En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - August 12, 2014

From: Bullhead City, AZ
Region: Southwest
Topic: Drought Tolerant, Trees
Title: Shade Trees for Bullhead City, AZ
Answered by: Larry Larson

QUESTION:

We have a patio with 2 old (unused) fire pit cut-outs; about 4 ft wide each. The cut out is not lined with concrete or brick: just rimmed with the concrete on all sides. The center of the cut-outs is natural sand, I would LOVE to plant shade trees in these two squares and will make sure that the drainage is adequate. What do you recommend that is the most dense, yet no larger than about 15 ft high. We really need a relief from this bare concrete and the reflected heat/sun on the patio.

ANSWER:

  I’ll give you some recommendations, that’s easy and direct, but it sounds like a pretty hard situation to keep a tree [even an AZ adapted tree] alive in a cutout in a concrete patio.  Be ready to give the tree lots of support!

  The Wildflower Center keeps lists of recommended species for all the States and many of the contained ecoregions.  This link is to the Recommended Species for Arizona.  When I searched this list for trees, 12-36 feet high, then considered the resulting 14 trees, these seemed the best choices:

Prunus virginiana (Chokecherry)

Acer glabrum (Rocky mountain maple)

Quercus gambelii (Gambel oak)   

[Feel free to consider the whole list yourself, or to do modified searches as you see appropriate]

  Another resource I often check is the other questions & answers on Mr Smarty Plants.  There isn't much on shade trees in Arizona, but I did find these two discussions that are pretty close to you and your question:   

Tree to plant by pool replacing mulberry in Las Vegas

Fast growing shade tree for Phoenix, Arizona

 

From the Image Gallery


Chokecherry
Prunus virginiana

Gambel oak
Quercus gambelii

California redbud
Cercis orbiculata

Desert willow
Chilopsis linearis

More Trees Questions

Most numerous trees in the Piedmont NC from Chapel Hill NC
September 20, 2012 - What's a list of the most populous trees in piedmont North Carolina?
view the full question and answer

Pruning dogwood in TX
February 02, 2011 - I have a roughleaf dogwood (Cornus drummondii) sapling that I would like to keep at shrub height (~6 ft) rather than let it form a tree. Can I encourage this by cutting the main trunk, and if so, by ...
view the full question and answer

Recently planted Chinquapin Oak with browning leaves in Marlin, TX.
July 31, 2012 - We planted a Chinquapin Oak this in March 2012. As of July 21, 2012, the tips of the leaves on the lower branches are turning brown. We cannot see any insects. There does not appear to be any fungu...
view the full question and answer

Small tree to plant with high bush blueberry plants
May 13, 2008 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I have four wonderful new highbush blueberry plants. I like to plant a native tree nearby to accent them, but cannot find a suitable one. I'd like a tree that is not going ...
view the full question and answer

Trees to replace some non-native invasives in Deltona FL
February 02, 2012 - I would like to replace 3 large ChinaBerry & 3 large Chinese Tallow trees in my good sized back yard with some local wildlife friendly trees native to the Deltona area(first area.) What do you recomme...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center