Open Daily! Mon-Fri: 7am-5pm - Sat & Sun: 8:30am - 5pm
Newsletter     Gift Cards     Poinsettias     Wholesalers    

10 Tucson Shade Trees

While that summer sun is beating down, you may be wishing for a way to add shade to your yard or garden. Why not create some shade with the canopy of a beautiful tree! Not only do these varieties do fantastic here in Tucson, but most also require very little water and very little work. Take a look at the list below to see what shade tree could be best for you!

1. Chilean Mesquite (Prosopis chilensis) – First up, of course, is the Mesquite! There are a number of varieties of this tested and true Tucson native. Our most popular is the thornless – pruning and planting are a lot easier when you don’t have to worry about getting stuck by a sharp thorn! The other bonus to a Mesquite is that they grow fast. New growth can be up to a foot a year and will turn into the perfect spreading canopy to create shade.
2. Live Oak (Quercus virginiana) – Here we have one of the fastest growing oaks. With a tick crown of gorgeous dark green leaves, this oak offers dense shade. Its mature size is 80 feet, which could easily shade an entire area. Even better, they require minimal care and adapt well to our soil.
3. Bonita Ash (Fraxinus velutina ‘Bonita’) – Another fast grower, Tucson’s most popular ash is also very drought tolerant once established. They can handle drought and blustery winds as well. As a bonus, their leaves will turn a golden color in the fall! Truly a shade tree stunner!
4. Red Push Pistache (Pistacia ‘Red Push’) – The beautiful fall colors continue with the Red Push Pistache, but it also has uniquely red new growth that turns green once it matures for all-year interest. As a deciduous tree, its thick foliage will provide shade in the summer, and drop to allow in some welcome sun in the winter.
5. Chaste Tree or Vitex (Vitex agnus-castus) – If you need something a little smaller for your yard than a 40’ tree, look no further! The Chaste Tree maxes out at around 15-20 ft. It still provides shade for any plants growing underneath, and has wonderful smelling purple flowers that will attract bees and butterflies to your garden!
6. Blue Palo Verde (Parkinsonia florida) – Drought resistant, reflected heat tolerant, a beautiful bloomer, what’s not to love! These gorgeous sprawling trees can grow 30’ tall with a matching canopy. An abundance of yellow flowers in the spring make them attractive to people and pollinators!
7. Shoestring Acacia (Acacia stenophylla) – These fabulous fast growers are slightly taller than they are wide. This, combined with more delicate tendril like leaves, gives the shade tree a more elegant look while still providing shade.
8. Honey Locust (Gleditsia tricanthos) – While not as fast growing as some other trees on this list, the Honey Locust stands out for size and beauty. Mature heights can easily pass 50 feet! Long frond-like leaves with alternating leaflets give an attractive airy movement to this shade tree. The leaves turn a rich honey color in the fall and can be a bit messy, but this gorgeous tree is worth it!
9. Mastic (Pistacia lentiscus) – Unlike the others on this list, the Mastic is a very slow grower – But it more than holds up in every other category. Drought and heat tolerant with a tick canopy, this is an excellent shade tree especially for pool and patio areas as it is evergreen and clean.
10. Afghan Pine (Pinus eldarica) – These pines make a great privacy screen or windbreak, with the added benefit of shade. Something a little different to bring a touch of the forest into a desert yard. Most pine trees you see in Tucson will be Afghans as they are well adapted to our climate and can handle extreme temperatures.

Image by: Wiki Commons
Image by: Wiki Commons
Image by: Wiki Commons
Image by: Wiki Commons