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5 Best Trees to Plant in Las Vegas

5 Best Trees to Plant in Las Vegas
Image by pasja1000 from Pixabay

Whether you are looking to shade your yard from the scorching summer heat, start a home fruit garden, or just add some life to the dull desert landscape, trees are one of the best ways to spruce up your property. 

But the hot, dry climate of Las Vegas is unforgiving, hence picking the right tree is imperative if you hope to achieve the purpose your greenery is intended to serve. The secret? Go for species that can thrive in low water conditions. To help you, we have listed some of the best trees for Las Vegas that will grow anywhere with little maintenance. Let’s dive in!

  1. Twisted Acacia

Oh, what a beautiful scenery this tree will create on your property! The Twisted Acacia, as the name suggests, produces snakelike twisty branches that bring out a truly distinctive silhouette.  

Gorgeous yellow flowers grace the branches in the spring attracting bees, butterflies, and a host of other nectar-sucking wildlife. These then give way to a brown legume fruit that feeds feral hogs, javelinas, and some birds.

The tree doesn’t grow any taller than 20 feet or wider than 15 feet, making it perfect for gardeners with constrained spaces. It is also completely drought and heat tolerant and will thrive even in the driest parts of Nevada. 

  1. Desert Willow Pittosporum 

If you are looking for something willowy, consider this weeping desert pittosporum. The tree gets to a height of 15 feet and spreads about 10 feet wide, with an open airy canopy; it will allow fresh air without blocking out the views. 

Come spring, the tree produces fragrant white blossoms followed by showy golden seed capsules. As the capsules mature, they break open revealing small bright orange seeds. 

These trees can thrive with a minimal amount of water, so watering requirements will not cause your landscaping plans to go wrong just a few years after planting.  

  1. Bottle Tree

While Bottle Trees are Native to Australia rather than Nevada, they are still some of the best trees for Las Vegas. They are great for shade and will cool your home all summer long. The trees are also excellent windbreakers, protecting your property from strong winds and other elements. Like the Acacia, Bottle Trees will only grow up to 20 feet tall, with their canopy spreading 15 feet wide.

The name of this tree is derived from its shape, which becomes bottle-like as the tree matures. Some people believe there is a hole inside the ‘bottle’ but the swelling is usually due to the water stored in the trunk. 

One of the things you will love about Bottle Trees is that unlike most Las Vegas trees, they are more pest-tolerant. Damage to the trunk, however, may make the trees vulnerable to diseases and infection. Avoid injuring the bark with pruning shears. It would be wise to work with an expert if you don’t have prior knowledge of pruning, and there are many tree maintenance services in Las Vegas that could help you with this. 

  1. Sisso

If you have the space, a Sisso tree would be a great addition to your yard. It reaches a height of about 60 feet with its thick canopy spreading up to 40 feet wide to provide the deep shade your home needs during the blazing summer months. These trees produce stunning landscapes with a light-colored back and light green leaves that make them stand out from other species. 

In the spring, they grace your home with small fragrant flowers that form at the tips of the tree branches. These blooms are later replaced by brown seedpods that remain in the tree throughout summer and part of the fall. 

Newly planted Sissos will die if sited in shady spots; the trees thrive in full sun and will need at least six hours of unfiltered sunlight daily. 

  1. Tipuana

Another tree that will require landowners to have a little bit of space is the Tipuana, aka, Tipu. Native to South America, this tree maxes out to about 50 feet in height and about the same in the spread. Because of this, it has become one of the most popular Las Vegas trees for shade and general landscaping. 

Gorgeous yellow blooms cover the tree’s canopy in summer. These turn into a large brown Tipu fruit that is eaten by squirrels, birds, and other wildlife. 

Both flowers and fruit can create litter underneath the tree and may require frequent raking. But this little extra work is nothing compared to the glamor this tree adds to your yard. 

Proper Tree Planting

Just because you selected a tree that grows well in Vegas doesn’t mean it will automatically thrive once you have put it on the ground; you need to plant it right to help it grow healthy and vibrant. Here are two things you can do to make sure your young trees are growing luxuriantly:

Plant in New Year  

The best time to plant your baby trees would be January or February. It gives the tree adequate time to establish strong roots and familiarize itself with the new environment during winter before it bursts with new growth in the spring. 

Use Organic Mulch 

Because the soil in Las Vegas is nutrient-poor compared to that in most parts of Nevada, applying organic mulch can greatly enhance the health of a tree. Mulching helps the soil preserve water and nutrients while keeping the roots warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. 

Apply about three inches of mulch around the base of the tree, starting about four inches from the trunk. Having your mulch against the trunk is not healthy for the tree; it puts it at risk of root rot

The Takeaway

Selecting the right trees is one of the most important steps in tree planting. It gives you an opportunity to end up with trees that not only meet your specific needs but also those that are adapted to your area’s climatic conditions. The best trees for Las Vegas are those that are heat-tolerant and can survive in low water conditions. Plant them right and you will reap all the benefits of a healthy tree.