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Arizona Guide to Growing Trees

Arizona is a state full of natural wonders, but the Arizona climate can be challenging for many plants. Not all trees can handle the heat of the desert or the freezing temperatures of Flagstaff! so it’s important to consider how your trees will fare. Planting trees may seem like an easy task to undertake, but make sure to keep these things in mind before starting!

Arizona Desert and Foliage

The Best Flowering Trees to Grow in Arizona

You may have heard that Arizona is famous for its cactus, but did you know it’s also home to some beautiful flowering trees? There are so many flowers and plants that Arizona has become known as the “Wildflower State.” With the right landscaping design, you can create a garden with both cacti and flowers. Here are the best flowering trees that can survive in Arizona:

Autumn Cherry Tree

Arizona is known for its sunny skies and warm climate that is perfect for planting trees that have blossoms, such as Autumn Cherry trees. If you like refreshing colors during the long, cold winter months, this is a tree for your Arizona home. Even when most other trees are shedding their leaves, the Crimson-colored Autumn Cherry tree blooms in spring with its deep red flowers. Evergreen and noted for having a long flowering season from early spring to late autumn, this hardy tree is known as “autumn cherry time”.

The Autumn Cherry Tree is both drought and frost-tolerant, producing a delicate light pink flower that turns into a stunning show each fall, the Autumn Cherry is surprisingly resilient. It works well as a border plant or round bedding for your lawn.

Planting & Care

Like any tree, an Autumn needs regular watering. You should water the soil at least every 2-3 days when it is on top of 4 inches deep and has started to dry out. Newly planted trees must be fertilized two years after planting; for flowering trees, apply nitrogen fertilizer at a rate of 1/10 pound per year. The tree is aged up to one pound in one year. Springtime can also fund new blooms by removing old flower clusters or branches that died during the winter months before they have a chance to sprout again.

Peach Drift Rose

Roses conjure images of enticing smell, irresistible beauty, and annoying maintenance. But the Peach Drift Rose offers everything great about roses in an easy-to-maintain plant that will do well anywhere, leaving you with plenty of time for delighting yourself and your guests with its fragrance. 

The Drift Roses are a combination of ground roses and small bush plants. These trees grow to about 3-5 feet in height and come in many colors. The Peach Drift Rose is one type that produces large, pale pink flowers on its outside branches during the months of April-November. The Disney World theme parks are famous for their use of these trees and their bright colors add excitement everywhere they go.

The Peach Drift Rose is not vulnerable to any pesky diseases or pests. The care-free maintenance of the Peach Drift makes it desirable for almost any gardener, whether they plant in a planter, hanging basket, or garden bed.

Planting & Care

When selecting your planting area, the first thing you need to do is make sure it gets plenty of suns and drains well. Dig a hole that’s large enough to accommodate the plant’s root ball and backfill with any extra soil. 

A Peach Rose should be watered when the soil around it is no longer moist (approximately 3 inches down).  You never have to apply pesticides on it like you do for most roses. If your plant isn’t growing quickly, use a liquid rose soil in early spring before emerging new buds.

You don’t need to prune this shrub to shape or remove damaged areas because it has the hardiness, resilience to grow with natural branching, and doesn’t produce any hips. All you have to do is snip off some branches in the winter, and watch your flowers bloom. 

Blue Moon Wisteria Vine

The Blue Moon Wisteria Vine is a bush with large blue flowers that emits a sweet fragrance. The flowers will attract the attention of butterflies and passersby. No matter what time of year it is, these flowers are going to make you have the nicest yard on your block. They’re elegant and their fragrance can’t be beaten. The Blue Moon Wisteria blooms every spring and again in the summertime. When your neighbors’ Wisterias stop blooming in the spring, you’ll still have an attractive lawn from your summer-loving friends!

One of the best features about Blue Moon wisteria vines is that they grow easily in any soil type, whether wet or dry. Their vining growth spreads quickly and produces a lot of fragrance-filled blooms with their delicate flowers. Their vines also tolerate temperatures down to -20 degrees or less. If you’re looking to capture the brilliant blue moon in your yard, plant this tree on your fence or by a trellis that can give you that stunning display of summer.

