Trees for a Variety of Uses

Three trees: Purple Orchid Tree, Bear's Lime Tree and a Chinese Elm Tree

For the Love of Trees

There's something to that old Chinese proverb, "The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now." If you're wondering what the right tree is for a particular part of your garden landscape, let our Trusted Garden Advisors help! Below is a sampling of trees by specific uses.

Shade Trees

Want to add some shade to your garden landscape? Following are some of our favorites.

Bonita Ash
  • Bonita Ash (Fraxinus velutina 'Bonita') - This is a fabulous park-type shade tree and considered the best Ash tree for our area. These woody, male deciduous perennial trees have a fabulous lush, broad canopy, no seed pods, and a fast growth rate up to 25-30 feet tall and wide. Foliage transforms from grey-green to brilliant golden yellow-orange in the fall. Can withstand high winds and is drought tolerant. Prefers full sun and little to moderate irrigation, once established.
Chinese Elm
  • Chinese Elm (Ulmus parvifolia) - Also known as a Lacebark Elm, this is a fantastic canopy tree for maximum shade. This woody semi-evergreen perennial tree is moderate to fast growing to 40-60 feet tall with an equal spread. It blooms greenish yellow flowers late in summer, followed by greenish pink samara (winged achene fruit) in late fall to winter. Its foliage transforms from bright light green in the spring to the occassional yellowish-red in cooler falls/winters. Prefers regular irrigation spring, summer and early fall. Additional water will improve its appearance.
  • Mulga (Acacia aneura) - An excellent choice for a low water use tree in a small area. This evergreen woody perennial has a slow growth rate to 20-30 feet tall with a slightly smaller spread. Blooms rod-shaped flowers with bold yellow stamens. Spring fruits are small flattened green pods that ripen to brown. Foliage is small grayish blue-green. This tree is heat loving and cold tolerant to 15 °F. Once established, needs little water.  Does not require supplemental water in winter. However, we recommend watering every 1-2 weeks in summer for peak performance. Will increase in size and growth rate with additional watering.

Flowering Trees

In search of beautiful blooms? We've got them! Following are four of our favorite blooming trees.

Chinese Evergreen Pear
  • Chinese Evergreen Pear (Pryus kawakamii) - This small to medium woody, semi-evergreen perennial tree makes an excellent specimen or accent with its beautiful, white late winter to early spring flowers. Small, bronze, inedible, large pea-sized fruit follows its bloom. Green foliage turns red in winter. Prefers full sun to partial shade—especially in summer to avoid sun scald. Needs regular watering, particularly during summer months.
Purple Orchid Tree
  • Purple Orchid Tree (Bauhinia variegata) - Spectacular purple flowers cover this tree in the spring. This woody, semi-evergreen perennial tree makes an excellent specimen or accent. Moderate growing to 20-35 feet tall with an equal spread. Produces an intense array of large white, pink to purple tubular, orchid-like flowers in terminal clusters in early spring, followed by elongated, 6-inch long brown fruit pods in summer. Has rounded light-green foliage that can fall in summer if not provided with supplemental irrigation. Prefers full sun to partial shade and soils covered with turf or organic-based mulches. Performs best with frequent watering at regular intervals, especially in summer.
Purple Leaf Plum
  • Purple Leaf Plum (Prunus cerasifera) - Also known as a Myrobalan plum, purple pony cherry tree and Allred cherry tree, this small to medium sized flowering deciduous tree will brighten up your yard with its purple summer leaves in full sun; greener leaves in shade. A moderately slow-growing tree to 15-20 feet tall with an equal spread once mature. Boasts perfect whitish pink early spring flowers and small edible drupe fruits on some varieties. Prefers full sun, is heat tolerant with adequate water, and is cold hardy. Prefers deep, regular watering for peak performance.
Weeping Bottlebrush
  • Weeping Bottlebrush (Melaleuca viminalis) - Brighten up your landscape with brilliant red bottle brush-like flowers spring into summer. Makes a wonderful accent or specimen. This evergreen ranges in size and character depending on variety. Moderate growing to 20-40 feet tall with pendulous stems (unless a dwarf variety). Red bottle brush-shaped spring flowers with occassional yellow anthers are followed by persistent small, round nut-like fruit. Young reddish foliage matures to green. Enjoys full sun and infrequent, deep watering during the summer, once established.

