How much is too much water for desert trees?

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Roots – The Starting Point for Healthy Trees

Roots are what help determine if you have a healthy tree or one that will decline and die. You many never see your tree’s roots but they are an important part of your tree especially for desert trees. Knowing how much water is enough without over-watering is essential to helping your tree grow properly and to keeping your water bills low.

Ursula Schuch from the School of Plant Sciences at the University of Arizona worked with the Maricopa Agricultural Center to find out how much water desert trees really need.They performed a study using nine different species of trees using three different amounts of water. A tree from each type was either watered wet, cialis shop medium or dry for the study over a four year period.The trees studied were the Afgan pine, discount viagra sovaldi Arizona cypress, sick Rio Grande ash, Red Push pistache, Southern live oak, palo verde hybrid, velvet mesquite, desert willow, and Texas ebony.

What they found out from measuring tree growth was that six of the nine species can be grown at any of the watering treatments (wet, medium or dry) to a similar size. This means that less water for these trees is generally not detrimental. The six trees that did well regardless of the water treatment they received were the mesquite, palo verde, desert willow, pistache, oak, and Texas ebony. The ash, cypress and pine declined after two years of the dry treatments. The study results will be used to help develop irrigation recommendations for young desert landscape trees.

What this means for trees in our desert urban landscape is that a large amount of irrigation water is not always necessary to keep your trees healthy. In fact, over-watering can cause trees to grow unusually fast and create a situation where they have a greater chance of falling over from the weight of their canopy or getting root rot from receiving too much water.

Keeping an eye on your trees and watching for unusual changes in your trees such as wilted or an excessive amount of dropped leaves can be an indication that your tree is not getting enough water. This is just one aspect of tree health but it is an important one. You can read the full story here.

Call us at (520) 370-5697 if we can answer any of your tree questions.Deborah Munoz-Chacon is an ISA certified arborist.

Texas EbonyTexas Ebony was one of the trees used in the study discussed above.

This tree is native to south Texas and Mexico. Some of it’s features are:

  • Can take the cold down to 20 degrees
  • Likes full sun
  • Requires minimal watering
  • Grows slowly
  • 20’x15′ at maturity
  • Evergreen with dark green leaves
  • Blooms in late spring and early summer
  • Moderate litter

Some things to be aware of are that it does have a lot of thorns and the bark can sunburn if the tree is over-trimmed.

Today is National Good Neighbors Day

Being a good neighbor is important especially since houses are built so close together now. You often find out more out your neighbors than you might want to know.


To celebrate National Good Neighbor Day, do something nice for your neighbor today. Use #GoodNeighborDay to post on social media.


National Good Neighbor Day was created in the early 1970s by Becky Mattson of Lakeside, Montana.  In 1978 United States President Jimmy Carter issued Proclamation 4601.

In 2003, National Good Neighbor Day was changed from the fourth Sunday in September to September 28. 

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Our mailing address is:
P.O. Box 30937
Tucson, AZ 85751
(520) 370-5697

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