Planting & Care

The Blue Moon tree is best grown in coastal or inland soil that drains well. Plant it in an area with at least six hours of direct sunlight per day and gently backfill the hole around the root ball when planting. Wisteria tends to lean over, so be sure to layer a stake before planting it about 6-12 inches from the trunk and wrapping the planter’s tape every 8 inches around its circumference for added support.

When planting your new Wisteria, give it an inch of water per week if the temps are hot. Once established, this will be necessary only for a year until rainfall is sufficient. If you have poor soil or low-quality sand, fertilize with about 3/4 cup during the spring after planting and repeat depending on what type of fertilizer you use. The Blue Moon Tree should be trimmed twice a year, in the late winter and mid-summer months. Winter pruning prepares the tree for its flowering season during spring; summer pruning helps control long shoots by guiding them toward bud development.

The Best Shade Trees in Arizona

American Red Maple Tree

The American Red Maple Tree is famous for its bright attractive color. Its vibrant red color and rich fall leaves can’t be missed. It produces showstopping autumn foliage in shades of red, orange, and gold under the right conditions.

The American Red Maple is one of the predominant trees in many eastern U.S. environments because it thrives in so many different soil types and climates. It can grow on sandy loam, clay, or heavy clay; has drought-resistant bark despite being able to adapt to a wet boggy environment; and tolerates pollution from an urban environment well enough to grow alongside other plants.

Planting & Care

American Red Buckeye can grow even in soggy soil, but well-drained soil is preferable. When planting a new tree, find a spot that has at least 4 to 8 hours of full or partial sun exposure. Dig a hole 2-3 times the width of your tree’s root ball and equal depth; plant the tree so its top is even with the ground. Fill in some dirt around the roots, water it well, then cover up all but about an inch of dirt over the hole and water again. To protect the tree’s roots and keep competing for plants away, add mulch around the area.

Some tree species require more frequent watering than others. You should water your new maple every week while it’s still small, and keep on top of watering during the summer months as well to ensure it doesn’t suffer from either under-or over-watering. Use slow-release fertilizer tablets in your new American Red Maple during the first season of growth. Make sure they are 10-10-10 rated and use them once a month during the summer months.

The best time to prune a maple is in late summer when leaves have matured. This reduces the amount of damaging sap before cutting new branches and minimizes your need for clean-up after you’re done with the task. Cleaning up before cutting will make it easier to choose which branches to cut first since these larger limbs tend to sprout fresh green needles during winter as they are dormant.

Ginkgo Tree

The Ginkgo is an interesting ornamental tree for anyone who appreciates Colorful, unusual foliage and drought resistance. The Ginkgo stands out among Arizona’s diverse tree population with its large, round form and delicate green leaves. The male Ginkgo produces no fruit, making this tree even easier to maintain. A lack of scent is another advantage of the Ginkgo.

The Ginkgo tree is one of the first to change colors in the autumn months, and it isn’t impacted by the pollution because it thrives in urban areas. If you’re looking for a tree that will change colors quickly and won’t be disturbed by smog or other pollutants, then the Ginkgo tree might be your best option.

Planting & Care

You should choose a location that takes account of the mature height and width of your Ginkgo Tree. Give it an area surrounded by well-draining soil, as well as ample sunlight. Prepare by soaking the Ginkgo in a bucketful of water before digging up its roots to plant it. Once you do this, place the tree back into its hole again and cover it with equal amounts of sand and soil before watering thoroughly.

To care for a Ginkgo Tree, water it regularly but more often as necessary in dry conditions. Fertilizing trees is not necessary since they are fertilized by the soil. Early pruning techniques during the winter months can inhibit a tree’s growth.

The Best Fruit Trees in Arizona

Heritage Everbearing Raspberry Plant

Heritage Everbearing Raspberries are the most popular red raspberry plant in North America. A hardy, hearty plant that thrives in most soil types and even tolerates cold weather, it’s perfect for experienced as well as novice gardeners. Now, you can grow a plantable raspberry bush in your backyard or containers because the size is conveniently small. This cold-hardy tree is perfect for any conditions, and it will stay down to an unbelievable -20 degrees.  Heritage survives remarkably during high temperatures as well as Arizona’s humidity.

Planting & Care

Plant your tree in a location that receives full sun with good drainage. Dig a hole that is twice the size of Heritage’s container and backfill the soil around the root ball. For planting trees in containers, start by digging out 2x as much space as its original shipping container and filling it with organic potting mix.