Deciduous Fruit Trees

Do you enjoy deciduous fruits? We have a large variety of deciduous fruit trees, including the following favorites, perfect for your home orchard.

Desert Gold Peach
  • Desert Gold Peach (Prunus persica 'Desert Gold') - By far, the best producing fruit tree for our desert. This very vigorous and heavy-bearing tree offers fruit with exceptionally good flavor and sweetness for such an early variety. Fragrant pink flowers adorn green foliage on this self-fruiting tree. Its medium-sized, semi-freestone fruit has firm yellow flesh and yellow skin with a red blush. Tolerates heat and humidity. Reaches 15-30 feet tall and wide. Requires 250 chill hours (number of hours between the temperatures of 32-45 °F). Prefers full sun and regular watering; weekly, or more often in extreme heat.
Anna Apple
  • Anna Apple (Malus domestica 'Anna') - Apples in the desert? You can't go wrong with this low chill variety (200-300 hours) for our desert climate. Produces large, crisp apples with light green-yellow skin and a red blush. Sweet, slightly tart flesh is perfect for eating fresh, cooking or baking. Produces at an early age. Spring flowers are followed by early summer fruit. Self-fertile, however a pollenizer such as Dorsett Golden will increase production. Moderate growing to 14-30 feet tall and wide. Enjoys full sun and deep, regular watering—weekly, or more often in extreme heat or containers.
Santa Rosa Plum
  • Santa Rosa Plum (Prunus salicina 'Santa Rosa') - A heavy producer for the desert with a nice, narrow, upright growth habit. A showy display of white spring flowers yields an abundant harvest of dark crimson fruit each summer. Firm flesh with wonderful flavor for eating or using in preserves. Fruit production increases when another plum tree is nearby. Makes a great accent or border tree. 400 chill hours are recommended for this moderate growing tree up to 20-30 feet tall and wide. Enjoys full sun and deep, regular watering; more often in extreme heat.

Citrus Trees

At SummerWinds, we have a great selection of citrus trees, including the following favorites.

Meyer Lemon
  • Improved Meyer Lemon (Citrus limon 'Meyer Improved') - You won't find these lemons in most produce sections! This sweet and juicy lemon is a great choice to grow at home and a heavy producer for our area. Excellent foliage is displayed on this medium to large shrub or small tree. Fragrant flowers produce thin-skinned, juicy lemons year round. This evergreen makes a great accent tree. Moderate growing 8-10 feet tall, 12 feet wide; smaller in containers. Enjoys full sun and regular watering—weekly, or more often in extreme heat.
Navel Orange
  • Navel Orange (Citrus X sinensis) - This is the most popular eating orange. It's seedless, easy to peel and makes a great present for your friends and family back East since it ripens early! Available in a number of varieties, navel oranges are also great for fresh juicing. Enjoys full sun and regular watering—weekly, or more often in extreme heat. Size depends on variety and if growing in a container.
Bearss lime
  • Bearss Lime (Citrus × latifolia) - Also known as the Persian Lime or Tahiti Lime, this great juicing lime is available in a seedless variety. Produces lemon-sized limes in winter to early spring. Grows into a densely branched shrub or small tree with a full rounded crown. This evergreen makes an excellent container plant for patios. Moderate growing to 15-20 feet tall and wide. Prefers parital to full sun and regular watering—weekly, or more often in extreme heat. Available in a dwarf variety.
Mexican Lime
  • Mexican Thornless Lime (Citrus aurantifolia 'Mexican Thornless') - Also called a Key Lime, West Indian Lime, Omani Lime and Bartender's Lime... Need I say more? This thornless variety's mature fruit is small, green to yellow green and ripens July to December. Moderate growing to 12-15 feet tall and 6-8 feet wide. Enjoys full sun and regular watering—weekly, or more often in extreme heat.

How to Plant a Tree

At SummerWinds, we have all the tools you need to plant your new tree—from soils, to fertilizers, stakes and more.

Watch our video to learn how to do it like the pros!

This video will show you the basics to planting trees, shrubs and more. We will focus on trees but the same can apply to shrubs, perennials and more. With these simple steps, you can successfully plant your next garden.

Stop by your local SummerWinds Nursery today and speak with one of our Trusted Garden Advisors to find the perfect tree for your home, garden landscape or patio.

At SummerWinds Nursery, We Guarantee Success!