Acacia smallii (syn. Vachellia farnesiana) Sweet Acacia
15 to 30 ft. high and wide
Adaptable trees with unmatched fragrance. Numerous sweet smelling golden puff-ball blooms occur in spring. They are small to medium sized fast growing trees, mostly evergreen with long white thorns. Some thinning is helpful but no topping. Maintaining a dense canopy protects trunks from sunscald. Trees are drought tolerant when mature, but regular deep watering is best through establishment. Trees have small, compound, dark green leaves against dark rough, somewhat shaggy bark. Flowers are followed by short, hard dark brown seed pods.
Acacia willardiana (Syn. Mariosousa willardiana) Palo Blanco
A striking white stick! Palo Blanco translates to “white stick”. These trees are prized for their peeling bark the reveals their bright white trunks. A pendulous, evergreen tree for small spaces. They offer landscape drama when designed in groves or as simple accent specimens. Their leaflets are long, green, and stringy with occasional small compound leaves attached which provides additional textural interest. They are low water use and low maintenance. Staking immature trees can be beneficial until they develop a strong securing root system. Spring produced flowers are cream colored catkins, pods that follow are papery light brown. Do plant them in well-drained soils.
Bauhinia variegata (syn. B. purpurea) Purple Orchid Tree
Blooms with purple tropical essence. These non-native small ornamental trees offer a lush tropical feel with round but cleft leathery green leaves. Blooms in spring that look like large orchids. They only require moderate thinning and shaping while trees are maturing. Annual light pruning in early spring. Trees are susceptible to freezes, so wait until cold weather has passed. Moderate water to start, and becoming more drought tolerant as they mature. Trees rarely produce pods, which is an added advantage.
Caesalpinia cacalaco Cascalote
Bright yellow blooming winter color! A widely popular, fast growing small to medium sized accent tree, Cacalaco is an excellent option for Snow Bird landscapes, due to their fall and winter blooming. Dark green compound leaves cover these mostly multi-trunked small trees with numerous catclaw-like thorns. Starting in fall the ends of each branch will form long candelabra-like spike of bright yellow blooms, which are followed in spring with dark brown to red seed pods, which are easy to rake up once they have dropped in early summer. Left to form suckers, these plants can form into a large dense, impenetrable shrub. Suckers should be trimmed to easily train into stable tree form.
Caesalpinia cacalaco – Thornless Thornless Cascalote
Bright yellow blooming winter color! A widely popular, fast growing small to medium sized thornless accent tree. Thornless Cacalaco are an excellent option for Snowbird landscapes, due to their fall and winter blooming. Dark green compound leaves cover these mostly multi-trunked small trees that have no thorns. Starting in fall the ends of each branch will form long candelabra-like spike of bright yellow blooms, which are followed in spring with dark brown to red seed pods, which are easy to rake up once they’ve dropped in early summer. Left to form suckers, these plants can form into a large dense, impenetrable shrub. Suckers should be trimmed to easily train into stable tree form.
Caesalpinia mexicana Mexican Bird of Paradise
Fast growing & adaptable ornamental small tree. Like other Caesalpinias, Mexican bird are nitrogen fixing legumes that do not require additional fertilization even in average soils. They will grow as a large multi-trunked shrub or can be easily pruned into small accent trees. Blooms are yellow formed in spikes above the foliage, followed by long pods containing hard seeds. The fastest growth comes from moderate supplemental water initially, but once established trees can adapt to once per month deep soakings.
Cordia boissieri Mexican Olive, or Texas Olive
Tough, small white flowering accent tree. These are an evergreen large shrub to small tree with ruffled green foliage, crepe paper white flowers, and rugged-looking bark. They grow at a slow to moderate rate to form multi-trunked or single trunk trees equally suitable for desert or tropical settings. Fuzzy flower clusters give way to oval shaped fruits that resemble large olives; hence, the common name. While moderate supplemental irrigation helps young trees to get establish more quickly, they will mature to become very drought and heat tolerant. Little to no regular maintenance is required other than raking up fallen fruits, or light annual pruning to train young trees into desired shape and structure.
Nerium oleander – Tree ‘White’ White Oleander Tree
Classic evergreen, flowering small trees. We have started the training for you with these versatile, multi-function ornamental accent trees. Standard or full sized oleander trees, are evergreen vigorous and long-blooming. They work equally well for residential landscapes or commercial projects. Plant them wherever a small umbrella shaped flowering tree will fit. They can grow about 20 ft. tall, ultimately with an equal spread. Flowers of standard oleanders are large and bright in pastel hues of pink, red and white, blooming from spring to summer. Flowers are followed by clustered seed pods that look like skinny, dark brown cigars. Pods can be pruned off in late summer to keep trees tidy. They are extremely heat and drought tolerant plants, although supplemental water from late spring to summer while they are flowering is beneficial.
Pistacia lentiscus Mastic Tree
Durable, evergreen large shrubs or small accent trees. Use of Mastic trees has been growing since their durability and adaptability has become more notable in the landscape trade. They are not new, but we will say landscape designers and contractors have re-discovered them. Slow growing typically with multiple trunks they can form dense small canopy evergreen trees. They have small, leathery oval leaves with a deep, dark green color. They have a dense branch structure but the branches are forgiving and fairly flexible. They require average water and require little maintenance. Training them to single trunk tree form takes time and a bit of effort but it can be done. No pest or disease issues to be weary of.