Mastic Tree (Pistacia lentiscus)

ckr97August 7, 2007


Once the weather cools off, I'll be planting a few trees in my yard. One I am seriously considering, but not quite sold on, is the Mastic Tree (Pistacia lentiscus).

If anyone living in the Phoenix metro area has this tree, would you be willing to share your experiences with it? Most sources say it's evergreen - does it really keep its leaves year round? It seems there are many 'evergreen' trees that don't quite live up to the name. :-)

I've read conflicting info regarding the litter, too. Some sources say low, others report moderate. How clean is it? I don't mind some leaf drop, but I really don't want a lot of seeds and flower drop.

What about pests and diseases? Has the tree been relatively trouble free? Or is it always a battle keeping it healthy and looking good?

Would love to hear your experiences growing this tree.

Thank you! :-)

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The Mastic tree is a true evergreen, keeping its leaves year-round. It doesn't produce much litter, although keep in mind that all trees lose the previous year's growth every year. They have to or the tree would become too dense. Evergreen trees drop leaves throughout the year - some much more than others. Deciduous trees lose their leaves within a two to three week period and then leaf out again a few months later.

The Mastic tree has small green flowers and female trees produce small blackish fruits. It is drought tolerant and once established should only need a good deep watering once every two to three weeks in the summer tapering to once per month in the winter. It isn't bothered by pests and is well adapted to our desert climate. Keep in mind that one of the most common causes for tree failure is being planted too deep. The soil level of the container must be even with the surrounding soil in the landscape.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mastic Tree

    Bookmark   August 8, 2007 at 11:41AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
desertrubble(z9 AZ)

I have a young one, it's been in the ground for one year. It didn't even realize we had winter much less a pretty severe one (zero leaf loss) and I have seen zero litter from it. These are the reasons I put in the tree and it has held true.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2007 at 1:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

good idea to wait. I planted two this summer and almost lost them. Put shade around them and now they have fresh green growth. very pretty trees. I got mine at bakers on 40th st. They did not have very many. I later found that Jackrabbit Nursery on Jackrabbit Road in Buckeye has a very good selection of them, 24 " box and smaller. very nice owners.
I did a lot of prep with the soil, very large hole, mulch, and vermiculite
best of luck

    Bookmark   August 15, 2007 at 4:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thank you to everyone who responded to my inquiry. My backyard is about 80-85% desert landscaping. It gravel (no grass) with lots of cacti, yucca and agaves. Many small to mid-size bushes border the walls.

I have two fruit trees in a back corner and three Queen Palms around my pool. The palms are now about ten years old. A local nursery had highly recommended them as an ideal tree for pools that provide shade. Thankfully, I have a sense of humor and can laugh about it now. ;-) If they provide any shade at all, itÂs for my neighbors!

From my experiences with the bushes I planted, I learned the plants donÂt always read the books or the attached tags. ;-) IÂve had to move many that grew much larger than expected, or didnÂt grow large enough! IÂm hoping to avoid that with my future trees.

I want to stay away from messy trees like the Mesquite, am allergic to the yellow pollen dropped by Palo Verde trees and have never been impressed by the Acacias. My ideal tree would be well adapted to our climate, be relatively clean, have darker green foliage and provide shade on the denser side. The Mastic Tree seems like it fits all this criteria  so I kind of wondered if something was wrong with it. :-) IÂm happy to hear everyoneÂs good experiences with it.

Thank you,
CKR (who needs shade)

P.S. billyjt, thanks for the nursery recommendations. Both are a bit of a drive for me, but I always enjoy learning of new places to visit.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2007 at 5:56AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Mastic tree is one of the most beneficial trees for human being its fruit uses in toothpastes to keep the tooth clean and strong, it help stomach, liver, and Arabs use it in their Cookies. you should do some research about that great tree.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 1:36AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
what do you know about wisteria here in Phx area?
I LOVE IT! can I grow it. I'm willing to work at it...
Austin roses for the desert?
I am California but your climate is closer to your...
Water Softener
I'm going to install a new water softener to replace...
Rubber plant
I would like to transplant my rubber plant from a pot...
"Mouse ear" pipevine, Aristolochia watsonii
Hi everyone, I noticed one of my "mouse ear"...
Sponsored Products
Sara Abbott 'Abstract Trees VI' Gallery-wrapped Art
8 x 11 Ivory Floral Hand Knotted Wool Chobi Area Rug Oriental Persian H307
BH Sun Inc
Hall Tree Bench
$159.99 | zulily
Cabin Bird House - Natural Pine
Signature Hardware
Contemporary Fabric Table Lamp with Ash Tree Wooden Base
Twist Runner
Design Within Reach
Almont 12 1/4" Wide Cottage Bronze Wall Sconce
Lamps Plus
Stein World Rivendell Three-Drawer Chest
Beyond Stores
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™