The Q&A Archives: Regional trees?

Question: I want to plant a tree that will add offer some shade on the S.E. side of our home - I fell in love with the Desert Ironwood that grow in the Tucson area. Can you tell me more about these type of trees and could it grow in my backyard.?

Answer: Desert ironwoods (Olneya tesota) are from the pea family and their leaves and flowers resemble those of the sweetpea. They're the tallest trees in the Sonoran Desert, reaching heights of 15 to 25 feet, but they can grow as tall as 30 feet. Usually they grow as small, sparse trees. They are very slow growing, with bluish gray-green leaves, and a wide, spreading crowns. They are one of the longest living trees in the Sonoran desert, and can live as long as 1,500 years, although those are very rare. They are perfectly adapted to growing in the Phoenix area. Water yours well while it is becoming established in your yard. Once the root system is established it can exist on natural rainfall.

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