Native Trees I Chose for My Arid Southwestern Property



White Mulberry
Photo by Wikipedia Commons

We recently bought 4 acres with a house near the border of Mexico. It’s a nice house, but the land around the house needs a lot of work. Fortunately, we’re up the task, and even look forward to it. One thing we’re happy about is that we don’t have to do a lot of clearing of the sticker bushes, including mesquite, found elsewhere in abundance. That was already done before we got here. We also were fortunate that the land is not rocky. We wouldn’t have bought it if it were.

What the land really lacks are trees. We need trees for shade, privacy and wind breaks.

Considerations for Tree Planting at Home

What is all too common is people plant their trees too close to the house. They don’t realize how big that cute little tree in the nursery is going to get. We have that problem with a 40-foot Arizona Cypress that is about 3 feet from the foundation of the house. It’s going to be a sad day indeed when we have to cut it down. It was pruned way back on the house side because it rubbed the roof and destroyed shingles and underlayment. Please read up on the attributes of a tree before buying it. Yes, it would be cute to have it next to the house while it’s little but when it’s big you will be sorry.

Another common problem is people choose trees that aren’t suited to their environment. This becomes a problem when the chosen tree needs constant watering or care or it’s in danger of perishing. For example, don’t pick a poplar or cottonwood unless you live next to a water source. Fortunately, there are so many varieties of trees you will be able to find one that you like and instead of being annoyed with it in the years to come you will enjoy it very much.

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