Growing The Palo Verde Tree In Arizona

Growing The Palo Verde Tree In Arizona

Many people loving growing the Palo Verde Tree in Arizona, not just because it is the State Tree of Arizona, but it is a visually stunning tree.  During spring in Arizona the Palo Verde blooms out with bright yellow flowers and puts on an amazing display.

The Palo Verde is also known as the “green stick” as it translates in Spanish and is called this because it has a lot of chlorophyll in the flesh of the truck. The chlorophyll is what makes the bark green, and the bark is actually responsible for three quarters of the tree’s photosynthesis.

Arizona Palo Verde Species

There are two Palo Verde trees which are common in Arizona.  These two species grow wild but are also featured in both residential and commercial landscaping.

Blue Palo Verde

The Blue Palo Verde is a water loving tree and is more commonly found near water and features a bluish green trunk.

Foothills Palo Verde

As the name suggests the Foothills Palo Verde is found commonly on rocky slopes on the foothills of mountains.  The trees feature tiny leaves, yellow green trunks, and have pods which hold the seeds.

Planting Your Palo Verde Tree

Planting any tree takes a little work, a little planing, and some preparation.  If you are buying your Palo Verde Tree at a local nursery you will usually have the option of taking it home yourself and planting it, or having the nursery come and do the work for you.  If you choose to do the job yourself, here is a guide of things to keep in mind.

When To Plant

You can plant your container grown Palo Verde Tree any time of year.  Summer does present the challenge of a little extra watering, but it is possible.  For days which are more windy or especially hot it is critical to keep newly planted trees watered.  Colder months can also be tricky if you live in a part of Arizona that is prone to freezing.

How To Plant

A big part of planting any tree is planning ahead for how big it will be in height and width.  Most Palo Verde trees grow to about 10 to 20 feet tall, depending on species and vary in width depending on how they are trimmed, pruned, and shaped.

Safety In Planning

The biggest keys in planting is keeping the tree away from overhead power lines or being too close to any structures.  Before digging it is also critical that you check to make sure there are not utility lines, foundations, or pipes where you are planning on planting your tree.

Digging The Hole

When digging the hole make sure that it is about 4 times the diameter of your tree container.  The depth should be deep enough that the soil in the container is level with the soil in your landscape. Take the time to inspect the soil where you are planting for drainage problems.  To test it fill the hole with water and if it has not drained within an hour you might have a caliche problem.  If this is the case holes might need to be punched through the layer to allow proper drainage.

Setting The Tree

Once you have your hole dug and draining properly you can start by removing the tree and root ball from the container.  To do this you will want to gently squeeze the container to loosen the soil around the root ball.  Carefully remove the tree, roots, and soil and set it in the hole. If the soil is too loose and falling apart you will need to set the tree in the hole and cut the container away to preserve the soil around the roots.  After you have the tree in the hole you backfill in the dirt.  Wet the soil as you backfill but avoid overwatering and creating sludge.  Once all of the dirt is back around the tree you can create a raised edge around the tree of dirt which will collect runoff.

Harvesting The Palo Verde

While a lot of Arizona residents just use the Palo Verde tree as a centerpiece for landscapes, it does product edible seeds and flowers. Much like edamame or peas the seeds from the Palo Verde should be sweet when ripe and the pod can be pulled off and collected.  The best time to collect the edible parts of the Palo Verde is when the pods are green and the seeds are tender, small, and green. If they are chalky it is too late to harvest them this way and they should be allowed to dry on the tree and picked when they are dry and brown.

What To Do With Seeds

If you have picked them fresh and when they are green they need to be blanched as soon as possible on the day you pick them.  To blanch your Palo Verde seeds you will need to wash them in cold water, set them in boiling water for 90 seconds, and then switch them to ice water for another 90 seconds.  Drain and put them in freezer bags.

What To Do With Flowers

The flowers of the Palo Verde can be eaten fresh in salads or they can even be included in desserts when they are candied.  The bright yellow flowers offer a sweet taste and are non-poisonous.  Care should be taken if the tree has been sprayed for bugs using any pesticides which are not designed for fruit producing trees.

Palo Verde Trees For Sale

If you are looking for a place to purchase your Palo Verde Tree in the Phoenix area, A&P Nursery has what you need.  We grow our stock locally so you know it is ready for the sun, heat, wind, and will thrive in your landscape. We have knowledgeable and friendly staff who will help you plan where the tree should go, help with selecting a tree, and we will even deliver and plant your Palo Verde Tree for you.  Call or visit one of the 4 locations in the East Phoenix Valley today!

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