Green Living

Published on April 1st, 2013 | by Michael Melendrez


Green Gardening in New Mexico

Many retail garden centers and nurseriers have come and gone over the past decade or two. A quick count reveals that about 32 nurseries have operated in Albuquerque’s metro market since the mid 80’s, however only four are still around today, owned and operated by the same owner.

One of the survivors, Trees That Please Nursery in Los Lunas, is a unique retail nursery that has found a niche that the competition from the big box stores cannot touch.This novel retail nursery grows trees, fixes soils, helps homeowners and farmers across the globe, and can help you keep your landscape green, shady and beautiful while also conserving water.

The nursery was founded by nurseryman Michael Martin Meléndrez and his father Sam Meléndrez and is still under the same ownership, growing thousands of trees at any given time. “Our products include a huge selection of oak tree species native to the Southwest high desert, fruit trees, grapes, cacti and much more,” says Michael. “In the spring we also provide a large selection of starter veggies for those who like to grow their own food.”

Since the beginning, Michael has believed and promoted the idea that nature has a better and more scientifically sound way of providing nutrition to the plant than what a bag of N-P-K fertilizer can provide. In fact, as a busy and popular speaker at conferences across the country, Michael will always use the message: “no fertilizer has ever improved the health of a soil and all plants must have a healthy soil in order for the plant to be healthy.”

For this reason, this nursery does not sell fertilizer or chemicals that are harmful to the enviroment or to the customer. “The products used to grow all the plants, including the cacti at this nursery, are manfactured by our company, Soil Secrets LLC.” Michael developed the materials based on ‘Bio Mimicry’ with the objective of improving the health of the soil. “When the soil has what it needs, and the plant has the benefit of the mutualistic microbes living in orchestration with the roots, the plant gets better mineral nutrition from the soil and it’s dramatically more tolerant of drought,” he says. “Call it yogurt for the soil,” as the concept of probiotic for humans is not a whole lot different than what Soil Secrets is doing for the soil.”

Trees That Please Nursery also has an arboretum, started in 1986, that is filled with thousands of trees from around the world. On June 1, Trees That Please will host its annual Spring Fling in The Trees at the Arboretum.

Location: 3084 State Hwy. 47 in Los Lunas. For more information, call 505-866-5027 or visit

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