, however they were slowly rotting away on the inside and becoming a public safety hazard. The city and Silver Hill Neighborhood Association began to take action in 1977, with the formation of the Silver Hill Reforestation Project. The project began the plan of removing all the original elm trees and replacing them with the standard tree pallet across Albuquerque, most of which are very high water trees.

On June 15, 2000   the Neighborhood Association invited nursery man, soil ecologist, and local businessman Michael Melendrez to present a seminar on which native and adapted trees are the best trees for Albuquerque's urban forest. The neighborhood was worried that it would lose the ambience that the elm trees created if they replaced them. That’s when Michael Melendrez came in and explained that in a short period of time they could have better trees, that are native to the southwest, drought tolerant, longer lived, and less susceptible to insects than elm trees.   In addition to listing the best trees for Albuquerque’s future, Michael educated the Neighborhood Association on the importance of also fixing the ecology of the soil using bio-mimicry techniques so that the future landscape of trees and grass would be more stainable and need less water.  The southwestern native trees that were discussed for the area included; Western Soapberry, Texas Red Oak, Chisos Red Oak, Bur Oak, New Mexico Live Oak, and Chinquapin Oak, plus a non native but adapted species called the Chinese Pistache. The neighborhood was so impressed by Michael’s seminar that they insisted that the hired architect use only Michael’s trees, rather than his standard selection used often in Albuquerque. 

Picture of trees to be replaced:

In the fall of 2001, Trees That Please was contracted by the City of Albuquerque to apply Soil Secrets products, formerly known as Mycorr-Beasties, to the entire medium and parkways of Silver Ave within the historic district. Michael Melendrez, his father Sam Melendrez, and employee Dr. Mike Karr, and Trees That Please Associate -Dan Garrison, hand spread the various materials, which at that time, made up the protocol of Mycorr-Beasties.   

The objectives of the project was to restore the soil ecology, make the soil more porous and able to absorb irrigation water, replace high analysis fertilizers, and keep the grass and trees green and healthy. If it worked, the City and the Neighborhood Association would require it be specified into the reconstruction of the new landscape plantings that would take place a few years later in 2004.  The site was evaluated for a period of time while the funding for the reconstruction was obtained. As it turned out it did work, it instigated, stimulated, and supported a healthy soil ecology necessary to grow healthy trees. Soil Secrets molecular biology became sole source on the project along with trees grown by Trees That Please Nursery. Today the trees planted in Silver Hill have grown into large healthy trees that the neighborhood has grown to love, and are beneficial to Albuquerque’s urban forest. The images of the trees shown in this blog came from Trees That Please Nursery and are currently thriving in Silver Hill. 

Soil Secrets no longer sells Mycorr-Beasties, as their current lineup of products are much more advanced than what they could do in the early 2000's.  Since the years of the Silver Hill Project, Soil Secrets has grown up.  For the Proof of Concept research and Molecular research, they hired Los Alamos National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratory, and the New Mexico Consortium Labs, to help prove that they were making a unique molecular biology products including TerraPro which contains the active ingredient of Supramolecular Humic Molecules, a Soil Pro-Biotic consortium of beneficial soil bacteria called BioPack and the most concentrated mycorrhizal fungi product in the world called EndoMaxima.   Mycorrhizal fungi help plants get nutrients and water out of the soil and protect plants from disease.    The Supramolecular Humic Molecules discovered and manufactured by Soil Secrets are bio-identical and are the carbon rich molecules  that defines the essence of a healthy soil. To complete the protocol Soil Secrets makes a nutritional calorie  that feeds the soil food web called Protein Crumblies.

Trees That Please Delivering Trees:2004

At the present time, some of the largest farming company's on Earth are using Soil Secrets to restore soil ecology, decrease the amount of water needed to grow a crop, improve the crops nutrition profile and improve the growers profit margin.   A massive Highway construction project in a western State is also preparing to use approximately a million dollars worth of Soil Secrets product, as the sole source for the project and in New Mexico the State Abandoned Mines Agency is specifying Soil Secrets for reclaiming uranium mines near Grants. 

Picture taken:2006 Planted trees 

Picture Taken:2009 Notable Growth

Picture Taken: 2014 Autumn Colors

Last Pictures Taken: 2015

By: Amanda Melendrez
Trees That Please Nursery

Friday, November 13, 2015

2015 Fall Bulbs (Plant Now)

This is what the box stores don't haveWe now have in store an array of very unique fall bulbs that will no doubt make everyone talk about the gorgeous colors in your yard. Sow now and reap a beautiful yard this upcoming spring season, don't forget we have the full package to ensure success with any of your plantings using our innovative soil ecology products ( Come and ask our sales staff.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Driscoll Salt Control Success Story Update

Just refreshing this success story.  Since the past few years has proven difficult with the drought and the lack of surface irrigation water causing a buildup of salinity in our croplands of the West.  These two photos reflect the potential to fix salinity problems by using TerraPro, an exclusive product of Soil Secrets.  In one photo the crop is easily seen with yellow and salt stressed foliage while the other photo shows foliage not stressed.  Both fields are side by side at Driscoll's in California, where one field was treated with theTerraPro which contains as an active ingredient humic acids that are bio-identical, supramolecular humic molecules.

