Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Acacia Anuera

The Acacia Anuera, also called Mulga Acacia, is truly one of the most functional and reliable trees to use in arid landscapes.   Native to the the dry outbacks of Australia, it is no stranger to rocky soil, long droughts, below freezing temperatures and extreme heat. For most homeowners, the heat of the Arizona summer is generally the main concern for plant choice- while the cold winters are overlooked.  Rightfully so, we all dread the summer and 115 degree temperatures !  Many plants, however, tend to have more issues with the cold that the heat here in the desert.  A few nights of of freezing temperatures and the Tree Doctor's phones are ringing off the hook with calls about "coastal" trees like Ficus, Jacaranda, Orchid and many more.  They die back considerably (sometimes 50-75%), losing many years of growth, water and resources in one night.  The sanity of the homeowner is also at stake; trying to rig up lights, blankets, small fires to combat the frost.  I have seen many methods of protecting trees, mostly Ficus.

Now, moving on to the Acacia Anuera.  This tree is fearless to both extremes.  In below freezing temperatures  every leaf remains in tact, on the tree, and with no frost damage.  In 115 temperatures, it's the same story.  It is very rare for a true evergreen tree to remain in tact throughout the season.  In fact, there really are only a handful of them.  So to add to that, this Acacia is also clean, virtually maintenance free, very drought tolerant, and can provide some nice shade without a very invasive root system.  They also add a nice contrast to a design, both in color and texture.

This tree is perfect for residential use or commercial use.  Whether in a parking lot or shading a driveway, they perform consistently for us time and time again.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Paths can be a very important part in any Arizona landscape project. The obvious reason is function, they get us and our guests from point "A" to point "B" safely and effectively. But alas, there is another, very good "pro" to creating paths in the landscape. It gives the design a "flow" and the plants an outline in which to be positioned - all working together. It also guides our eyes along the terrain, allowing us to wonder and look beyond where we are standing into the garden.
So weather the path is used frequently or not, sometimes it just makes sense to incorporate one into the design.

The above path is from a recent landscape design in Chandler, Arizona.
The Flagstone is called "chocolate" and the steps are kept as large and as close as possible for easy strolling. This particular path actually leads to a very nice paver patio with seating and movable fire pit. The whole project turned out quite unique and the path really gets a good bit of credit in my book.

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