Q. I live in Arizona and don’t know much about plants and gardening. I do have aspirations to do more. I’m loving your blog and working on reading back posts. I would like to get your recommendations on what kind of tree to plant. I have a rental property where the entrance to the property is plantless and has a small gravel landscape. I’ve included a picture of the property with boxes around where I’d like to do something. There is no water source. I would like to plant a tree or maybe bushes in front to add color and make it more appealing. Since there is no water source it would need to have low water needs. Something without thorns is ideal because there are children. However because kids climb trees maybe thorns are good to prevent them from climbing and stressing the tree. What would you recommend?
A. You will have a rough time without a source of water and it is doomed to fail or look horrible. Plant quality is directly related to the amount of water it receives. Our research has shown even a 25% decrease in water will lead to unacceptable plant quality. In the desert you have to have a source of water for urban plants particularly on a rental property. Once you have water established then let me know where you are and your elevation and I can forward some recommendations.