En Español

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - April 06, 2013

From: Tucson , AZ
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Life expectancy of Desert Willow in Tucson, AZ
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

What is the life expectancy of a Chilopsis linearis under ideal circumstances.

ANSWER:

Dessert WillowChilopsis linearis (Desert willow) is a popular landscape plant, and several cultivars have been developed. Its native range extends from central Texas, west to California, and south into Mexico. This statement from its NPIN profile; “Adapted to desert washes, it does best with just enough water to keep it blooming and healthily green through the warm months” gives a hint of what its ideal circumstances might be. The profile also talks about other growth conditions.

It is considered a fast growing tree, and is the case with many fast-growing trees, it is relatively short-lived (more info). This link to arborday.org defines growth rate of trees in terms of inches per year, and it describes fast growth as 25” per year or greater.
Now life expectancy is hard to pin down, and this statement from the Garden Guides article is a little confusing; ” At maturity, the typical Desert Willow (linearis) will reach up to 25 feet high, with a maximum height at 20 years of 15 feet.”  This seems to imply a growth rate of only 18” per year. However, one might infer that a Desert willow can at least live up to 20 years. 

 

From the Image Gallery


Desert willow
Chilopsis linearis

Desert willow
Chilopsis linearis

More Trees Questions

Need help with a misshapen Monterey Oak in Austin, TX
March 11, 2010 - In the Fall of 2008, I purchased a very tall Monterey Oak from TreeFolks at the Burger Center Sale. Since the wind was so high, all the tall trees were on the ground, and I guess that is why I did no...
view the full question and answer

Need evergreen hedge and groundcover for shade in Carmel, Indiana
September 27, 2010 - Our property is bounded by a fencerow that is wooded and mostly shaded by mulberry and hackberry trees during the growing months. We'd like to create a 5'+ tall evergreen barrier on the property li...
view the full question and answer

Want to identify caterpillar that is stripping prickly ash in Flatonia, Tx.
April 05, 2011 - What is the 5/16ths long 1/8th inch long pale opaque green caterpillar that strips prickly ash? It has tiny black dots down its spine and along each side. It has stripped two large trees? Will th...
view the full question and answer

Are Prunus minutiflora male and female flowers on different plants?
March 12, 2014 - I have a Prunus minutiflora and have recently learned the male and female flowers are on separate plants. How can I determine if I have a male or female plant?
view the full question and answer

Fast growing native trees for firewood in New Hampshire
September 25, 2008 - Can you tell me what FAST growing tree is best for a planned crop? We plan to generate new tree crops every year. We want to use this wood for burning in indoor wood stoves and maybe in an outdoor woo...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center