Pictures Common Name / Botanical Name Description  Water  Needs 



Autumn Blaze Maple


'Autumn Blaze'

Height. 50 ft. tall

Spread 40 ft. wide

Has a dense, oval head with strong branching. Autumn Blaze Maple is an extremely fast-growing maple, 3 ft. or more per year.

Leaf: This tree puts on a spectacular show with brilliant red fall color.

Zone 3-8

This tree will grow in a wide range of climates from Michigan to Southeastern states. 

It is tolerant of clay soils and is drought tolerant .


Albizia julibrissin

Height. 20-35'    Spread 20-40'

Flower: Fluffy pink, May to Aug.

Leaf: Dark green, fern-like

Full sun to partial shade.

Zone 8

Ferny, pale yellowish green leaves. Fluffy pink flowers like pincushions bloom in summer. Does best with high summer heat. Unique flat-topped, spreading canopy makes this a good patio tree.

Likes regular watering but will tolerate drought.
Water use: Low to Medium

Oklahoma Redbud

Cercis Reniformis

Height. 20-25'    Spread 20'

Flower: rosy-pink masses.

Leaf: Leathery, blue-green, 2-3 wide.

Zone 4-9, native to the Southwest

Full sun


Regular water

Desert Willow

Chilopsis linearis

Ht. 8-20'    Spread 10-15'

Flower: Pink to lavender. Catalpa-like trumpet with crimped lobes.

 Blooms Spring-fall.

Leaf: Long, narrow, light green. Yellow in fall.      

Zone 7-9

Full sun.  

A drought tolerant native that will eventually grow into a small tree.   Beautiful trumpet shaped blossoms occur all summer and attract humming birds.   Remember to remove the seed pods to extend the bloom!

Drought tolerant.

Water use: Low to Medium

Pink Dawn Chitalpa

Chitalpa tashkentensis 

'Pink Dawn'

Ht. Fast growing to 20-30'     

Spread 20-30'

Flower: Clusters of pink, frilly trumpets. Blooms over long season.

Leaf: Green, 4-5 inch long, 1 wide.      

Zone 6-8

Full sun

Grows rapidly to 20-30 feet tall and wide. Fragrant flowers appear from late spring to fall with pink, frilly, trumpet shaped blooms.

Drought tolerant.   

Water use: Low to Medium  

Arizona Cypress

Cupressus arizonica

Ht. 30-40'    Spread 15-20'

Flower: small, yellowish. Cones: globular, golfball-size.

Leaf: Green to gray-green to blue-green. Scale-like & small.  

Zone 7-9     

Full sun. Best in hot interior climates.

Water use: Low to Medium

Italian Cypress 

Cupressus sempervirens 


Ht. 40-60'    Spread 8-15' (Very tall and narrow)

Leaf: Blue-green     ('Stricta' is green)      

Zone 7-9

Full sun.

Water use: Low to Medium

New Mexico Privet

Forestiera neomexicana

Ht. 10-18'    Spread 10-15'    Fairly fast growing.

Flower: Yellow-green, negligible.   Fruit: 1/4 long, blue-black.

Leaf: Smooth, medium green, 1-2 long.

Zone 5-8 Full sun.

Moderate to fast growing deciduous shrub   or multi-branched tree grows 8'-15' in height. Drought tolerant.

The smooth, light tan trunk is attractive.

Drought tolerant; grows faster with some water. Good screen for arid regions.

Raywood Ash

Fraxinus oxycarpa

Ht. 40-50'    Spread 25'    

Round head. Leaf: Small, fine-textured, lacy look. Dark green to purple-red in fall. No seeds.

Zone 5-8

Full sun.

An excellent street and park tree. Fast growing to 35-40 ft. Medium size dark green leaves which turn wine red in the fall. Blight resistant.

Medium water usage

Bonita Ash

Fraxinus velutina 


Ht. 30-35'    Spread 30-35'

Broad oval to mushroom shaped head. Leaf: Shiny green. Excellent, intense yellow in fall.

Zone 6 Full sun.   

 An excellent shade tree for the Southwest. Its crown is a broad oval with shiny green, slender leaves. In fall you are treated to an intense yellow show of color.

Moderate water, but is drought tolerant.

Arizona Ash 

Fraxinus velutina

Ht. 40'    Spread 30-40'    

Head is upright and fan shaped.Leaf: Green, yellow in fall. 3 to 5 oval leaflets, 3 long. Male & female flowers on separate plants.      

Zone 6  Takes hot, dry, & cold to -10°F.

Full sun.

A great shade tree native to Arizona.

Drought tolerant.

Shademaster Locust

Gleditsia triacanthos


Ht. 35-70'    Spread 25-35'   

Trunk & branches thorny. Flower: Inconspicuous followed by pods 12-18 long.

Leaf: Many oval leaflets 3/4 to 11/2 long. Green; yellow in fall.

Zone 4-7    Hardy to cold, heat, wind.

Full sun.

 Upright & fast growing.

Tolerant of acid or alkaline conditions.

 Drought tolerant to regular water. Good desert tree

Golden Rain Tree

Koelreuteria paniculata

Ht. 20-30' Spread 25-35'

Crown is rounded.

Flower: Large clusters of small, bright yellow flowers in July. Green, papery pods.

Leaf: Medium green; yellow in fall. Compound.

Zone 5-9 Full sun.

