Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Xeriscaping with Drought Tolerant Native Trees

There are a few native trees out there that are indigenous to the United States that will be very good choices for any xeriscaping that you are wanting to do. These drought tolerant trees are perfect for that type of landscaping and for great water restrictions. Water less, have more beauty, that's the key behind these native trees.

Zanthoxylum clava-herculis L. (Hercules' club, Toothache)
This tree gets up to 15-30 feet tall and prefers sun or partial shade. It has yellow or white flowers in mid spring. Drought tolerant, it does like moist soil for better growth. It is called "toothache" because if you chew the bark or leaves it will make your mouth go numb. BEWARE: There are spines or sharp edges on this plant.

Serenoa repens (Bartr.) Small (Saw Palmetto)
This palm tree is a slow grower. It gets up to 6-8 feet tall and prefers any sun pattern, from full sun to full shade. There are white inconspicuous flowers mid spring to early fall. It is drought tolerant. There is silver gray/blue green foliage. Saw palmetto is named for the often times painful "toothed stalks" it has. It is difficult to transplant. To propagate, you can divide the rootball.

Quercus stellata Wangenh. (Post Oak)
This oak is a slow grower that gets up to 40-50 feet tall. It prefers full sun and soil type is unimportant, although best conditions call for sandy dry well-drained soil. There is a 4-8 inch leaf and non-showy golden brown flowers. It is a good shade tree, with variable fall color and drought tolerance. This oak is a bit more susceptible to disease than others.

Juniperus virginiana L. (Eastern Redcedar)
A magnificent evergreen tree that will grow 30-40 feet high and continue to live over 450 years! Redcedar is named for its reddish brown bark and will be a good addition in gardens hoping to attract birds. It is shade intolerant, and Georgia-drought tolerant. You don't have to wait long for it to get mature, as it is a fast growing tree.

Ilex vomitoria Ait. (Yaupon)
Another holly tree, this one gets 15-30 feet tall and needs 8-10 foot spacing. It likes full sun to partial shade and is adaptable to the soil conditions. There are white inconspicuous flowers near spring time. It is an evergreen, drought tolerant, and a fast grower. Birds will eat the berries, so expect a multitude of birds coming to your landscape when this is around. There is a smooth milky bark to the tree that perks some interest. BEWARE: All parts are poisonous if ingested.

Any of these trees will take very little water and you can use in a desert backdrop type garden or in xeriscaping. These are going to be easier trees to deal with in those type of gardening situations


Littleton Xeriscape said...

They are really the easiest trees to be deal with, imagine we can put them everywhere in the garden even without choosing the perfect watery soil spot,

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