Palo verdes... what are the differences?

chloeashaOctober 12, 2013

Hi all! I'm looking at Palo Verdes and I am not sure what are the differences between the species and cultivars. If one was looking for one that would be a longer-lived, small tree that reached that small tree size in a reasonable time with bright green bark, is there one that is preferable over another? Would all of them do OK with 16 or so inches of rain a year in a climate like 10a? Thanks!

edited to add one more question-- can they be grown easily from seed? Thanks!

This post was edited by julianna on Sat, Oct 12, 13 at 17:02

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The Desert Museum is my favorite by far. It's also thornless which is awesome IMHO.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 3:04PM
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Thanks! I am leaning toward that as the superior one. But it looks like finding a small one for sale via mail order is harder than I thought.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 3:08PM
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Try to find one on it's own roots, I have them growing on a property in S.E. Arizona. They had trouble the first year because of the unusually cold winter & rabbits chomping on the trunks. They have now come back from the roots and are growing fantastic. I just got back from looking at them yesterday. They had not been watered for 4 months except for rain. Not bad for something that's been in the ground for 1.5 years..

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 3:53PM
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I read they rarely make seed, and it seems like since they are a cross of 3 species that seed wouldn't come true most likely. I wonder how hard it is to root a cutting.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 1:17PM
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According to the local grower I buy mine from, it's VERY hard. I get mine from Marbil -
Margret sells 1 gallons for $12.00 if I remember right. If you can't find one, I could ship one to you. I plan to buy a few small ones for my property so I will be making the trip.

This post was edited by V8Vega on Tue, Oct 15, 13 at 20:17

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 8:14PM
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A better palo verde hybrid IMO is the Sonoran Emerald. Also thornless, but a deeper blue green and not as vulnerable to breaking in wind. It's grown locally and available at retail nurseries. It does grow to about 25 x 25.

If you're looking for a small palo verde, select the Foothills or Littleleaf (Parkinsonia microphylla).

Here's a database where you can see photos and descriptions of the various palo verde trees. They used to be in the genus Cercidium but were moved to Parkinsonia about 5 years ago.

Here is a link that might be useful: Water Wise Landscaping

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 6:49PM
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V8Vega-- thanks for the offer! If I was closer to my potential move I would probably take you up on that, but alas I'm maybe 6-8 months out.

Thanks Aztreelvr! Yeah, it was the local thing which was making it hard to find things online. It seems like a decent priced small tree is hard to come by on mail order.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 10:12AM
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Great info, AZtreelover. I had no idea there was a thornless cultivar (besides Desert Museum.) Once you try to prune a thorny PV, you'll appreciate the advantages of a thornless one! (ditto for mesquite) But I like my roses thorny, so I'll get out the leather gloves for these...

    Bookmark   October 19, 2013 at 10:57AM
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We are in need of replacing our Palo Brea (20 years old and beautiful) , which was blown over this spring, only to find out it had grubs. I love the palo verde trees, but am concerned about future grubs. I am specifically looking at the Sonoran Emerald or Palo Rojo to replace this tree. Is it possible to avoid future grubs? Has anyone had experience with grubs? And what about the difference between the two: Sonoran Emerald or Palo Rojo?

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 6:07PM
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I got my palo verde desert museum for about $10 from Whitfill nursery in a 5 gallon pot. In 5 years it is gigantic. I hear the fast growth makes them vulnerable to breakage during storms but mine fared well during the recent monsoon. It is really a beauty.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 9:17PM
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Can you send us a photo of the grubs? Were they in the trunk, roots or soil? Was your tree growing in granite or grass?

I've had bad luck with the Desert Museum PV. Had two fall over at different times - broke right at the soil line. Have had 4 Sonoran Emeralds with no problems - even with the microburst that hit Gilbert two weeks ago. Not even a branch broke.

Here is a link that might be useful: Details on Palo Rojo and Sonoran Emerald

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 12:43PM
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I like your choices. The question is were the grubs causing the problem or feeding on the problem?

You definitely should ID the grubs, but I would suspect overwatering--as in are you still watering a tree that no longer needs watering?--or, depending upon the species and cultivar, 20 years old may be at its lifetime anyway with that accounting for it.

IDing grubs usually revolves around examining number and pattern of 'butt hairs.' (aka raster) Best left to the MG clinic I suspect.

Here is a link that might be useful: MC MG (if not in Maricopa, adjust accordingly)

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 1:15PM
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