The Q&A Archives: Rapid growing evergreen shade trees for Palm Springs

Question: We would be grateful for your advice on several trees that are rapid growing non-deciduous shade trees for desert climates. We have two mature ficus with destructive roots that will be removed that shade our pool. We are eager to replace the two of them with a single tree, but we seek your advice to make a smart decision. [We are considering a ficus petiolaris petiolaris, because it is unusual and does not seem to have any disadvantages in the Palm Springs area climate. I have a single trunk one I've grown in a pot that is about 4 feet high.] Many thanks.
Respectfully, Betty Wolf

Answer: I'd stay away from ficus trees because of their invasive root systems. You might consider the semi-evergreen Little Leaf Ash (never loses all its leaves all at once). It has an upright growth habit, generally reaching 15' tall and up to 8' wide; Mexican Blue Oak, which grows 25' high and wide; or Live Oak (40' by 40'). Of these, the ash is the fastest growing. There are many other choices. You might do an advanced plant search on the Monrovia website, entering your criteria and gardening zone and the site will generate a list of potential trees.

Best wishes with your landscape!

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