For a large portion of the year, desert living involves dealing with the scorching ball of fire that beats down on our heads for many hours of every day. Causing high electric bills as we stay inside as much as possible, when the summer months hit, the sun also causes a decrease in our quality of life, but there are ways to cool down your yard and spend a little more time outside, aside from building a pool or misting system. Shade trees are surprisingly helpful with blocking out the sun, cooling down houses, and of course, they also add a natural beauty to your landscape, creating an oasis that is welcoming and inviting. Our guide to the best shade trees in Arizona for your yard will ensure that you find the ones that won’t just survive in the heat but will grow full and strong and thrive under extreme desert conditions.
Willow Acacia Trees
These desert dwellers may not look as bushy and verdant as you would expect from a shade tree, but when they mature, they offer a great deal of shade while not requiring a great deal of water to keep them alive. Featuring beautiful yellow blooms, they attract bees and butterflies, adding natural beauty to the yard. Technically considered shrubs, they can grow to be as tall as 20 feet or as short as 10 feet and fit in narrower areas of the yard. These are true desert trees and can be the perfect addition to a desert landscape. In addition, if you are a homeowner that has SRP, they are offering a program called the Shade Tree Program in which they will give you two desert trees free of cost, and the acacia tree is one of your options. Recognizing the benefits of desert trees when it comes to conserving energy and water while beautifying the landscape, this free program is one of many reasons we love living in Arizona!
Even living where we do, we still tend to want a landscape that resembles those of our eastern neighbors. We desire the lush green grass, cheerful flowers, and trees that provide shade in the summer and turn gorgeous shades of autumn colors in the fall, and the evergreen elm is one of those trees. Preferring the heat of full sun and requiring deep soil that drains well, these majestic saplings grow fast and provide the shade, cooling properties, and northern style we love. This tree is not a native one but it does well in the Arizona desert.
We have come back to the native desert trees, as suggested by the name, with the desert willow, which also provides pink blooms that attract bees and hummingbirds to their branches in the spring, summer, and fall. Unlike other species of willow trees, the desert willow requires very little water to survive and can actually die if watered too much; less than 30 inches a year is all that is needed. Reaching a potential height of up to 30 feet tall, the upright nature of this tree requires minimal pruning, making it the perfect tree for busy homeowners. The desert willow qualifies for SRP’s Shade Tree Program as well.
As the name suggest, this ash tree is native to our state and offers a fantastic canopy of dark green leaves for shading people and homes. This deciduous tree loses its leaves in the late fall to the early winter, turning a brilliant shade of gold before it does, creating a dramatic backdrop for your yard in the cooler days. The best part of these thickly leaved trees is they are virtually drought tolerant while providing shade cover that is perfect for sitting under while children play in the yard. Simply water every so often during particularly hot and dry summers and watch it grow up to 45 feet and spread out over the yard, acting as a natural umbrella!
Blue Paloverde Tree
Flowering in the spring, the bright yellow blooms contrast nicely with the silvery green leaves of yet another desert dweller that is not just the State Tree of Arizona but is one of the free trees offered in the SRP Shade Tree Program. The blue palo verde, also known as the Parkinsonia florida, grows quite quickly (up to 25 feet) and has a canopy that will spread out over 25 feet, offering shade for Arizona yards. As with most desert trees, it requires very little water to survive, not even needing to be watered once the tree has become established (most trees will need initial watering times until they mature).
Ready for Shaded Trees in Arizona?
2020 has been a rough year, and many more Arizonans are working from home, making our energy bills rise dramatically and also making it the perfect time to add some energy saving trees to your yard. Give us a call today and let our New Image Landscape and Pools staff create a cool oasis of shaded trees in Arizona that can be enjoyed during all the seasons of the year!