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Saturday, December 26, 2015

Landscape Committee Wants Evergreen Shade Trees

Q. I am on our landscape committee for A Henderson HOA. We are going to remove many dead and diseases trees in our small community. Mostly privets that through the years have died after we converted to desert landscape from grass. Others are mainly ash trees that are diseased and or have dead limbs and with pruning look terrible. Most of our yards face either East or West. We have been advised to replace the trees with fruitless olives or living oak. All yards are small and have rock mulch. As many other communities we are cash poor and need to make a wise decision because it will be expensive. We are looking for evergreen, shade trees if possible.

I forwarded this question to Andrea Meckley, a Certified Horticulturist working in the Las Vegas area since 1992.

A.  I understand your situation with the privet trees doing poorly.  Since you are going through the expense of replacement I realize you want to make good choices.  Below are a few thoughts:
1. Fruitless Olives:
                  Pros:  evergreen, little leave drop 
                 Cons:  slow grower, sometimes they will fruit even though they are not supposed to.  If this happens you can apply a solution to stop them from fruiting if it concerns you
2.  Southern Live Oak: 
                 Pros:   evergreen
                 Cons:  slow grower, debris from leaves and acorns
Between the two above I would choose the Olive. 
 Young European olive
Young Live Oak
Since you have existing sycamore and desert willow trees that are deciduous, I would also consider the following medium size evergreen and semi-evergreen trees:  Xylosma tree (Xylosma congestum), Holly Oak (Quertcus ilex), Blue Palo Verde (Parkinsonia florida), Desert Museum Palo Verde (Parkinsonia 'Desert Museum'), Bay Laurel standard trunk tree (Laurus nobilis), and Shoestring Acacia (Acacia stenophylla) which may be a little messy. 
Palo Verde in Bloom
Young shoestring Acacia
One good source for good pictures and more information can be seen at Southern Nevada Water Authority website.  Please contact me if you wish to discuss further.

Andrea Meckley
Certified Horticulturist
American Society for Horticultural Science

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