Tree identification help

kristins(z8a TX)May 17, 2014

Does anyone know what kind of tree this is? I recently moved and the new house has four of these trees. The tree itself is nothing to look at and I thought about replacing them, but this morning they were covered with these beautiful blooms. I'm in Arlington. Thanks.

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jolanaweb

Desert Willow, maybe "Bubba"

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 2:51PM
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mrs.wiggley(8 Hill Country)

Yes desert willow and with the increasing drought problem a very durable tree to have.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 3:35PM
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kristins(z8a TX)

Thanks! They are looking very scrubby. Can I prune them back in the winter?

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 5:25PM
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jolanaweb

I think I was taught to prune them in the spring at least that is what I do. At the old place throughout the year I touched it up when needed and without rain, they needed it more

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 6:19PM
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kristins(z8a TX)

Thank you.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 7:21PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

I've noticed lots of them around town that are looking pretty scraggly, including a large one I saw at the San Antonio Zoo yesterday. This is from the drought I'd guess. As Jolana said you can trim back the bare parts and shape them up now.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 9:49PM
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nate82(9 houston)

I have that tree. It is desert willow bubba. Great tree.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 12:46AM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

I just came across desert willows featured on the "Desert Edge" blog showing what beautiful trees they can be. Photos of them planted along the freeway are on a newer blog by the same owner; "It's a Dry Heat".

http://dryheatblog.wordpress.com/2014/05/18/roadtrip-designs/

I have a 'Bubba' desert willow that I've moved three times trying to find the right spot where it can get enough sun. Hopefully I've got it right ... finally!

Here is a link that might be useful: Desert willow ... with some good tips on growing and watering, etc. ...

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 10:47AM
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lazy_gardens

They are looking very scrubby. Can I prune them back in the winter?

I prune my small ones lightly several times a year to clean and shape them. It's easier when they are leafed out because you can spot dead stuff. After bloom, or course, because they are so pretty. Get a good structure early and they'll tend to keep it when they are too tall to reach.

With a thorough soaking a couple of times in the hot summer they grow FAST to 20+ feet of glorious bloom and rebloom and light shade. I don 't water mine now, because the neighbor over-waters his lawn :)

Cleanup:
1 - First, remove any dead or broken branches

2 - Clip off any sprouts coming out of the trunks as soon as you see them. (several times a year ... 5 minutes)

3 - Remove any branches crossing and rubbing or headed for the interior of the tree.

4 - Remove any excessively long skinny branches back to the trunk, or cut them off at the intersection of a shoot headed the 'right" direction.

Shaping: They tolerate heavy pruning.

1 - Remove any branches that hit you in the face as you walk by.
2 - If you repeatedly remove the lowest branches in favor of branches headed upwards it can be pruned up into a nice little tree.

================
Serious re-shaping:

If the tree has been neglected, it might be a multi-branched shrubby mess. To fix this, decide which trunks are going in the direction you want the tree to grow. Remove the others where they leave the soil or at the main trunk. (I've removed half or more of the tree and they thrived afterwards ... they are hard to kill).

Be VERY vigilant about removing any new shoots at the base when you do this, or it will be worse than ever.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 11:26AM
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lazy_gardens

This is a lovely example of what desert willow can do for you

Here is a link that might be useful: My article on desert willow

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 11:29AM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

I have a couple of photos of Heather's Desert willow 'Bubba'. Heather blogs at:

http://xericstyle.wordpress.com/

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 4:11PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

Closeup of the flowers ...

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 4:13PM
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bostedo(8a tx-bp-dfw)

Some on the north side of Dallas that were very nice last fall were busted up pretty badly by our ice storm and look rather butchered after their rehab pruning. There are photos of some damaged in Plano about halfway down the page on the December 6th, 2013 Plano Prairie Garden blog posting. Says he cuts his down after this sort of damage from ice or wind and lets them try to resprout from the stump. So, am guessing they are not great at recovering their natural shape after a serious hacking.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 9:48PM
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