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  #81  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2011, 7:49 PM
HX_Guy HX_Guy is offline
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Do you guys know if this is a Sissoo tree? I'm looking to plant a new tree in the front yard for shade to the house and I've heard they are great here in Phoenix and that they grow very fast. It doesn't 100% match the desert landscaping, but unless I go with Palo Verde, I don't think anything will and I don't like Palo Verdes because they don't provide as good of shade and they get the messy yellow flowers in the spring, plus they seem pretty weak against monsoon winds.



I want to plant it to the left of that green/red plant (what ever that is)...
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  #82  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2011, 7:58 PM
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HooverDam HooverDam is offline
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^I'm pretty sure it is a Sissoo, but I'm not an expert. Its sometimes easier to tell by the leaves, see in this picture and compare:



Most importantly though tell your landscapers to stop cutting the purple flowering bush to the right of your house into that awful ball. I see that all over the Valley and it makes me cringe, 1. its unnatural, 2. you're cutting off the beautiful purple part that flowers! Just let it grow into its normal shape, it'll look MUCH better.
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  #83  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2011, 8:12 PM
Vicelord John Vicelord John is offline
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Chilean Mesquite. Nothing grows faster and they provide great shade. Yes, they are a bit messy but I'm sure you own a rake.
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  #84  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2011, 8:43 PM
gymratmanaz gymratmanaz is offline
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it looks like Sissoo. They are not too messy and fast canopying tree. The red thing is a Red Yucca.
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  #85  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2011, 9:28 PM
HX_Guy HX_Guy is offline
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I had a Mesquite, that's the one with the tiny little leaves right? The ones that shed like crazy? That's actually what was in that spot and it got blown down in a monsoon, I don't want another one.
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  #86  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2011, 9:38 PM
gymratmanaz gymratmanaz is offline
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Sissoo is great choice. Will canopy over your driveway. Not too messy. If you like the Ash you have in the back, maybe do a different variety in the front. Loses leaves in winter, but they basically go all at once, and you have some nice fall color. Water is well and deep though and it will grow fast.
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  #87  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2011, 10:00 PM
HX_Guy HX_Guy is offline
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I want something that doesn't lose it's leaves though because I want shade all year long. I understand the Sissoo loses some leaves but not all and grow back fast. The ash is awesome but loses all it's leaves.
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  #88  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2011, 10:20 PM
Vicelord John Vicelord John is offline
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Ficus!

lol
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  #89  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2011, 10:25 PM
Leo the Dog Leo the Dog is offline
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Sissoo trees are excellent. They're evergreen, however, they do drop leaves year-round that will require weekly blowing to keep a neat look in gravel.

Mesquites are some of the worst trees to plant in confined spaces due to the risk of them blowing over in a monsoon storm. They also dump very small leaves that are almost impossible to maintain a clean look in gravel. Some varieties have very long thorns that are an absolute bitch to prune.

The Texas Sage (purple flowering plant in the right) if left un-pruned as suggested by Hoover, will eventually look ratty and overgrown (I experimented with mine and had to start over, cut it back to just above the roots). Keep it trimmed up.

If you're looking for a nice ground cover, try "Yellow Dot" and give it an extra drip emitter or two. It is a lush green, yellow flowering groundcover that is easier to maintain than Lantana.
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  #90  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2011, 10:34 PM
HX_Guy HX_Guy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vicelord John View Post
Ficus!

lol
I love Ficus but worry every year when we get a hard freeze. I have two in the backyard, one 10 years old that just about died a few years back when we had that big freeze. We had to cut it back to the trunk and it's just now back to how it was pre-freeze, lost 4-5 years of growth. This year, when we had another freeze, someone the tips died off but it wasn't too bad. The other ficus I planted about 3 years ago and it did ok because I stuck a 500W work flood light in it all night which apparently helped.
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  #91  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2011, 10:54 PM
gymratmanaz gymratmanaz is offline
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Then Sissoo is the best I can suggest,b ut it will lose a few leaves throught the year and has the small whirly bird seed pods. In terms of evergreen, it is good, though new ones in frost will get damaged and lose all leaves, but all trees in frost do that. In regular years, they are good.

