Tree Availability

We have excellent edible, native, near-native and non-native trees to choose from, all appropriate for this desert region.  If you don’t see a tree you are looking for, email us at tft@treesfortucson.org and we will check availability.

All trees are 5 gallon sized and grown in the Tucson area by professional growers. Tree descriptions are below. Tree availability changes. Non-native edible trees are $25. All other trees, including native edibles, are $20 delivered.

To place your tree order, click on the green button that says “Order Trees Online” to select trees and pay by card. If you want a paper application, print out printable order form and return with a check. (Forma para pedir árboles también disponible para imprimir en español).

For additional Sonoran Desert tree information please refer to the Arizona Native Plant Society or the Landscape Plants for the Arizona Desert.

Fruit Trees []

Fig [Ficus carica]

Native No
Type Deciduous
Growth Rate Medium
Hardiness 0°F
Water Moderate
Mature Size H: 20 to 30 ft W: 10 to 20 ft
Thorns No
Flower Color/Season Green,Yellow,or Red Purple/Spring
Litter Moderate
Allergenic
Multi Trunk? No

The common fig tree is a deciduous tree or large shrub maturing to a height between 20 and 30 feet. It has smooth light gray bark and fragrant leaves. Figs can be eaten fresh or dried and are among the richest plant sources of calcium and fiber.

Mexican Elderberry [Sambucus mexicana]

Native Yes
Type Drought Deciduous
Growth Rate Moderate
Hardiness 0°F
Water Moderate
Mature Size H: 15 to 25 ft W: 15 to 25 ft
Thorns No
Flower Color/Season Pale yellow to white/Spring & Fall
Litter Moderate
Allergenic No
Multi Trunk? Yes

Small shrubby tree producing edible berries in the late spring/early summer. Only the dark blue berries are edible. Do not eat the green berries. Drought deciduous, meaning it can drop its leaves during periods of drought but will re grow them after getting watered. Depending on winter rains and watering regiment, should hold its leaves throughout the winter.

Pineapple Guava [Feijoa sellowiana]

Native No
Type Evergreen
Growth Rate Slow to Moderate
Hardiness 10°F
Water Moderate
Mature Size H: 10-15 ft W: 10-15 ft
Thorns No
Flower Color/Season White-Pink/Spring
Litter Low
Allergenic Low
Height Upon Delivery Approx 2 ft

Please note, these trees are rooted in their pots and ready to be planted, but will be small upon delivery, at about one foot tall. Please do not order if this smaller size is an issue. --- A small shrubby tree, the pineapple guava is an easy to grow evergreen tree that puts out showy blooms in the spring and chicken-egg-sized ripe fruit in the fall. While not a true guava, both the flowers and the fruit are edible and they can handle temperatures all the way down to 10°F. While it can take the Sonoran heat, it will appreciate a little afternoon shade to avoid scorching the leaves during the summer.

Pomegranate [Punica granatum]

Native No
Type Deciduous
Growth Rate Medium
Hardiness 10°F
Water Low
Mature Size H: 6 to 20 ft W: 4 to 15 ft
Thorns No
Flower Color/Season Red/Summer
Litter Medium
Allergenic
Multi Trunk? Yes

The pomegranate is a shrub or small tree growing between 6 and 20 feet in height at maturity. The edible fruit is in season from September to October. Mature pomegranates can develop sculptural twisted bark multi trunks and a distinctive overall form. The pomegranate is drought tolerant and can be tolerant of moderate frost down to 10 °F.

Native Trees []

Catclaw Acacia [Acacia greggii]

Native Yes
Type Deciduous
Growth Rate Moderate
Hardiness 0°F
Water Low
Mature Size H: 15 ft W: 25 ft
Thorns Yes
Flower Color/Season Yellow / Spring
Litter Low
Allergenic
Multi Trunk? Yes

Native tree, moderate growth to 20’ tall. Fragrant cream or yellow catkins. Dry seed pods that curl. Attracts native birds. Curved thorns, resembling the namesake catclaw. Dense branch structure with gray green leaves which drop in the winter. Very tolerant of both drought and cold. Effective as a screen or barrier. Often multi trunked and shrubby, but can be trained to a single trunk. Excellent for honey production!

Desert hackberry [Celtis pallida]

Native Yes
Type Semi-evergreen
Growth Rate Slow
Hardiness 10°F
Water Very Low
Mature Size H: 10 to 16 ft W: 8 to 10 ft
Thorns Yes
Flower Color/Season Greenish Yellow/Spring
Litter Minimal
Allergenic Moderate
Multi Trunk? Yes

The desert hackberry is the perfect small shrubby tree for the bird lovers out there. Birds love the small orange fruit that ripen in the fall when they turn this small shrub in to a cacophony of bird activity. The dense growth and shade of the very thorny branches also make for the perfect bird habitat and provide them with a shady place to escape the summer heat and build their nests in. The small stature and dense growth of the desert hackberry make this a great choice for planting underneath taller trees to block early morning/late afternoon sun.

