Planting Trees in the Desert

Press Enter to show all options, press Tab go to next option

Techniques for planting and staking to insure optimum health.

Many different and beautiful trees can be grown successfully in Arizona. When planted in the right place and cared for properly, trees help increase property value, provide shade and conserve energy.


1. When to Plant

Year-round planting in the desert is possible. The ideal planting time is from September to November. Roots can grow throughout the cooler months, allowing the tree to establish before summer heat.

2. Preparation

  • Till or loosen soil 4-5 times the diameter and no deeper than the root ball.
  • Remove soil in the center to create a hole twice as wide but only as deep as the rootball. This prevents sinking and burying the trunk.
  • Check drainage by filling th hole with water. If water has not drained in 24 hours, a chimney can be added for drainage.

planting_tree13. How to Plant

  • Gently slide rootball out of the container and place in planting hole. Handle the tree by the rootball, not the trunk. The top of the root ball should be level with or slightly above the existing soil surface.
  • If roots are matted or circling, score rootball by cutting lengthwise 1inch deep in two or three places, cut any circling roots.
  • Backfill with native soil - no amendments or fertilizer are necessary.
  • Water area thoroughly
  • Apply a 2-4” layer of organic mulch on top of the soil – keeping away from the trunk. This slows evaporation and keeps the soilcooler.

planting_tree24. Staking

  • Only stake a tree if absolutely necessary. Trees should never be permanently staked.
  • Always remove the stakes placed on the tree at the nursery.
  • If the tree cannot support itself, use two stakes placed outside the rootball, and carefully attach ties so that the trunk can move slightly within the tie.
  • Stakes and ties should be removed as soon as possible, usually within one year.
  • Allow small branches to remain on the trunk for the first year to provide shade and nourishment for the tree.