Trees for the Southwest

Shade trees for the Desert Southwest

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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

Shade trees for the Desert Southwest

Shade Trees for the Desert Southwest
The Chinese Pistaches in Summer and Fall

 


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 good idea. Read more about this tree here. The Western Cottonwood Tree.  USDA zones 2-9.

The Western Cottonwood Tree
The Western Cottonwood Tree

 



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. A great 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 faster-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 moderate to a 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.

Trees for the Southwest
A large massive Live Oaktree. Probably 40 or more years old.
Shade trees for the Desert Southwest
Southern Live Oak tree about 5-7 years of age.

 


 

A medium-size Oak tree at about 10 -15 years of age – Photo Below  

Shade trees for the Desert Southwest

 


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 fast now. Long narrow type leaves that 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 somewhat invasive and they are prone to insects. This shade tree is a great choice for many southwestern landscapes.  Learn more here.

Shade trees for the Desert Southwest


Ash Trees for the Southwest

Modesto Ash Tree(Fraxinus velutina) 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 a good choice for southwestern landscapes. The Arizona Ash is another good all-time favorite. It is very similar to the Modesto ash but slightly taller and 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.

Shade Trees for the Desert Southwest

The Arizona Ash is another good all-time favorite. It is very similar to the Modesto ash but slightly taller and 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 similar to the Arizona ash tree.  The main difference is the foliage.  Bonita Ash will produce larger leaves than the Arizona Ash Tree.  In my opinion, it is a better-looking shade tree.  All Ash trees  are susceptible to borers and Anthracnose. This disease is not as pervasive as other parts of the country.  Anthracnose thrives in areas where there are high humidity and moisture.  Ash trees are drought tolerant once they become well established. Typically around the 3rd or 4th year after planting.


Shade trees for the Desert Southwest
Raywood Ash in mid-fall

 

The Raywood Ash Tree I love this shade tree it is moderate to a 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 the front of your home for a really great landscaping scene. Not only will it provide you with the shade it will also give you that nice curb, landscape appeal. Your neighbors might ask “where did you get that tree”?


 

Shade trees for the Desert Southwest

Mimosa(Albizia julibrissin 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 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 a good choice for southwestern landscapes.


Shade trees for the Desert Southwest

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 leave 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. 


Shade trees for the Desert Southwest

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.

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.


large-pecan-tree

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 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.


Shade trees for the Desert Southwest

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 (lose its leaves in winter).  Find out more about the Desert Willow here.

 


Shade Tree for Southwest
The Golden Rain Tree

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 you have questions you can CONTACT US here via email.

 

 

 

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