By: Michael Melendrez

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Why Hydrogen Peroxide at Planting??

As a response to a question posed by a customer: Why use Hydrogen Peroxide for planting trees? it is worth addressing. 

Hi Sharon,
Victor from Trees That Please forwarded to me your email concerning the use of hydrogen peroxide in tree planting.  Your comment about the damage to the soil microbiology is very good.
So why would I suggest using this product?  Here's my answer.  For many years the nursery industry and the landscape construction industry have struggled with tree and shrub plantings that result in call backs, dead trees and added expense and less profit to the company.
The main culprit  was the soil zone of discontinuity caused by the texture and structure difference of the soil inside the planting site with that of the native soil.  This barrier is called the soil interface zone, which causes  water,  oxygen and roots difficulty crossing.   The garden books teach us to dig and prepare the $100 hole for the $10 tree by mixing all kinds of goodies into the backfill, including peat moss, straw, commercial soil builders, etc. However I've learned in my three decade long career as a nurseryman and grower of hundreds of thousands of trees, that this causes the zone of discontinuity to get worse and not better.  Starting back in the mid 80's I began a study of solutions to this problem and did many trials using different techniques.  This is when I stumbled upon the use of hydrogen peroxide which worked to break down that barrier.  Granted the product would kill any soil microbe it comes into contact with and as the owner of the most significant soil ecology company on the planet, Soil Secrets, I'm always cognizant of helping the soils terrestrial biosphere and not damaging it.  So we studied this problem by doing soil assays of the soil being impacted by the hydrogen peroxide, which is that 1/8" to 1/4" zone that the peroxide fluffs up.  What we discover is that the effervescent reaction causes the soil interface barrier to go away, resulting in the roots of the plant, water and oxygen now being able to cross from the backfill soil into the native soil.  While there is a tiny kill zone caused by the treatment, that zone is not significant compared to the microbiology that's native to the backfill soil that was dug out the hole in the first place.  Plus, we always recommend without exception the use of our TerraPro product which includes molecular biology that will rapidly inoculate and establish on the site.   Bottomline, when trees and shrubs are planted using this technique, the roots can grow beyond the planting site hole and we have the opportunity to have success on purpose rather than success by accident.  When our Soil Secrets protocol of TerraPro and Protein Crumblies are included we see even better success.    
Michael Martin Meléndrez
Managing Member of Soil Secrets LLC

Friday, October 16, 2015

New Pine Inventory Is In !!!

Beautiful Holiday Pines are finally in. Get yours before they are gone. We have them in 5,10,15 and 25 gallon pots.
Austrian Pine

Vander Wolf Pine

Black Hill Spruce

Austrian Black Pine

Business Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 10-5pm
                             Saturday: 9-5pm
                             Wednesday, Sunday: CLOSED

Trees That Please Nursery
3084 HWY 47
Los Lunas, NM 87031

Monday, September 28, 2015

Another Success Story

The Soil Secrets company is currently involved in new product development with the company that invented the first synthetic oil called Amsoil and their Natural Fertilizer division called Aggrand.  The following corn production project used by Aggrand and Soil Secrets.  

The photo was taken by Bob Geyer, one of our Soil Secrets associates in California.  Bob also represents Aggrand in California for agriculture.  This field was treated the first year using just the Aggrand protocol and the corn silage yield increased  from 24 tons per acre on the sandy areas of the farm and 26 tons per acre on the better soils, jumping to 38 tons per acre.  At the end of the first year the corn stood at 15' 1" while the variety used called Bagglietto is suppose to only grow to 12 1/2 feet.        The second year the field was  treated with TerraPro and the same corn variety was planted using the same Aggrand protocol as the first year.  This time the corn grew to 15 feet 5 inches tall.  At the time of this blog the silage has not been harvested so the tonnage figures are not known, but Bob calculates it will be several tons greater per acre than the first year.   

Here's the full nutrient/Soil Secrets protocol used the second year:  
1. At planting 2 gallons of Aggrand 4-3-3 liquid per acre was shanked into the soil
2. At planting 1 gallon of the 0-0-8 Aggrand kelp and potash liquid was shanked into the soil at the same time as the 4-3-3.
3. 1-ton per acre of Soil Secrets Ag Grade TerraPro was  broadcasted across the field.
4. 60 units of Nitrogen per acre using UN-32 liquid was applied at with the 2nd irrigation
5. Field was planted at 32,000 plants per field and the extremely light nitrogen load of 60.64 pounds of nitrogen per acre worked extremely well.  When fields were planted at 64,000 plants per acre using the same protocol the corn sitll reached the 15 plus foot height, showing that the 60.64 pounds of nitrogen was still enough even with double the number of plants.