volunteer trees!

hotdrysunnyApril 17, 2010

I was out conducting chemical warfare on the insidious spurge in the back of my property the other day when I just happened to stumble across two tiny volunteers poking up through mats of dead spurge. One was a mesquite (which just blew me away!) and the other was a palo verde. I also found a third volunteer palo verde that I had given up for dead last year. My 1.25 acre property was stomped flat by horses a decade ago and is only just coming back on its own (with the help I can afford).

I hope these guys are a sign of things to come!

Here is a link that might be useful: my tiny baby trees

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The typical volunteer tree is not a desirable species or in a desirable spot ... the typical wild palo verde will be a scraggly, short-lived mess. I've removed three of them in the last five years because they were so bad.

Before you get attached to them, ask yourself if they are REALLY in the right spot for a tree of their size, and if the answer is no, shovel-prone them now.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2010 at 11:26PM
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Gosh, and I was so excited. . .
I'm in the process of trying to get the "back 40," where these trees are located - back into some semblance of the desert as it used to be in this area. It's an open field right now with Rabbitbrush, senna, creosote and bursage that have all popped up in the last few years to complement some native mesquite trees I planted.

I think a scraggly and short-lived wild palo verde is exactly the kind of misfit I'm looking for. :-)

    Bookmark   April 17, 2010 at 11:55PM
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I have a giant, volunteer mulberry tree in my backyard. Every spring we have to race the birds to harvest the berries. I've very surprised that it survives in the desert of Mesa but we do have flood irrigation.
It's probably about 40-60 feet tall. Hard to tell. Way taller than the house though.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 1:54AM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Your babies are cute, like all babies--thanks for sharing the pics with us. Let us know if you decide to keep them and how they develop for you.

I'm growing a palo brea from seed I picked in a nearby wash two years ago. It zoomed to six feet the first year and now has 3 foot side branches and even made three blooms this month at just 24 months of age. I don't know if I'll keep it long term, but so far I like it, and since it started in its current location from seed, I'm hopeful it has a decent, adapted root system (though I can't guarantee). In any case, I like it so far (I had a big beautiful palo brea in the front of my last house (still there)).

I'm also growing a desert willow from seed from just over a year ago. That is five feet tall and actually making a few flower buds.

Keep us posted on your babies and your revegetation project. It sounds really interesting. I'd love to see/hear more about it.

Take care and keep us posted,

    Bookmark   April 30, 2010 at 6:27PM
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