If you go Ash, you lose shade all year long, but who needs shade in winter time???
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  #92  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2011, 11:36 PM
HX_Guy HX_Guy is offline
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Originally Posted by gymratmanaz View Post
Then Sissoo is the best I can suggest,b ut it will lose a few leaves throught the year and has the small whirly bird seed pods. In terms of evergreen, it is good, though new ones in frost will get damaged and lose all leaves, but all trees in frost do that. In regular years, they are good.

If you go Ash, you lose shade all year long, but who needs shade in winter time???
I do!

My desk is right behind that bay window and even in the winter it gets hot since the sun rises right opposite the window. I basically run the AC all year long, no exaggeration.
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  #93  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2011, 11:49 PM
Vicelord John Vicelord John is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HX_Guy View Post
I love Ficus but worry every year when we get a hard freeze. I have two in the backyard, one 10 years old that just about died a few years back when we had that big freeze. We had to cut it back to the trunk and it's just now back to how it was pre-freeze, lost 4-5 years of growth. This year, when we had another freeze, someone the tips died off but it wasn't too bad. The other ficus I planted about 3 years ago and it did ok because I stuck a 500W work flood light in it all night which apparently helped.
huh.... the ones in my complex have all been doing fine. The tops get a little freeze burn but that goes away after a couple of months. I'm sure where you live gets a little colder for a little longer though. I'm down on the mean streets of the PHX!
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  #94  
Old Posted Apr 10, 2011, 12:13 AM
HX_Guy HX_Guy is offline
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Yea, some trees near me completely dried out after the freezes this past winter. My neighborhood wasn't nearly as bad as it was only the tips. Would of hated if they died like it happened a few years back...such a waste.
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  #95  
Old Posted Apr 10, 2011, 1:08 AM
gymratmanaz gymratmanaz is offline
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Might I suggest a nice umbrella, shade screens, an awning? If not, I think Sissoo is your dog!
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  #96  
Old Posted Apr 10, 2011, 2:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo the Dog View Post
The Texas Sage (purple flowering plant in the right) if left un-pruned as suggested by Hoover, will eventually look ratty and overgrown (I experimented with mine and had to start over, cut it back to just above the roots). Keep it trimmed up.
Have you been to the DBG? They don't prune their plants to look like Disneyland orbs. You can over prune it and let it look awful like show in the picture or you can take care of it properly and let it grow out so it looks like this:



There's such a thing as proper pruning so that you help the plant grow without turning into an unnatural looking orb.

Waibel and Assoc. Landscape Architects has actually come up with a handy book on proper landscape standards for the desert southwest. Specifically about bushes and hedges:

"“Apply practices of Renovation Style Pruning to allow plants to become fully mature and display their best blooming potential.”
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  #97  
Old Posted Apr 10, 2011, 2:50 AM
Vicelord John Vicelord John is offline
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My Texas Sage has been allowed to grow as it chooses. It looks great and is not a ratty mess. Generally they will become a ratty mess if they are pruned and trained to grow a certain way, and then the pruning stops and they grow haphazardly.
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  #98  
Old Posted Apr 10, 2011, 4:03 AM
nickw252 nickw252 is offline
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I planted my two Sissoo trees today HX - I'll let you know how soon I have shade :-D
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  #99  
Old Posted Apr 10, 2011, 8:59 AM
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PHX31 PHX31 is offline
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Sissos are awesome and grow very fast. This year was crazy cold and my sisso lost all of it's leaves (it is supposedly evergreen) but it is now growing back and starting to look awesome again - unless we have a crazy cold subfreezing spell again, they'll be evergreen... even if, they'll totally grow back. I highly recommend Sissos.

I planted a row of ficus nitida (basically ficus trees, but had branches up the whole trunk in a column fashion rather than a treetop fashion) about 3 years ago and they grew to about 12' and looked P.I.M.P. along my back fence, but recently died in this years' double freeze. They were so fucking awesome, but froze to shit and I hate them. I had such a cool hedge row going but now had to cut them back to stumps. If you want an evergreen tree that isn't deserty (ie, provides a lot of shade and grows fast with very little shedding/litter) plant a sissoo.

fuckk this year's freeze.

P.S. my sissoo didn't shed leaves much at all (sans the freeze) maybe a few, but not yearly like an ash and not constantly like a ficus (disregarding a freeze), so I'm not sure what people are tal.king about
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  #100  
Old Posted Apr 10, 2011, 8:07 PM
Vicelord John Vicelord John is offline
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Just get a 60' full grown Cottonwood and call it a day!
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