The Q&A Archives: What are fast growing shade trees that can take the heat?

Question: I live in Tucson where it gets very hot. My backyard needs some shade, but I don't want to wait 20 years to get it. What is a good shade tree, that grows fast, can take the heat, and isn't a mesquite or palo verde tree, as we all have allergies to them? I would love fruit trees too, what would grow here?

Answer: The fastest growing, most adapted trees to Tucson would be native trees. Mesquite and Palo Verde top the list, but there are others:
Willow Acacia - A fast growing evergreen tree from Australia that does very well in Tucson. Technically not a willow tree but branches hang down like one. Tends to grow taller than wide; up to 25-30 ft. tall and 20 ft. wide.

Arizona Sycamore (Platanus wrightii)Tree to 80'. Bark thin, whitish, smooth, peeling. Leaves simple, palmately lobed to 10" long. Male and female flowers separate and inconspicuous. Platanaceae (Plane Tree) Family.

Mountain atlas pistachio, Jacaranda and Chinese Elm are also good choices.

Best wishes with your new trees.

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