Thursday, October 16, 2008

My New Tipu



After I lost four Ficus trees in the freak hard freeze of two years ago, it's taken me that long time to decide if, and with what, to replace those lost Ficus trees. All four were located in the large east side yard of my property, along with quite a few other more tropical shrubs and plants that also succumbed to the freeze. It looked so bare on that side of my yard that it finally forced me to make a decision regarding a tree replacement.

The past four weeks have been the ultimate planting time for most plants here in the desert, so it was now, or wait until early spring. The nurseries are hurting for business, and began offering great sales on trees and planting, so I decided the time was now. I made up my mind to get a Tipuana Tipu, also called Palo Mortero, or Rosewood.

This tree is classified into the Leguminosae (pea family) and it will rapidly grow to about 30 feet here in the desert, with a huge, lacy, arching crown. In milder climates (it does well in southern California) it can grow to 50 feet tall! It is classified as a deciduous tree, but here in the desert, it usually keeps its leaves unless we have an especially cold winter. It will need regular water until it is established. It will take more water than the desert trees, but it is still fairly drought resistant. In this photo, it looks as if it is very close to the block wall, but it's actually about eight feet from it.



By deciding on this tree, I've invited more litter into my yard. In the spring, small yellow-orange flowers will adorn this tree and also the ground! The tree then forms pea pod-like seed pods that contain samaras, which are seeds that are encased in a membrane that covers a seed at one end and forms a wing at the other. So, I'll also have seed pods and little flying seeds all over the place, but that's why I hire the blow-and-go landscape maintenance crew to come in every few months.

Even with the litter problems, I think the positives will outweigh the negatives on this beautiful tree.

13 comments:

Claude said...

Not familiar with this tree at all, but it sounds like it will be a great addition to the landscape... Is it a heavy shade? Or will you be able to grow some stuff underneath it?

Julie said...

Lovely leaf structure on this tree!
AND...look at that clear blue sky peeking throught the leaves! Beautiful! I know you will enjoy this one even though it will have some mess!

GardenJoy4Me said...

Aiyana .. I think we all go into a silent, logical, argument process when we make this sort of pick with a tree or plant .. but most especially a tree since they have a larger and longer impact on our gardens. I too have a tree with 'winged" seed pods .. I didn't know it till last Spring and then I thought OOPS !
But .. I love the tree and it plays a huge role in my garden. I'm sure even with its disadvantages .. you will enjoy this beautiful tree very much !

Jocelyn H. Chilvers said...

I think the delicate texture of this tree (and, I suspect, a fair amount of movement even in a breeze?)will be a wonderful visual conterpoint to the bold block wall behind it.

Selecting plants for our own yards can be pure agony---but it sounds like you thoughtfully weighed all the pro and cons. Good choice!

Rose said...

I think you made an excellent choice, Aiyana. I will take "litter" in the form of spent blossoms and seed pods any day over other kinds:)

Thanks for stopping by my Bloom Day post. I need to visit here more frequently, especially as I plan to come out to Phoenix in December to visit my daughter. I'm curious what might be blooming, if anything, at that time.

Lythrum said...

I really like your new tree. The leaves remind me of the locust trees that grew around my mothers house. They were messy trees too, but we always forgave them when the beautiful fragrant flowers would come out. Congratulations on your new baby. :)

Lancashire rose said...

That is a fine specimen of a tree. Nice shape. It will be lovely to have a nice blooming tree and so much nicer than those greedy ficus trees. Our son lost several in that cold weather and we helped him get them out. It was no easy task. They were too close to the house anyway.

Dee said...

It is beautiful! Here's to no more freezes in the winter time!

Mary Beth said...

I'm not familiar with that tree, either, Aiyana. At first I thought that it could be a TEPEGUAJE Great Lead Tree
Leucaena lveruienta - but that tree is in the Mimosa Family

-AG- said...

hey Aiyana, I haven't given up blogging forever. Just temporally. I been working 45 hrs a week and going to school full-time at 15 credit hrs so haven't had much spare time. I still read your blog biweekly. So far my tipu is doing great. It has grown some but not too much which is good. Currently I'm taking a biology class on the plant and animal life here in az. Its really interesting and I've learned a lot about plants here. I will try to share most of that on my blog sometime in the future. Thank you for commenting me. I'm glad you got a tipu tree there are some in my neighborhood that are 4 yrs old now and are around 20 feet tall with a 15 ft spread and look great.

Anonymous said...

I think that we have these trees in our yard. My parents planted them over 50 years ago. They get very big. Covered in yellow orangish blossoms in the late Spring, they are beautiful, but the blossoms drop -- messy. Then they leaf out. They drop their winged seeds in the Fall -- messy. They don't lose their leaves until toward the end of winter to Spring -- messy. You you will have shade during the winter. We still love them as they are beautiful and very majestic because of their size. They grow fast if watered a lot.

Pudgeduck said...

Could you update us on your tree?Photo? Friends tree about 2 feet up has 3inch bard area gone- any ideas? Tipu tree planted same time as yours.Thanks

Aiyana said...

The Tipu hasn't grown taller by much, but the trunk has gotten thicker. It is still losing old leaves and putting on new ones--normal for this time of year. Still no flowers, but it's early. Regarding your friend's tree: If the bark has been totally destroyed all around the trunk, it will die. If it's just in one area, it will heal and scar up. If you're asking if the damage was caused by an animal--I can't imagine one tall enough to do that at two feet. Usually it's rabbits or Javelina if she's in a natural desert area. Javelina wouldn't stop at one or two chomps though.
Aiyana