Low Water Use Landscaping – LARGE TREES

Ironwood (Olneya Tesota)

Large low water use trees can be a great asset to your Tucson Real Estate. In an urban yard as a centerpiece of the landscape is a great place for large trees.  My criteria for a large tree is a tree between 25 and 30 feet tall and here are some choices:

  • Willow Acacia (Acacia Salicina) is a low water use fast growing evergreen plant native to the Australia. It can tolerate full sunlight, is hardy to 20 degrees, creates low litter, and has no thorns. Willow Acacia grows upright and open to about 30 feet tall by 15 feet across and has cream puffballs in spring. This plant is a suitable screen for narrow areas.
  • Shoestring Acacia (Acacia Steinophylla) is a VERY low water use evergreen plant native to Australia.  It can tolerate full reflected sunlight, is hardy to 18 degrees, creates low litter, has no thorns, and over watering should be avoided.  Shoestring Acacia grows upright and airy to about 30 feet tall by 20 feet across and has cream puffballs from fall to winter.  This plant can be used as a tall screening tree.
  • Canyon Hackberry (Celtis Reticulata) is a moderate water use moderate growing deciduous plant native to the western United States.  It can tolerate full sun, is hardy to zero degrees, creates seasonal litter, has no thorns, and is allergenic.  Canyon Hackberry grows sprawling to about 25 feet tall by 25 feet across and has green non-showy blooms in the spring.  The tree has a distinctive trunk and birds love the tine orange berries.
  • Blue Palo Verde (Cercidium Floridum) is a VERY low water use fast growing semi-evergreen plant native to the Sonoran Desert.  It can tolerate full reflected sunlight, is hardy to 15 degrees, creates seasonal liter, and has small thorns.  Blue Palo Verde grows vase-shaped to about 30 feet tall by 30 feet across and has bright yellow blooms in the spring.
  • Hybrid Palo Verde or Desert Museum Palo Verde (Cercidium Hybrid) is a VERY low water use fast growing semi-evergreen horticultural selection plant.  It can tolerate full reflected sunlight, is hardy to 15 degrees, creates seasonal litter, has no thorns, and over watering may cause limbs to break.  Hybrid Palo Verde grows vase-shaped to about 25 feet tall by 25 feet across and has yellow blooms from spring to summer.
  • Palo Brea (Cercidium Praecox) is a VERY low water use fast growing semi-evergreen plant native to Mexico into South America.  It can tolerate full sun, is hardy to 25 degrees, creates low litter, and has small thorns.  Palo Brea grows umbrella-like to about 25 feet tall by 25 feet across and has bright yellow blooms in late spring.  This tree has a distinctive sculptural form and lime-green bark.
  • Desert Willow (Chamaerops Bumilis) is a low water use fast growing deciduous plant native to the southwestern United States and Mexico.  It can tolerate full sun, is hardy to zero degrees, creates seasonal litter, and has no thorns.  Desert Willow grows irregular to about 25 feet tall by 20 feet across and has white, pink, and purple trumpet-shaped flowers from spring to fall.  This tree is leafless in winter and its beautiful flowers attract hummingbirds.
  • Silk Floss Tree (Chorisia Speciosa) is a moderate water use moderate growing deciduous plant native to Brazil and Argentina.  It can tolerate full sun, is hardy to 26 degrees, creates seasonal litter, and has thorns on the trunk.  Silk Floss Tree grows upright to about 30 feet tall by 25 feet across and has a spectacular show of pink to red flowers in the fall.  This tree has a distinctive trunk.
  • Red-Cap Gum (Eucalyptus Erythrocorys) is a VERY low water use fast growing evergreen plant native to Australia.  It can tolerate full sun, is hardy to 24 degrees, creates moderate litter, and has no thorns.  Red-Cap Gum grows uptight to about 25 feet tall by 15 feet across and has red buds followed by yellow clusters in the summer.  This tree can create an effective screen.
  • Fruitless Olive (Olea Europaea) is a low water use slow to moderate growing evergreen horticultural selection plant.  It can tolerate full sun to partial shade, is hardy to 15 degrees, creates low litter and has no thorns.  Fruitless Olive grows in a rounded crown to about 25 feet tall by 25 feet across and has cream non-showy blooms in the spring.  This tree provides a Mediterranean look to your landscape.  (It is important to note that only pollen-less and fruitless olive trees can be legally purchased for landscape use in Arizona.)
  • Ironwood (Olneya Tesota) is a VERY low water use slow growing evergreen plant native to the Sonoran Desert.  It can tolerate full sun, is hardy to 20 degrees, creates low litter, and has thorns.  Ironwood grows in a rounded crown to about 25 feet tall by 25 feet across and has dusty lavender flowers in late spring.  This handsome tree lends character to the landscape.
  • Mexican Ebony (Pithecellobium Mexicanum) is a low water use moderate growing deciduous plant native to Sonora.  It can tolerate full sun, is hardy to 15 degrees, creates seasonal litter, and has small thorns.  Mexican Ebony grows irregular and open to about 30 feet tall by 25 feet across and has cream puffballs in the spring.
  • Tenaza (Pithecellobium Pallens) is a low water use moderate growing semi-evergreen plant native to south Texas and northeast Mexico.  It can tolerate full sun, is hardy to 10 degrees, creates seasonal litter, and has thorns.  Tenaza grows shrub-like to about 25 feet tall by 12 feet across, has fragrant cream puffballs in the summer, and attractive gray bark.
  • Texas Honey Mesquite (Prosopis Glandulosa v. glandulosa) is a VERY low water use fast growing deciduous plant native to Texas and Mexico.  It can tolerate full reflected sunlight, is hardy to zero degrees, creates seasonal litter, and has large thorns (although thorn-less selections are available).  Texas Honey Mesquite grows in a wide crown to about 30 feet tall by 30 feet across, has a graceful character, and pale yellow blooms in the spring.
  • Chilean Mesquite (Prosopis Species) is a VERY low water use fast growing semi-evergreen horticultural selections plant.  It can tolerate full reflected sunlight, is hardy to 15 degrees, creates seasonal litter, and has variable thorns.  Chilean Mesquite grows in a wide crown to about 30 feet tall by 30 feet across and has yellow-green blooms in the spring.  Limiting water will control the rapid growth of these trees and help prevent uprooting in high winds.
  • Velvet Mesquite (Prosopis Velutina) is a VERY low water use moderate to fast growing diciduous plant native to the Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts.  It can tolerate full reflected sunlight, is hardy to zero degrees, creates seasonal litter, and has thorns.  Velvet Mesquite grows in a wide crown to about 25 feet tall by 25 feet across and has pale yellow blooms in the spring.  This tree may be sold as Prosopis Juliflora or Prosopis Pubescens.

These plants can be a great choice for your Tucson Real Estate’s low water use landscape. Add your favorite large trees in the comments and be sure to let me know if you see anything that you would describe differently.

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One response to “Low Water Use Landscaping – LARGE TREES

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