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Backyard Tree Farm Program

What is the Backyard Tree Farm Program (BYTF)? 

The Backyard Tree Farm Program provides information which will help you learn more about your property, understand the environment here in New Mexico and improve your land for trees, wildlife, and other environmental benefits.

The American Tree Farm System operates the program nationally. State Committees and co-sponsors promote local information and organize special local events.

The focus of the New Mexico BYTF chapter is to help you learn to care for your personal "piece of the forest" with emphases on flora and fauna; fire and water; soil conservation and safety first.

Why should you become a Backyard Tree Farmer? 

Today, more than ever, Americans are concerned with such issues as tree planting, recycling, and the condition of our environment.

The BYTF will provide you with pertinent, up-to-date information on how you can help the environment where it needs it and effects you the your own backyard. How-to information will allow you to improve your property and maintain a more healthy and attractive environment.

What are the benefits of becoming a Backyard Tree Farmer? 

You receive information relating to planting and pruning trees, attracting birds and other wildlife, composting, soils, and advice on how to manage urban or suburban property for enjoyment.

Signs indicating your commitment to caring for your own property are available at cost.

A one-year subscription to "The Tree Farmer," a national publication on forestry and wooded lot management is included.

You're invited to attend workshops and tours to learn forestry techniques and converse with other BYTF and certified Tree Farmers in the American Tree Farm System.

Member discounts are available at BYTF sponsored conferences or workshops for which a fee is charged and any books or materials the BYTF sells (unless such discounts are prohibited by another organization).

Who is eligible to become a Backyard Tree Farmer? 

The BYTF program was designed for people who own 10 acres or less of forested land. However membership in the New Mexico BYTF program is open to anyone with an interest in the health and welfare of our forest.

What types of activities are Backyard Tree Farmers involved in? 

Creating defensible space around dwellings

Thinning and pruning trees to reduce the fire danger and the impact of droughts and to strengthen remaining trees against damage by insects and diseases

Planting trees and shrubs for wildlife food and cover

Managing woodlots and maintaining trails and fences

Creating compost piles

Building retention basins and using rip-rap to contain or slow storm water and prevent soil erosion.

How do you become a Backyard Tree Farmer? 

Membership is only $25 to join the BYTF.  Contact Mary Ellen McMurtrie at or Catherine Scali at for more information about this great program!

Click here for a downloadable copy of the USFS Tree Owner's Manual.

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