Tamarisk Tree - Knowledgebase Question

Tucson, AZ
Question by marge94
February 16, 2000
I am doing a paper on tamarisk--I remember it from the drought days in NE as a child and now here in AZ I see it again often. Is it a drought resistant tree? Is it a tree? Tell me everything I need to know. I have memories.


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Answer from NGA
February 16, 2000

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Tamarix, or tamarisk, can be trees or large shrubs, depending upon species. They are exceptionally drought resistant, tolerating wind, dry alkaline or saline soils, and full sunshine. Tamarisks grow deep taproots, enabling them to survive under droughty conditions.

There are three commonly grown kinds of tamarisk; evergreen-appearing, spring-flowering, and spring through summer flowering. Spring-flowering tamarisks grow quickly to 6'-15' tall with graceful, airy, arching branches with reddish bark. Pink flowers in clusters develop on previous year's growth. Evergreen-appearing kinds grow rapidly to 30'-50' tall, with greenish jointed branches and very small white to pinkish flowers that grow in clusters at the ends of the branches. The spring through summer blooming tamarask is a large shrub and will grow 20'-30' high with white, cream, pink, or purple flowers. This is the tamarask most often seed in desert regions and is aggressive enough to crowd out native vegetation.

Hope this answers your question!

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