Desert Trees that are not deciduous - Knowledgebase Question

Maricopa, Ar
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Question by carmelmnms
January 5, 2011
For a front facing southern exposure, which of the following would be the best two trees to plant:
1. Chilean Mesquite
2. Palo Brea
3. Willow Acacia
4. Sweet Acacia
As well as attractive?

Answer from NGA
January 5, 2011
Choosing just the right trees for your landscape can be a challenge and your ultimate selection should depend upon size, shape, ease of maintenance and personal preference for the overall look. All of the trees you list are quite popular desert trees, are low water use, and reasonably attractive. Chilean Mesquite is hardy down to 15 degrees, is fast growing to 30 feet tall and wide, is semi-evergreen with dark green, fine textured leaves and yellow-green flowers in the spring. On the downside, it is shallow rooted and can topple over in a windstorm. Palo Brea is hardy to about 25 degrees and is fast growing to about 25 feet tall and wide. It has an umbrella like canopy, is semi-evergreen with blue green foliage and bright yellow flowers in the late spring. It has small thorns and lime-green bark. If you want a formal, sculptured looking tree, this is the one to choose. Willow Acacia is hardy to 20 degrees, is fast growing to 30 feet in height and 15 feet wide. It is evergreen with medium green foliage and cream colored puffballs in the spring. It has no thorns and is narrow enough to fit nearly anywhere. Sweet Acacia develops a vase-shape and is a fast grower to about 20'. It is hardy to about 10 degrees, is evergreen with fine textured medium green leavea and develops fragrant, golden yellow puffbass from late winter into early spring. It has small thorns which might be a concern when pruning.
Hope these details help you choose just the right trees for your landscape.

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