En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Tree options for patio in Sun City West, Arizona.

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
1 rating

Friday - January 07, 2011

From: Sun City West , AZ
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Tree options for patio in Sun City West, Arizona.
Answered by: Leslie Uppinghouse

QUESTION:

We have an area near our cement patio in Sun City West AZ where we would like to plant a shade tree. We planted a sissoo tree, but were told that the roots will damage the patio because of the proximity. Should we be concerned and if so what would work best with the least mess and maintenance?

ANSWER:

You have a couple of options for trees that would be safe next to a patio. Small understory trees under 20' would be one way to go. A few to consider would be a Ptelea trifoliata (Wafer ash)Ilex decidua (Possumhaw), or the Cercis orbiculata (California redbud). Although these trees are pretty and could offer you some shade in the summer months, they are deciduous, meaning they would lose their leaves over winter.

If you are looking for a larger tree, depending on where you are placing the tree, a Quercus emoryi (Emory oak) would maybe work. In Arizona you don't have a lot of water and the soil doesn't have much organic matter to work with. This helps keep the root system under control. As long as the spot you are looking at is a couple of feet off of the patio and not a cut out inside the patio you should be ok. If you notice, you may see Oaks along streets and sidewalks in your area. If you find a big shade tree along a street with no root damage to the sidewalk you can consider that tree a good option. It doesn't hurt to check out parks and schools in your area for ideas.

If you are really nervous about the patio and just want to play it safe, you can't go wrong with a mesquite. Prosopis glandulosa (Honey mesquite) works for your area. You might also try Prosopis glandulosa Maverick ™ which is a naturally-occurring thornless selection for Bexar County (San Antonio, TX) and should work for Arizona as well.


Prosopis glandulosa


Cercis orbiculata


Quercus emoryi

 

 

More Trees Questions

Mystery tree in Ontario
July 06, 2011 - I found a tree (similar to an apple tree in blossom) in a shaded area by a stream on our property. I have never seen anything like it. It is again, like an apple branch with the blossoms, however, t...
view the full question and answer

Viability of Juniperus ashei for making furniture
June 18, 2007 - My husband uses juniper from Oregon to make beautiful furniture. Underneath the ugly bark is a wonderful wood. Is this the same Juniper as we saw all around Austin, Texas.
view the full question and answer

Diagnosis of problem and treatment of damaged Cedar Elm
February 01, 2007 - Part of our mature Cedar Elm looked damaged last summer. We were advised by a landscape designer to spray it with Kocide in late January as a treatment. Is there an alternative to this? Should we h...
view the full question and answer

Young oak damaged by falling tree from San Diego TX
June 27, 2012 - My neighbor's Palo Blanco tree was struck by lightning and fell over our fence and on to a young oak tree in our yard. We waited a few days to see if the neighbor would offer help, but he never did,...
view the full question and answer

Distance of oak tree to existing driveway in San Antonio
July 07, 2009 - How close can I plant a live oak tree (15 gal) next to an existing driveway. I have about 3 feet space to plant between a fence and a driveway. This is the best spot to provide future shade. My concer...
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