Outdoor rebates for maintaining trees

Created: 07/08/2014 7:30 PM
By: Kai Porter, KOB Eyewitness News 4

People in the metro have done a great job of conserving water, but in the process some have neglected their trees and they're in bad shape. Now, the water authority is offering what it calls "Tree-Bates."

Ask anyone who owns trees and they'll tell you maintaining them isn't cheap. Virginia Mendoza has 17 on her property, but Virginia didn't know she could be saving money with "Tree-Bates."

The Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority will reimburse you up to $100 on fertilizer, irrigation equipment or professional tree servicing. It doesn't cover buying a new tree or removing one.

"I think that's great and they should because it costs a lot of money to take care of these trees," said Virginia.

So why is this important? Experts say having big, healthy trees like these can save you money in the long run.

Owner of Jericho nursery Rick Hobson explains how.

"The water you think you save by taking out a tree and putting in rock is costing you water going through your swamp cooler. An air conditioner is 30 percent more efficient is it's shaded. Your house is cooler if it's shaded,” said Rick.

Rick says adding an irrigation system like a drip line around your trees is affordable, easy to install, and it's eligible for the rebate.

"If I’m the tree and these are the branches. You water out here. You don't water at the trunk. You need to water out where the roots are. You need to zig-zag that water in and out from the drip line for hours at a time,” said Rick.

Some good advice that could really pay off.

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