Friday, November 23, 2007

Desert Museum Palo Verde ~ Flowering Fools

Parkinsonia x 'Desert Museum'

Here it is, late November, and the Desert Museum Palo Verde (Parkinsonia x ‘Desert Museum’) trees are flowering again. Flowering normally occurs in early to late spring. Although ‘Desert Museum’ has a longer bloom period than many Parkinsonia species and hybrids, flowering this late is unusual. My trees still receive regular watering. That, plus unseasonably warm weather, may be contributing to this very late showing.

Although I usually follow good cultural practices in my garden, I will admit to over watering my trees to attain maximum growth in a short time. This is not a good practice. It causes shallow roots and weak branches from too rapid growth. The rapid growth then makes frequent pruning necessary to thin and maintain shape. I’ve had numerous over watering problems with all the other tree varieties in my garden, but the Desert Museum Palo Verde trees have sailed through wind and rain and excessive pruning with nary a broken branch or uprooting. (I did have a large branch that split from excessive weight during a heavy spring flowering, but I bolted and braced it, and within a year, it was good as new.)

I have a theory as to why the Desert Museum Palo Verde trees have done so well even with the rapid growth. I placed all four on contoured mounds of dirt formed to give my garden the natural desert look of small hills and depressions. These mounds are three feet higher than the rest the ground, and about twelve feet long. Since the new mounds have loose soil compared to normal hard desert soil, water is able to move downward quickly. This means the roots of the Palo Verde trees grow deeper than the other trees that are on level ground. Just a theory--can't prove it.

I am going to start weaning the trees from supplemental water starting in December. After about nine months, only an occasional summer watering will be necessary. So, it's probably goodbye to future November flowers.


Julie said...

Your whole blog is just great!!!

No Rain said...

Ahhh shucks! Thanks. I appreciate the compliment and I'm glad you enjoy visiting.

Randy and Jamie said...

I love yellow! I was tempted to do the entire garden in it! Great pictures.:-)

ldbjand said...

I am interested in what type of soil is best for the Desert Museum Palo Verde. I live in La Mesa CA and will have to adjust my soil to the tree's requirements. Barbara

screaminbuddha said...

How often and how much water should 24 gal Desert Museum Palo verdes receive? Just planted them last weekend.

Great forum, thanks,

screaminbuddha said...

How often and how much should I water 24 gal Desert Museum Palo Verdes? I just planted them last weekend.

Great forum, thanks.

Aiyana said...

New plantings should be watered deeply and infrequently while establishing. Deep and infrequent watering encourages deep root growth, thus fewer problems with windstorms. Infrequent waterings also encourage slower growth, thus helping the tree trunks and branches to be stronger. Fast growing trees are prone to breakage. Deep watering means water until the soil is saturated down to two feet, however long that takes. Once saturation times are established by using a probe, then you do not change the time. The weather determines the frequency. A rule of thumb for our desert is for established desert adapted trees: Mar-May 14-30 days, May to Oct. 7-21 days, Oct-Dec 14-30 days, Dec-Mar 30-60 days. During the first year, you can increase the frequency by about 1/2, but be sure to taper off after the first year to the recommended frequencies.


Anonymous said...

I planted a desert museum palo verde early last December. It was in a 15 gallon pot. I just noticed that the branches are turning black. The trunk itself is still very green. I live in Las Vegas and we have had a cold winter. Does anyone have any answers as to why my tree is having this problem? Thank you very much! I can be contacted at