Desert Ironwood [Olneya tesota]

Native Yes
Type Evergreen
Growth Rate Slow
Hardiness 20°F
Water Low
Mature Size H: 15 to 30 ft W: 15 to 20 ft
Thorns Yes
Flower Color/Season Lavender/Spring
Litter Moderate
Allergenic
Multi Trunk? Yes

One of the most important, and oldest, plants in the Sonoran Desert. Although the extremely dense wood makes it difficult to do standard tree-ring dating, the Desert Ironwood has been estimated to be able to live for almost 800 years! The ironwood acts as a nurse plant, with its canopy providing the ideal shelter and nutrients for many other plants, including the Saguaro cactus. Its role in the desert is considered so important that the Ironwood tree has been a protected species in Arizona since the 1970’s. Desert Ironwoods are very thorny. When planted as a five gallon or fifteen gallon specimen, ironwoods tend to grow slowly for several years unless they are watered regularly. They get a beautiful pale pink pea like flowers in late spring and provide excellent habitat for wildlife.

Desert Willow [Chilopsis linearis]

Native Yes
Type Deciduous
Growth Rate Fast
Hardiness 0°F
Water Low
Mature Size H: 15 to 30 ft W: 10 to 20 ft
Thorns No
Flower Color/Season White,Pink,Purple / Spring to Fall
Litter Seasonal
Allergenic
Multi Trunk? Yes

Native tree, fast growth up to 20’ tall. Beautiful pink flowers which attract hummingbirds from spring to fall. Deciduous - drops leaves in winter. Low pollen, good for those with allergies! Easy care, low maintenance tree. Smooth gray bark and soft, willow like leaves. Naturally has multiple trunks, good for a sculptural effect, or can be trained to a single trunk. Provides light, airy shade.

Foothills Palo Verde [Parkinsonia microphylla]

Native Yes
Type Semi-evergreen
Growth Rate Slow
Hardiness 15°F
Water Very Low
Mature Size H: 15 to 30 ft W: 15 to 30 ft
Thorns Small Thorns
Flower Color/Season Yellow/Spring
Litter Seasonal
Alergenic Yes
Multi Trunk? Yes

Native, slow-growing tree. Can be single or multi-trunked, with thorn-tipped branches and small leaves. Great nesting habitat for native birds. Tolerant of heat, cold and poor soils. In extreme drought or cold, tree may drop leaves. Yellow flowers bloom for a few weeks in late spring, usually following the flowering of the Blue Palo Verdes.

Net Leaf Hackberry [Celtis reticulata]

Native Yes
Type Deciduous
Growth Rate Moderate
Hardiness 0°F
Water Low
Mature Size 30 ft
Thorns No
Flower Color/Season Not ornamental
Litter Low
Allergenic Mild Pollen
Multi Trunk? Yes

Forms a small sized tree 20-30 feet in height. It has a gray to brownish gray textured bark. The flowers are very small averaging 1/2 inch across. The fruits are approximately 1/8 to 1/4 inch in diameter, are colored reddish to purple, and are treasured by native songbirds. The fruits were eaten by the Apache, Chiricahua, and Mescalero tribes, fresh and preserved for food. NURSERY NOTE: These Netleaf Hackberrys are being grown at Civano Nursery in what is called a squat #5 container. These pots are not as deep as a standard #5, making for an easier hole for you to have to dig. While the containers are not as deep, the trees will still be at least 3-4 ft. tall upon delivery.

Screw Bean Mesquite [Prosopis pubescens]

Native Yes
Type Deciduous
Growth Rate Moderate
Hardiness 10°F
Water Low to Moderate
Mature Size 15 to 25 ft
Thorns Yes
Flower Color/Season Yellow/Spring
Litter Moderate
Allergenic
Multi Trunk? Yes

Velvet Mesquite [Prosopis velutina]

Native Yes
Type Semievergreen
Growth Rate Fast
Hardiness 0°F
Water Low
Mature Size H: 25 to 40 ft W: 25 to 40 ft
Thorns Yes
Flower Color/Season Yellow/Spring
Litter Seasonal
Allergenic Yes
Multi Trunk? Yes

The Velvet Mesquite is a fast growing medium sized tree that matures up to 40 feet tall and wide. The fern-like leaves and fruit have short dense hairs that give them the appearance of velvet. It is winter deciduous in areas of frost. The Velvet Mesquite produces fragrant spikes of yellow flowers in April and sometimes again in August when it rains. This is an excellent shade tree, but needs a fair amount of room due to horizontal branching. It has spiny twigs, but generally no thorns when the tree is mature.

Whitethorn Acacia [Acacia constricta]

Native Yes
Type Semievergreen
Growth Rate Slow
Hardiness 5°F
Water Low
Mature Size H:10 to 20 ft W: 10 to 20 ft
Thorns Yes
Flower Color/Season Yellow/Spring
Litter Moderate
Allergenic Mild
Multi Trunk? Yes

The Whitethorn Acacia is a slow growing, long lived shrub or small tree that matures to a height of 10 to 20 feet tall and wide. Stems are reddish purple. Young plants have inch long white thorns, although older branches are often thornless. It has yellow fragrant puffball flowers that appear in late spring and in late summer with sufficient water. This tree attracts birds and other wildlife and adds nitrogen to the soil.

