Tree Selection Help Needed

Houndmom(Phoenix Az)October 1, 2012

Wanted to see if anyone had any suggestions on trees. I have been trying to do research and am not having too much luck. I am looking for a tree that will only get 20-25' tall, medium grower and would prefer evergreen. It will be on a south facing wall, full sun and will need to take reflective sun. We are going with a mediterranean feel in our backyard, so would like to stick with something that would fit. So far we have picked out an orange tree, Evergreen Mexican BOP and Texas Mountain Laurel but need 1 more tree. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated.

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Texas Olive -- Cordia boissieri. It will shed it's leaves with the frost, unfortunately, but fits a lot of your criteria.

Texas Mountain Laurel is a good choice, but it grows incredibly slow. A sizable speciment is generally pretty expensive.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 4:54PM
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tomatofreak(Z9 Phx USA)

Why not an olive? It doesn't get much more Mediterranean than an olive. Plus, a Swan Hill olive is fruitless, so no pollen and no mess.

Here is a link that might be useful: Swan Hill olive

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 5:13PM
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Pagancat(Phoenix, AZ)

I agree with all that is suggested above - the olive was my first thought (Mediterranean) (also has really nice twisty structure with age).

Probably the hardest part will be the evergreen part, unless you go with a citrus tree.... orange, lemon, grapefruit, whatever. There are a few more that fit the bill, but they're odd birds.

Just an FYI, there are a lot of plant sales coming up in October - the Desert Botanical Garden sale, I think Boyce-Thompson Arboretum sale is in October, the rare fruit growers have their sale coming up, as will The Urban Garden and Valley Permaculture Assoc.

The nice thing about the DBG sale is that it supports the gardens, and they also have a vendor there for some of the Australian trees, which can be tougher to find elsewhere, at least all in one place.


    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 6:21PM
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The Australian tree guy is Paul Chambers and he operates the Australian Outback Plant nursery in the far west valley. He has any number of trees that would be suitable for your location. As Pagancat (hi Sheryl) mentioned, he'll be at the DBG sale and could bring a tree for you to pick up. ;-)

Here is a link that might be useful: Australian Outback Plants

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 12:09PM
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Look into a Mastic (Pistacia lentiscus) tree. Definitely Mediterranean, and evergreen.

We planted one several years ago, and are happy with it. So are our neighbors, whose yard is almost all pool. It's very neat, pest-free, and we rarely water it.

Although often described as 'slow-growing' that hasn't been our experience - however it does tend to grow in width more quickly than in height. I would say it has a medium growth rate. Fantastic shade - almost 100% solid shade.

This tree likes to be a bush, so make sure you get one that can stand up without the nursery stake! Ours flopped around for over a year before it (sort of) straightened up!

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 2:29PM
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A mastic tree is a great suggestion besides a male olive.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 4:47PM
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Ooh! Just thought of another one - Cascalote.

No personal experience w/this tree, but it looks like it fits all your criteria except height.

Here is a link that might be useful: Caesalpinia cacalaco (Cascalote)

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 2:06PM
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Pagancat(Phoenix, AZ)

Hi Cathy! Thanks for the link - I had tried to Google him a few times and only came up with mail-order stuff from either coast, grrrr.... I wanted to see if he had some of the more unusual stuff.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 1:51PM
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