Helping the Albuquerque area protect and cultivate healthy trees since 1997, Painted Sunset is committed to responsible tree care. Landscaping and landscape maintanance are also available. For more details, please contact us at (505) 235-4389.

As a member of the International Society of Arboriculture and the Rocky Mountain Chapter, we have vowed to uphold the ISA Code of Ethics.

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September 2004

Beware the “landscaping crew” that is fat and pale….

Although this is not necessarily the most appropriate guideline one should use in choosing a plant care service, some kind of criteria should be used in weeding out the kinds of people who have no business whatsoever in marketing themselves as Green Industry professionals. Certification programs as put forth by organizations such as the International Society of Arboriculture help to provide the public with personnel whose level of experience and knowledge in plant care is documented.

Here are a few things that can happen when individuals are hired to perform work that is beyond their abilities.

Incorrect cuts on an apricot tree made with an inappropriate instrument not only seriously damage the tree, but leave extremely hard, razor sharp stubs behind that are very dangerous for anyone working or living around the tree.

Again, a chainsaw has been used to cut the small branches around the base of this redbud tree. The cuts are sloppy and ragged. Also present are gouges into the vascular tissue of the tree. This kind of damage to the base of a tree’s trunk can turn the tree into a dangerous liability.

Unacceptable work performed on a peach tree. A chainsaw has been used to cut very small branches. Many gouges into the bark and vascular tissue have been left behind as the chainsaw skipped along the main branch after the cuts.  

The plants in the following pictures have been killed or damaged by the application of a combination of weed killer and fertilizer. In order to control the growth of nuisance weeds, hired individuals
Applied an unknown but substantial amount of 28-3-3 fertilizer plus 2-4-D herbicide to the entire property in the middle of July. 2-4-D is a broadleaf weed killer widely used in turf areas to kill weeds like dandelion. Unfortunately, the roses and many other plants on the property are physiologically broadleaf weeds. The bulk of the damage in this landscape, however, was probably caused by the extremely high nitrogen content of the fertilizer, which burned the roots of many of the landscape plants. The root zones of the established cottonwood trees had been excavated and xeriscaped. These factors are all compounded by the fact that the application had been done in the hottest part of the season.

This “Chinese Elm” has been cut back repeatedly, presumably to control it’s fast growth rate. It appears to have finally been killed. Many of the small shrubs in this landscape never had a chance.
The cottonwoods have been topped years ago, and had their root zones xeriscaped more recently. Not surprisingly, even more damage has been done by the fertilizer “treatment”.  

The point of this update is to encourage the consumer to inquire as to the education and experience of the people who are entrusted with the health of their landscape. Proper care and attention to detail in the landscape helps to maintain a safe and healthy environment and can impact property values. Please feel free to contact us with any questions.


License # 02-348710-00-0
(505) 235-4389 •