Shade trees for the Desert Southwest
Shade trees for the Desert Southwest. The Chinese Pistache (Pistacia Chinensis) Does very well in the southwest it is usually pest and disease-free. Low watering and easy to maintain. This shade tree is a great choice for many southwestern landscapes. It turns a rich red color during the fall and provides great shade. It has an umbrella-like canopy and can grow up to 50ft tall.
Chinese Pistache Tree
The young Chinese Pistache looks somewhat gangly and out of place, but when it reaches maturity, it is a beautiful shade tree. Fertilize your shade tree in spring when foliage sprouts. This tree is drought tolerant but requires regular watering when first planted. Pictured below is a 15-year-old Chinese Pistache during its fall color. USDA zone 6-9
The Western Cottonwood
The Western Cottonwood likes water and will grow close to riverbanks and places where there is water nearby. It is a relative of the Poplar family trees. Their root system is extensive so planting one near water pipes or water features is not a promising idea. Read more about this tree here. The Western Cottonwood Tree. USDA zones 2-9.
Live Oak (Quercus virginiana)This tree Does extremely well in the southwest it provides plenty of shade and can be trimmed into almost any shape. An excellent choice for many southwestern landscapes. It is an evergreen tree however it will shed old foliage during the fall seasons and provides great shade. it has an umbrella-like canopy and is one of the fastest-growing oak trees in the world.
It will produce acorns that will drop during the spring seasons so there is some maintenance involved.
The Live Oak tree is a moderate to fast-growing evergreen shade tree. It can grow up to 60ft tall and about 100ft wide when mature. When it reaches maturity, it becomes a beautiful shade tree. Fertilize your live oak tree shade tree in spring when foliage sprouts. This tree is moderate watering but requires regular watering when first planted.
A medium-sized Oak tree at about 10 -15 years of age – Photo Below
Shade trees for the Desert Southwest
The Weeping Willow Tree (Salix babylonica) Extremely fast-growing tree. This is the tree to purchase if you need a fast-growing tree. Long narrow type leaves droop down which gives it that “weeping effect”.
It is deciduous and will turn a goldish yellow in the fall. It is also one of the first trees to leaf out during early spring. The root system is invasive, and they are prone to insects. This shade tree is an excellent choice for many southwestern landscapes. Learn more here.
Ash Trees for the Southwest
Modesto Ash Tree (Fraxinus velutina) is a moderate to a fast-growing tree. It is deciduous and the leaves turn a bright golden yellow in the fall. They can grow about 50ft tall and 50-60ft wide. Excellent shade tree for a medium-sized backyard. This tree is drought tolerant and can tolerate poor soil, which makes it an excellent choice for southwestern landscapes. Arizona Ash is another good all-time favorite. It is remarkably similar to the Modesto ash but slightly taller and has narrow leaves. It is very drought tolerant once it gets established. The more water you provide it during its first 2-3 years after planting the faster it will grow. Learn about caring for Ash Trees.
The Arizona Ash is another good all-time favorite. It is very similar to the Modesto ash but has slightly taller and has narrower leaves. It is very drought tolerant once it gets established. The more water you provide it during its first 2-3 years after planting the faster it will grow.
The Bonita Ash is like the Arizona ash tree. The main difference is the foliage. Bonita Ash will produce larger leaves than the Arizona Ash Tree. It is a better-looking shade tree. All Ash trees are susceptible to borers and Anthracnose. This disease is not as pervasive as in other parts of the country. Anthracnose thrives in areas where there is high humidity and moisture. Ash trees are drought tolerant once they become well-established. Typically, around the 3rd or 4th year after planting.
The Raywood Ash Tree I love this shade tree it is a moderate to fast-growing tree that provides lots of great shade plus – it will also give you color during the fall season as it turns a nice dark reddish color.
The care and water requirements are the same as all Ash trees. Plant it in front of your home for a really great landscaping scene. Not only will it provide you with shade it will also give you that nice curb, and landscape appeal. Your neighbors might ask “Where did you get that tree”?
Rosea) Moderate to a fast-growing tree. It is deciduous and the leaves turn a bright golden yellow in the fall. They can grow to 40ft. tall and 50-60ft. wide. Excellent shade tree for a medium-sized backyard. This tree is drought tolerant and can tolerate poor soil, which makes it an excellent choice for southwestern landscapes.
AUTUMN GOLD MAIDENHAIR TREE This shade tree is a non-fruiting male specimen. It will turn a golden yellow in the fall. Its symmetrical upright branching form becomes broad with age. Deciduous. Full sun. Slow growing to 35 to 50 feet high, equal width. It is also called the Ginkgo biloba ‘Autumn Gold’ tree. It is a fan-shaped green leaf that turns a brilliant golden yellow in the fall season. The symmetrical branching creates an ideal upright landscape accent, eventually becoming a handsome shade tree with age. Learn more about this tree here. Ginko Biloba tree.
Idaho Locust Scientific Name: Robinia x ambigua Full Sun – USDA zones 4 – 8 Idaho Locust tolerates summer heat and dryness as well as winter cold. It does very well in the desert southwest. Also, called the purple Robe Locust.
The tree has beautiful fragrant pink flowers and grows to about 35ft. tall and 25ft. wide. It is a shade and ornamental tree. Color Your World Nurseries Guzman’s Garden Centers will usually have these types of shade trees year-round.
Pecan trees are also a great tree for shade, they have a nice large canopy and can grow up to about 70ft. tall and about 40-50ft. wide at about 30 years of age.
You should plant pecan trees about 2″ deeper than normal to allow for the settling of the soil. Water every day for the first 2 weeks when planting any tree and use a good root stimulator to stimulate root growth. Learn more about pecan trees right here. Types of Pecan Trees.
The Honey Mesquite does well in the Southwest. It is a perfect tree for those who want shade and a low watering tree. Find out more about the Honey Mesquite here.
The Desert Willow is a drought-tolerant tree that will provide shade. It will grow up to 30 ft. tall and 20 ft. wide. It is deciduous (loses its leaves in winter). Find out more about the Desert Willow here.
The Golden Rain Tree (Koelreuteria paniculata) A good shade tree for the Southwest. It will grow at about 30-40 ft. tall and wide. It will get taller after 30 years or so. Learn more about the Golden Rain Tree.
If correctly trimmed, Crape Myrtles can also be used as shade trees. Read more at Landscaping with Crape Myrtles.
This webpage is for informational purposes. Not all trees are available at our Nurseries.
If you have questions, you can CONTACT US here via email.