Desert Shade Trees

A mastic tree, a mulga tree and a Chinese Evergreen tree.Shade Trees

Want to add some shade to your desert garden or landscape? Try these varieties! 

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 and no seed pods.
  • They have 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.
Cooper's Mesquite tree

Cooper's Mesquite

(Prosopis alba ‘ Cooperi’) - This fast growing, thornless, semi-deciduous tree thrives in our desert environment. 

  • Yellow flowers bloom in springtime
  • Grows to approximately 25 to 30 feet tall and wide
  • Enjoys full sun
  • Is cold hardy to approx. 20° F
  • Prefers deep, infrequent waterings
Desert Museum Palo Verde Tree in Bloom

Desert Museum Palo Verde

(Parkinsonia X ‘Desert Museum’) - The Desert Museum Palo Verde has a distinctively upright growth and blooms late spring through summer. 

  • Lemon yellow flowers bloom spring through summer (with supplemental watering)
  • Bright green slender leaves growing on thornless branches create an airy canopy that offers dappled shade 
  • Provides winter color with its year-round green trunk and branches
  • Grows to 20-25 feet tall and wide
  • Tolerates reflected heat
  • Cold hardy to approximately 10° F
Mastic Tree

Mastic Tree

(Pistacia lentiscus) - Also known as an Evergreen Pistache, this small tree is native to the Mediterranean and makes a great choice for patios and poolsides!

  • A slow to moderate growth rate to 12-25 feet tall and wide
  • Male trees have red spring blooms and make a great, clean poolside or patio tree
  • Female trees have inconsipicuous white flowers, and small red to black berries in the fall that are loved by birds
  • Valued worldwide for its aromatic resin that is used in a wide variety of products
  • Can be pruned for use as a small patio tree or left to grow into a large, dense shrub
  • Will tolerate full sun and a wide range of soils (prefers good drainage), once established
  • Cold hardy to approx. 15° F
Mulga Tree


(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.
3 pictures of the Red Push Pistache tree - 2 from Civano Nursery and 1 from Mountain States Wholesale Nursery

Red Push Pistache

(Pistacia ‘Red Push’) - This long-lived deciduous tree has a broad, spreading crown and compound leaves that emerge with a red tint and mature to green. 

  • Has an inconspicuous green bloom in springtime
  • Moderate growth rate to 25-40 feet tall and 20-40 feet wide
  • Cold hardy to 0° F
  • Colorful red, orange and yellow fall foliage
  • Prefers full sun and moderate irrigation to increase growth rate

How to Plant a Tree

At SummerWinds, we have all the tools you need to plant your new tree—from soils and amendments, 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!