Non-Native Tree []

Chinese Elm [Ulmus parvifolia]

Native No
Type Deciduous
Growth Rate Moderate
Hardiness 0°F
Water Low-Moderate
Mature Size H: 35 ft W: 35 ft
Thorns No
Flower Color/Season Inconspicuous / Spring
Litter Low
Allergenic No
Multi Trunk? No

The Chinese elm (Ulmus parvifolia) also known as lacebark elm is a top performing non native shade tree. It grows quickly, loves full sun and even stands up to reflected heat (as in parking lots). It is a great choice for a wide shade canopy, up to 35-40’ height and spread at maturity. It grows fast and provides great shade at an early age. Small elliptic light green leaves with serrate margins, deciduous with yellowish-red fall color.

Palo Brea [Parkinsonia praecox]

Native No
Type Semi-evergreen
Growth Rate Moderate
Hardiness 20°F
Water Low
Mature Size 30ft
Thorns Yes
Flower Color/Season Yellow/Spring
Litter High
Allergenic
Multi Trunk? No

A fast growing tree that matures to 25-30 feet in height with an umbrella like canopy. The Palo Brea has lime green bark and a distinctive sculptural form. It is semi-evergreen with blue green leaves and small thorns. It has flowers that bloom blight yellow in late spring.

Red Push Pistache [Pistacia X ‘Red Push’]

Native No
Type Deciduous
Growth Rate Moderate
Hardiness 0°F
Water Low
Mature Size 25 to 40 ft
Thorns No
Flower Color/Season None
Litter Drops leaves in winter
Allergenic
Multi Trunk? No

This hybrid pistachio tree is considered ornamental which means it produces no nuts. It has a single large trunk with straight upright growth. Big, dense canopy provides an excellent source of shade in the summer. Beautiful fall/winter color ranges from deep red to yellow orange. Drops all its leaves in winter making this tree a great choice to plant near south facing walls of buildings and homes to allow sunlight in to lower heating bills.

Southern Live Oak [Quercus virginiana]

Native No
Type Evergreen
Growth Rate Slow
Hardiness 0°F
Water Low to Moderate
Mature Size H: 30 ft W: 30 ft
Thorns No
Flower Color/Season Inconspicuous
Litter Low
Allergenic Low
Multi Trunk? No

The southern live oak is a large, slow growing oak tree that has been planted in the Tucson area for decades. While its year-round, dark green leaves give the appearance of an evergreen tree, they do actually drop their leaves in the spring when new growth emerges. Due to their slower growth rate, lack of thorns, and upright growth pattern, these oaks make for great, low-maintenance street trees and can be spotted all over downtown Tucson.

Texas Ebony [Ebinopsis ebano]

Native No
Type Evergreen
Growth Rate Slow
Hardiness 20°F
Water Low
Mature Size H: 20 ft W: 15 ft
Thorns Yes
Flower Color/Season Yellow/Spring
Litter Moderate
Allergenic
Multi Trunk? Yes
Approx Height Upon Delivery Less than 3 ft (8/16)

The Texas Ebony is a slow growing drought tolerant evergreen tree that matures to a height of 20 feet by 15 feet wide. It has rich green foliage. The bark may sunburn however if the tree is over pruned. This tree has yellow flowers that bloom late spring to early summer.

Texas Mountain Laurel [Sophora secundiflora]

Native No
Type Evergreen
Growth Rate Slow
Hardiness 10°F
Water Low
Mature Size H: 15 to 25 ft W: 10 to 12 ft
Thorns No
Flower Color/Season Purple/Spring
Litter Low
Allergenic
Multi Trunk? Yes

The Texas Mountain Laurel is a small evergreen tree that matures between 15 to 25 feet tall with a 10 to 12 foot spread. It grows narrow and upright and has dense foliage which can be pruned well in to tree form. The Texas Mountain Laurel blooms in spring and displays dense clusters of purple/blue extremely fragrant flowers.

Vitex aka Chaste Tree [Vitex agnus-castus]

Native No
Type Deciduous
Growth Rate Moderate
Hardiness 5°F
Water Low to Moderate
Mature Size H: 10 to 25 ft W: 10 to 25 ft
Thorns No
Flower Color/Season Purple / Summer
Litter Seasonal
Allergenic Low to Moderate
Multi Trunk? Yes

The Chaste Tree is a lovely multi trunked small tree/large shrub and is easily identified by its lilac purple flower spikes that bloom during the summer. A native to southern Europe, the trees blossoms attract butterflies, and the lack of thorns make it particularly attractive to planting near high traffic pedestrian areas and walkways. The Chaste tree is considered low maintenance, with most of its litter coming from the flowers, as well as the leaves which will drop during the winter. While it is a very drought tolerant tree, its health and growth rate will benefit from a regular watering schedule (especially during the summer). NURSERY NOTE: These Chaste trees are being grown at Civano Nursery in what is called a squat #5 container. These pots are not as deep as a standard #5, making for an easier hole for you to have to dig. While the containers are not as deep, the trees will still be at least 3-4 feet tall upon delivery.