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Low Water, Heat Tolerant Shade Trees and Palms

Gardening in Tucson, Phoenix

Arizona and California

Low Water, Heat Tolerant Shade Trees and Palms

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Plant List

Fruit, Berries, Nuts
Peppers, Chilies

Ground Cover
Trees and Palms

Butterfly Garden
Erosion Control
Fragrance Garden
Hedges, Thorny Barriers, Screens
Hummingbird Garden

Dealing with Critters
Digging Holes for Plants
Fruit: Selection, Cultivation
Garden Bed: Sterilizing
Plant Placement
Selecting Plants
Soil Prep for Vegetables
USDA Hardiness Zones
Trees: Planting, Watering
Vegetable Calendar Zone 9


Phoenix Meetings
Tucson Meetings

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Latest update: May, 2020

Shade Trees

Parkinsonia florida tree

Acacia constricta: Whitethorn Acacia
Fragrant, bright yellow puffball flowers. Provides light shade. 12-18' high.

Acacia farnesiana: Sweet Acacia
Sweetly fragrant, orange to yellow, puffball flowers. Provides light shade. 15-25' high.

Acacia salicina: Willow Acacia
Fragrant, white, puffball flowers. Provides moderate shade. 30-40' high.

Acacia stenophylla: Shoestring Acacia
Necklace-like seed pods, long narrow green leaves have weeping appearance. Provides light to moderate shade. 20-40' high.

Caesalpinia mexicana: Mexican Bird of Paradise
Bright yellow flower spikes on branch tips. Provides moderate shade. 10-15' high.

Ceratonia siliqua: Carob Tree
Brown seed pods with a chocolate flavor. Provides dense shade. 30-40' high.

Cercidium hybrid: Hybrid Palo Verde / 'Desert Museum'
Bright yellow blossoms. Yellow-green bark. Provides light shade. 25-30' high.

Cercidium microphyllum: Yellow Paloverde
Pale yellow blossoms. Yellow-green bark. Provides light shade. 10-20' high and wide.

Cercis canadensis var. mexicana: Mexican Redbud
Pink flowers mid winter. Heart shaped leaves. Provides moderate shade. 18-25' high.

Chilopsis linearis: Desert Willow
Large, fragrant flowers are purple to pink to white. Provides light shade. 6-25' high.

Cordia boissieri: Texas Olive
Clustered, white flowers with yellow throats. Provides moderate shade. 12-24' high.

Dodonaea viscosa: Florida Hop Bush
Papery, winged seed capsules. Provides moderate shade. 12-15' high.

Ebenopsis ebano: Texas Ebony
Creamy yellow, fragrant flowers. Provides dense shade. 15-30' high.

Eucalyptus species: Eucalyptus
Eucalyptus trees are not recommended because they grow large rapidly and are structurally weak. Owners experience heavy falling limbs (the wood is dense), severe die-back during freezes, and expensive tree-trimming bills to remove dead wood. The trees produce abundant litter from falling leaves, flowers, fruit, bark and branches. The leaves contain a flammable oil. Branches routinely drop during the summer.

Fraxinus greggii: Littleleaf Ash
Inconspicuous flowers. Provides light to moderate shade. 12-20' high.

wildlife unfriendly icon Lagerstroemia indica: Crepe Myrtle
Clustered, crinkled, pink, red or white flowers. Provides moderate shade. 30' high.

Lysiloma watsonii: Feather Bush
White puffball flowers, fern-like leaves. Provides light shade. 20' high.

Maclura tricuspidata: Mandarin Melon Berry
Attractive, red hanging fruit. Provides medium to dense shade. 25' high.

Moringa oleifera: Moringa
Edible leaves and seedpods. Provides light to light-medium shade. 32-40' high.

Morus species: Mulberry
Fruit attracts birds. Provides dense shade. 10-50' high.

Parkinsonia florida in bloom
Parkinsonia florida: Blue Palo Verde

wildlife unfriendly icon Nerium oleander: Oleander
Flowers bloom spring through fall, many colors available. Provides moderate shade. 3-20' high.

Olea europaea: Olive
Evergreen. Provides dense shade. 30' high.

Olneya tesota: Desert Ironwood
Purple and white flowers. Provides moderate shade. 15-30' high.

Parkinsonia florida: Blue Palo Verde
Bright yellow blossoms. Blue-green bark. Provides light shade. 25' high.

Prosopis glandulosa: Honey Mesquite
Fuzzy yellow flowers. Provides moderate to dense shade. 30' high.

Prosopis hybrid: Hybrid Mesquite
Fuzzy cream colored flowers. Provides moderate to dense shade. 20-40' high.

Prosopis velutina: Velvet Mesquite
Fragrant, fuzzy yellow flowers. Provides moderate to dense shade. 30-40' high.

Quercus buckleyi: Texas Red Oak
Leaves turn red in fall. Provides moderate shade. 30-40' high.

Sophora secundiflora: Texas Mountain Laurel
Fragrant violet-blue flowers in drooping clusters. Provides dense shade. 15-25' high.

Ungnadia speciosa: Mexican Buckeye
Fragrant rose-purple flowers. Provides dense shade. 10-15' high.

Vauquelinia californica: Arizona Rosewood
Clusters of small white flowers. Provides dense shade. 10-30' high.

Ziziphus jujuba: Jujube
Delicious fruit. Provides moderate shade. 15-30' high.


Brahea armata: Mexican Blue Palm
A fan palm that grows 30-40' high. Spectacular large, pendulent flower plumes.

Brahea edulis: Guadalupe Palm
A fan palm that grows 36-45' high. Pale yellow flowers clustered on long plumes.

Butia odorata: Pindo Palm / Jelly Palm
A hardy, trouble-free, feather palm growing 10-12' high. Large sprays of yellow to orange, round to oval edible fruit, with a mixed-fruit flavor. The flower bundle stalks can be clipped before opening to prevent fruit production.

Phoenix dactylifera: True Date Palm
A feather palm growing 100-120' high. Known for its edible dates.

Washingtonia filifera: California Fan Palm
A fan palm that grows 60' high.

The trunks of all trees should be at least
30' from a house to reduce fire danger.

wildlife unfriendly icon = Wildlife unfriendly.

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