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

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

Secretions of fluid from crepe myrtles
June 09, 2008 - On my crepe myrtle tree I have dozens of 1/2-inch-long narrow bugs that seem to secrete tiny drops of fluid. They appear on the branches of the tree. Are these harmful to the tree? Do I need to do ...
view the full question and answer

Is mulberry tree inhibiting growth of plants under it in Wilmington DE?
June 21, 2009 - I have a large mulberry tree in my yard and the plants around it are not flowering or growing, some are now dead. Could the mulberry tree be toxic to other plants?
view the full question and answer

Are Ashe Junipers dying from mite damage in Austin?
August 08, 2011 - If Ashe Juniper needles are turning brown and dropping off the trees because of drought, and not disease, do the needles ever come back, or have the tree limbs died? What if the cause is mites, not ...
view the full question and answer

Looking for a specimen shade tree in San Rafael, CA
June 04, 2013 - I'm looking for a specimen shade tree that can get 30'x30', that doesn't drop a bunch of crud (seeds, etc) on the patio (leaves are ok), medium to low water requirement, roots are behaved, zone 9,...
view the full question and answer

Sap of mulberry similar to sap of maple for syrup from Wellman IA
February 23, 2012 - Can the the sap of the mulberry tree be used to make syrup similar to maple Syrup?
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 | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center