The removal of a large, beautiful, and well-known valley cottonwood at the southern entrance to the village, to accommodate road-widening for a commercial enterprise, acted as a trigger for legislation to protect Corrales' trees. The Tree Preservation Ordinance (#06-01) was passed on April 11, 2006. The stated purpose of the ordinance is "to enhance and preserve the rural character, environmental and aesthetic qualities, and land values in the Village of Corrales by providing for the nomination, designation, and protection of particularly significant trees, herein designated as landmark trees, either on public property or, with the consent of the owner, on private property."
The original ordinance was updated on July 14, 2009 to allow for the nomination of a "stand of trees", defined in the ordinance as "a group of trees of the same species related by age or proximity located within a limited and definable geographic area." The new ordinance (#09-010) includes language intended to facilitate the nomination process for trees on public utility easements and on Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District property where many of Corrales' most venerable old cottonwoods live.