To water your raspberry plant, make sure to check the soil every week for dryness. If it’s less than 2 inches deep, then you should be fine. You can use compost and organic fertilizer with this type of plant as well (in the winter). In fall, prune off any canes that don’t grow upright.

Thornless Blackberry

The Thornless Blackberry plant is great for those who like picking berries but hate the nuisance of thorns. Thornless Blackberry Bushes produce large numbers of sweet, delicious berries that are excellent for eating off the bush or cooking into jams and jellies. Not only are they delicious and healthful, but these plants also boast a lack of plagues that typical blackberries face. 

Blackberries are easy to grow in Arizona. Blackberry bushes are susceptible to few insect pests, which means you can grow these fruits without pesticides. Blackberries also have the potential to grow in a variety of conditions, making them one of the easiest berries to cultivate!

Planting & Care

Plant your Thornless Blackberry Bush in an area that receives at least 6 hours of sunlight a day. Container-grown plants can survive with less sun, but you should plant the hedge portions of the bush at 3 feet apart for optimal coverage. Thornless Blackberries can tolerate a range of soil types, but they prefer acidic soils or ones with plentiful sand if the soil is heavier in clay.

The Thornless Blackberry can be fertilized with fertilizer containing formula 10-10-10 in early Spring to ensure they bore white blooms every year. They are ready for harvesting when their skin turns light purple, and then dark purple or black. 

When is The Best Time to Plant Trees in Arizona

The best time to plant a tree in Arizona is always now. But, if you want to know the best season for planting trees in Arizona, spring is a perfect time because it provides an opportunity for your tree roots to establish before the hot summer months come. They will need water, but they won’t be as hot yet. You can also plant in the Fall. This season offers cooler temperatures with some rain and sunshine mixed in, which provides benefits like removing leaves before planting.

Can You Plant All Season Long?

Some debate whether or not you can plant all season long in Arizona. The short answer to this question is yes, as you can plant any time of the year in Arizona. However, some caveats apply depending on the type of plants you want to grow and when. Each season has its specific conditions that affect plant growth. Consider where your plants are native to your region, or which ones are adapted for your climate/soil deposit situation; consult with experts if you’re unsure when to plant.

What are The Best Trees to Plant in Each Season in Arizona

Choosing the best trees to plant in Arizona is tricky because there are so many factors to consider. Some of them include what season you’re planting in, where you live, and the size of your lot.  As the seasons change, so do the needs of your trees. With long winter seasons and short summers, it can be difficult to know which tree will grow best in your yard. The right tree for one season might not be the right tree for another season. We’ll break down all of these things for you, as well as give some tree recommendations by season.

Springtime

The best trees to plant in the Spring are ones that can withstand heat. Arizona’s weather is hot and dry, which is why it is a good idea to plant trees with deep roots. A popular tree for this time of year would be the Desert Willow Tree. Trees that are also great include Crape Myrtle, Dogwood, and Redbud. These three trees are very colorful and beautiful during the spring season! 

Summertime

During the Summer months, planting a shade tree will help keep your home cooler while also providing some much-needed shade! For those wanting a flowering tree during this season, you should consider planting a Dogwood.

Fall time

Fall brings cool temperatures and beautiful scenery as leaves change colors and fall from their branches. If you want to add some color to your yard during these months, consider adding Red Maple Trees or Japanese Maples. Make sure you get one that does well in your area!

Wintertime

If you plant trees in Arizona during winter, they will be less likely to face major storms, so you won’t have to worry about your newly planted tree being blown over by wind or damaged by hail. You should consider planting fruit trees like apricots, peaches, figs, mulberries and pomegranates for year-round harvesting; nut trees such as almonds and pistachios for their delicious nuts; hardy citrus such as lemons, oranges and grapefruit; shade tolerant evergreens like liquidambar (sweet gum), cedars or cypresses; fruiting vines such as grapes, kiwi and blueberries; ornamentals such as lilacs or apple trees.

What Trees Have The Least Invasive Roots in Arizona

Some of the least invasive trees found in Arizona include Douglas Fir, Desert Willow Tree, Mesquite Tree, Acacia Tree, Mexican White Pine, and Apache Pine.

One way to find out if a tree is invasive or not is by looking at its Latin name. If you see words like “rubrum” or “latifolium,” then chances are this species will have invasive roots.