While numerous types of trees that live in the Valley climate, they aren’t all the best trees for beautiful landscaping. Phoenix and Scottsdale homeowners want a tree for all seasons that is low maintenance, great looking, provides both shade and interest, grows fast, as well as being tough as nails. That’s a pretty tall order to fill. Not does such a tree does exist – you have options.
Chilean Mesquite (Prosopis chilensis)
The best shade comes from trees with a broad canopy, and fast-growing Chilean Mesquite has both of these attributes. This thornless hybrid is semi-evergreen, which give you shade throughout most of the year. The bark is dark and has lovely texture that makes it interesting in all seasons, as well as beautiful contrast between foliage and the trunks and branches. This makes it an excellent focal point, and a tree being a large landscape element is instantly a focal point. As rugged as they are lovely, this landscaping tree deals as nicely with the heat generated by pavement as it does surrounded by soil and plants. Last but not least, this mid-sized tree matures to 30-feet tall and wide, so it won’t take over the entire yard.
Desert Museum Palo Verde (Cercidium x ‘Desert Museum’)
This fast growing deciduous tree is a spring knockout in bloom, when the upright head is swathed in brilliant yellow flowers. It won’t disappoint you the rest of the year either. A mid-sized tree that reaches 25-feet high and wide, it has great looking yellow-green foliage, and a lovely architectural structure. Drought tolerant, the Desert Museum Palo Verde is a hybrid that sails through the arid conditions of xeriscaping landscaping. Phoenix and Scottsdale concerns over water use in the yard aren’t an issue with this tree once it’s established, though for maintaining lush growth and good looks, periodic drip irrigation is your best approach.
Desert Ironwood (Olneya tesota)
Exclusively native to the Sonoran Desert, the Ironwood tree is evergreen, and perfectly suited to Scottsdale and Phoenix landscaping. It’s already acclimated to xeriscaping by nature, and you know it’s tough to thrive in the open desert. A relative of the pea, it has lovely soft lavender blooms and interesting small, round leaves that give it a unique texture. The silvered bark turns rough with age, and once its established in your yard, the Ironwood is excellent at dealing with drought. While slower growing, this beautiful tree is an excellent choice for your Valley yard, blooming in May-June, and maturing to about 25-30 feet tall.
Texas Ebony(Ebenopsis ebano)
A gorgeous ornamental tree, even though it’s a native of the Chihuahuan Desert. A rugged xeriscaping specimen that produces stunning and unusual cream-colored blooms from late spring to fall. The canopy of this mid-sized tree is a lush green, and branches are twisted, which heightens it’s interest in your landscaping. It will reach 30-feet high and wide and be an asset anywhere in the yard.
Desert Willow (Chilopsis linearis)
Not a true willow, the foliage of this fast-growing deciduous tree does look a lot like one. However, the orchid like purple blooms in spring on the Chilopsis make any connection to a regular willow evaporate instantly. The open canopy and fine textured foliage give this rugged West Texas native plant a delicate, lacy appearance that delivers the perfect light shade during the warmer seasons. Highly drought tolerant, it’s an easy keeper in your Phoenix – Scottsdale area landscaping, though periodic drip irrigation will increase your shade factor. Maturing to about 30-feet tall and 25-feet wide, the Desert Willow is just right around the patio or in a large courtyard to create lovely relief from the sun.