7 Reasons to Plant Small Trees

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Does your home have a small yard?  What is in your yard?

It seems like homes are getting bigger while yards are getting smaller.  The map shown above shows how much area is dedicated to lawn, sildenafil hardscapes, viagra usa  trees, shrubs and vegetable gardens.  Most average American homes have a large amount of lawn compared to other things.  In Arizona, this is usually not the case because of the limited amount of water in the desert.

What’s a homeowner to do when there is only a limited amount of planting space in their yard?  Go small!

Why choose small trees?

  • They are easier to trim because they are smaller.  You can often do the pruning yourself.
  • You don’t have as much tree debris as from larger trees.
  • You don’t get the root problems that bigger trees have.
  • If you have a storm, they don’t often blow over and broken limbs are not a problem.
  • They take up less room than larger trees and don’t overpower your landscape in a small space.
  • They don’t create “view” problems because they have a small tree canopy.
  • Small trees don’t cause damage to buildings, walls or roofs.

Now that you know why to plant a small tree, what are some of the good desert choices of small trees?

  1. Sweet Acacia: 20 x 20 feet at maturity. This tree likes full sun and has thorny, sweet-scented flowers that lends to a nice winter color. Beneficial to native wildlife of Arizona.
  1. Feather Tree: 15×15 feet at maturity. This tree likes full/partial sun. No thorns (yeah)! Sensitive to the cold. Beneficial to native wildlife. It will have small white puffball flowers from May to June.
  1. Cascalote: 15 x15 feet at maturity. Full sun tree. Young trees are very thorny, ouch. But the stunning yellow winter flowers followed by colorful red seedpods make it worth it.
  1. Mastic tree: 15 x 20 feet at maturity. Another Full Sun tree. Good thing we live in Arizona! No thorns. Evergreen tree with stiff, dark green leaves turn red in the fall.
  1. Chitalpa: 20 – 30′ tall and wide at maturity. Leaves are 1/2″ wide and 5-6″ long. Full sun. No thorns. Has clusters of pink or white flowers during warm months. No seeds. Deciduous in the winter months.
  1. Texas Ebony: 20 x 15 feet at maturity Full sun but will accepts some shade. Dark green leaf color all year long. Thorny tree, but beneficial to native wildlife. Bring on the birds.
  1. Sonoran Emerald Hybrid Palo Verde: 30 x 30 at maturity. Fast growing tree that likes full sun. No thorns. Dense canopy with dark green, lush foliage for shade. Bright yellow flowers in spring, with few seed pods.
  1. Vitex: 20 x 20 at maturity. Full sun. Dark green leaves spring to fall (deciduous in winter). No thorns. Spikes of purple (or white, pink) flowers all summer that will attract butterflies.
  1. Texas Mountain Laurel: 8 x 6 at maturity. Slow growing , full sun evergreen.  Fragrant flowers and low litter with no thorns.  Purple clusters of flowers.

The Spring and the Fall are the best times to plant trees in the desert.  And, October is just around the corner.  If you’re considering planting a small tree remember to keep in mind the area the tree will be in.  How fast the tree will grow?  What the tree will look like when it is mature?  How will it fit in with the other plants and trees in your yard?

Happy planting!

Deborah Munoz-Chacon

International Society of Arboriculture Certified Arborist 

Sonoran Oasis Landscaping


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