Your Guide to Selecting Drought-Tolerant Trees

If you live in Southern California or another dry, drought-prone area, you may sometimes feel like a lush, verdant landscape is a thing of dreams.

Periods without rainfall, dry, hot soil, and watering restrictions make planting and caring for trees seem like a fruitless endeavor. However, if you choose the correct varieties for your specific area, you might be surprised by what you can grow!

If you live in a drought-prone area, here are three things you should know about choosing and caring for drought-tolerant trees.

1. What Are Drought-Tolerant Trees?

If you live a drought-prone area, you probably already know a thing or two about drought and the negative effect it can have on vegetation. Plants need water to survive and thrive and not getting enough can cause leaf drop, wilting or worse.

A drought-tolerant tree is, simply, a tree that can better withstand a period without getting much water. If you plan to add trees to your landscape, you’re wise to consider investing in trees that will be able to handle the drier seasons. Popular drought-tolerant trees include the California Sycamore (Platanus racemosa), Jacaranda (Jacaranda mimosifolia), Southern Live Oak (Quercus virginiana), and the African Sumac (Rhus lancea). We’ve listed more than 25 types on our website with photos and descriptions to help you in your research.

2. Why Plant Them?

Trees are an excellent investment that adds beauty, serenity, and value to your property that will last for many years. When you choose a species of tree to plant, you want to be sure you’re picking the correct one for your location.

If you’re in Southern California, this means picking a tree that will make it through a drought.

Not only are you less likely to lose the tree prematurely, but you’ll also conserve precious water, save money, and buy yourself peace of mind if there is a watering prohibition in your area.

Additionally, planting trees helps to lower air and soil temperatures, reducing plant and soil moisture loss.

3. How Can I Better Care For My Trees?

Once you’ve planted your new trees, you’ll want to care for them correctly to ensure they thrive. Here are some general tips.

We suggest watering in the evening when the sun has set, the air is cooler, and evaporation is happening more slowly. This gives the water time to permeate the soil and reach the roots.

Adding mulch is also a wise idea. A 2″ to 4″ layer of organic mulch will keep the ground around your tree from drying out as quickly and can help prevent dramatic changes in air temperature from affecting the soil as much.

Cultivate and improve the soil where you’re planting. Turn the soil and add compost before planting. Dry, hard, “crusted” soil doesn’t let water penetrate so you want to be sure the soil around your trees is aerated.

Plant new trees in autumn when the weather is generally cooler and there’s more rainfall. This will cut back on the amount of water your trees need right after being planted.

Hire a Certified Arborist

Perhaps one of the best decisions you can make when adding trees to your landscape is to hire a certified arborist. This way, you’ll know that the trees going into your yard are varieties well-suited to your location.

A certified arborist will also be able to give you individualized care instructions for your new plantings, maximizing the likelihood that your new tree provides beauty and enjoyment for many generations.

Contact us today for more information on the benefits of adding drought-tolerant trees to your property!

Recognized as a top tree care company, Tree Barber Enterprises serves thousands of residential and business customers in North County San Diego. Our Certified Arborist and Certified Tree Workers are highly skilled and extensively trained in the latest arboriculture techniques, which enables us to perform our tasks quickly, safely and economically.