Heat tolerant.  

Wind resistant.

Drought tolerant.

Klehm's Bechtel Crabapple

Malus ioensis 

'Klehm's Bechtel'


           Ht. 20-25'    Spread 20-25'                    

Fruit green

Leaf: Large, bronze in spring, orange in fall.     

Zone 4-8.

Full sun.  

'Klehm's Bechtel' is an improved variety that is more resistant to fireblight.


Afghan Pine

Pinus elderica

Ht. 30-80'      

Dense, erect, classic pine tree shape.

Flower:   Cones 3 , oblong.

Leaf: Dark green, 5-6 long.      

Zone  6 -   cannot take temperatures much below 0°F.

Full sun.     Thrives in heat, wind, poor soils.        

This fast growing pine tree is an excellent choice for desert areas. It thrives in heat, wind, and poor soils. Makes a beautiful Christmas tree when young - cut or live.

Drought tolerant.

 Water use: Low to Medium. 

Chinese Pistache

Pistacia chinensis

Ht. 30-50'     Spread 25-45'     

Moderate growth.

Fruit on female trees bright red turning dark blue.

Leaf: Green, 10-16 paired leaflets 2-4 x 3/4 .     

 Zone 6-9 Full sun.

Tolerates moderate alkalinity.

Young trees often gawky and lopsided; older trees dense and shapely.    Great scarlet fall color!

This reliable shade tree is often gawky & lopsided when young but matures into a dense, shapely tree.

Brilliant fall color from scarlet to orange. The only tree to color scarlet in the desert.

Regular water or drought. 

Arizona Sycamore

Plantanus wrightii

Ht. To 80'     Spread 40-60'    

Fruit: Ball-like seed clusters have individual stalks branching from common stalk.

Leaf: Yellowish-green, very deeply lobed.      

Zone  6  Full sun. 

. Native fast growing tree native to arroyos and canyons in Southeast Arizona.

Deeply-lobed leaves provide cool shade in summer.

Older bark sheds in patches to reveal pale, smoother new bark.

Needs regular water in dry seasons

Texas Honey Mesquite

Prosopis glandulosa

Ht. 10-30'    

Tree often with multiple trunks. Spiny branches.

Flower: Greenish-yellow catkins. Seedpods - long, round, bean-like.

Leaf: Green, many paired leaflets.

 Full sun.

One of the toughest & most useful trees and shrubs for the desert. Spreading canopy cast light, airy shade. 

Very drought tolerant and will grow rapidly when given extra water.

Purpleleaf Plum

Prunus cerasifera

'Krauter Vesuvius'

Ht: 20'       Wt: 15'

Small tree. Upright, branching habit. Form is upright vase shaped.

Flower: light pink, early spring.

Leaf: purple-black

Zone: 4-9 Full sun

The dark purple leaves, effectively offset the soft pink, early spring flowers and provides color contrast all season.

Moderate water. 

Bradford Flowering Pear

Pyrus calleryana


Ht. 25-45'     Spread 20-30'   

Tree with strongly horizontal limbs.

Flower: Pure white clusters, early bloom.

Leaf: Dark green, glossy, leathery.       

Rich purplish-red in fall.

Zone 5  Full sun.

Moderate water.

Red Oak

Quercus shumardii

Ht: 40-60'   Wt: 40-60'  

Pyramidal, spreading at maturity.

Leaf: Dark green.   

   Russet-red to red in fall.

Full sun.

 Tolerant of alkaline soils.   

Drought tolerant.  

Southern Live Oak

Quercus virginiana

Ht: 40-60'          Wt: 80-100'

Acorn: Brown-green, 1-11/2 long.

Leaf: Glossy dark green above, whitish beneath.   Evergreen.      

Zone: 7-11 Full sun

  The most attractive evergreen oak tree for hot climates. Will grow up to 60 ft tall with a broad, spreading canopy. A great shade tree for Southwest yards

Drought tolerant but does best in moist, deep soil. 

Weeping Willow

Salix x blanda



Ht. 35-75'    Spread 40-50'     

Weeping form, fast growing,   weak wood.

Leaf: Green, long & slender, fine-textured.      

Zone 4 Full sun.

 Broadly spreading tree grows quickly to 40-50'

  Gracefully weeping growth habit.  

Leaves are long, narrow and bluish green in color.

Tolerates poor soil.

Loves moist conditions

Mexican Elder

Sambucus mexicana

Ht: 6-25'      Spread: 6-25'   

Flower: cream/white, inflorescence more or less flat-topped.

Leaf: green, pinnately compound leaflets, serrate 3-20cm long.

Fruit: dark blue-black, strongly white glaucous appearing blue.    

Zones: 6-10 Full to partial sun

Gnarled branches great for bonzai-look.   

Regular water 

Vitex, Chaste Tree

Vitex agnus-castus

Ht: 15-25'         Spread: 15-25'

Flower: small, fragrant lavender-blue, held in 6-12 spikes at branches ends, blooms summer to fall.    (*White flowers occassionally)

Leaf: grayish green above, gray on bottom, aromatic, divided fanwise into 5-7 narrow, 2-6 long leaflets

Zone: 6-9 Full Sun

A beautiful and drought tolerant flowering shrub which can be grown into a multi-stemmed small tree. Blooms most of the summer with fragrant flower spikes in various shades of lavender blue.

Moderate to regular water. 

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