Desert Plants

The Thornless Chilean Mesquite is the best tree for Shade

The Shade from this Thornless Chilean MesquiteProsopis chilensis, creates a 10-15 degree cooler temperature in our yard. The dogs use the shade from the Mesquites to stay cool.

Below in the photo is a Hybrid Mesquite that is Thornless, called the Chilean Mesquite. By providing abundant shade, a lush green leaf canopy and graceful fissured brown trunks, Thornless Mesquites are another of the wonderful trees that dispelled the myth that desert landscapes were hot, barren, spiny and uninviting. Chilean or Thornless Mesquite trees are beautiful and one of the best shade trees for your yard.

best shade tree

Our Chilean Mesquite Tree makes the best shade tree

The Thornless (Chilean) Mesquite Tree pictured here is approximately 15 years old.

Shade is a welcome addition to all desert landscapes, xeriscaping, especially in the extreme heat of The Sonoran Desert.  The shade produced by Thornless Hybrid Mesquites, (Chileans) can range from filtered to quite dense which can inhibit the growth and flowering of some under-story plantings.

When deciding where to grow your Mesquite Tree, consider the ultimate shade that can be produced by these trees and how it will affect the growth and flowering of under-story plants. Also note from my experience that any plant, vine, or flower placed too close to the Mesquite will not do well.

chilean mesquite

The Shade from this Mesquite Tree creates a 10-15 degree cooler temperature in our yard.

At maturity, Chilean Mesquites can be up to 30 feet tall and as wide…with dome-shaped, spreading canopies, this Hybrid in the photo below is much taller.  They are cold resistant to 10 to 15 degrees F.  Thornless Mesquites are semi-deciduous, losing  a portion of their leaves in warmer winters in the Phoenix, Arizona and Palm Desert, California areas.

Las Vegas and Tucson, Arizona will have a little more leaf shed due to the lower winter temperatures. Leaves remaining through the winter are shed rapidly in spring just prior to bud break. Mesquite trees are often easily damaged or completely uprooted by the high winds associated with the summer rainy season.  Proper tree staking is essential!!

Below is a picture of our 15 year old Chilean Mesquite Tree, majestic, healthy and strong. This Tree is one of,  if not the tallest Mesquite Tree, or any tree in our area.

huge mesquite shade tree

The Best Shade Tree. The wind was blowing during the photo.

When it comes to shade – this Thornless Mesquite is the perfect tree for shade! It is also loved by the neighborhood birds.

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18 replies »

  1. We had a beautiful Chilean the person that trimmed our tree took half of it away thinking we wanted it away from the pool. Will this grow back and have the canopy shape it once had? Thank you.

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    • Yes it will grow back Lydia. It will take some time but if you are in AZ you have lots of good sun left this year! It may be a little shocked from the heavy pruning but it also stimulates new growth. Does it get regular water? We talked about it and suggest you give it some extra water over the next couple weeks, unless of course we are blessed with more rain. Please let us know how your Chilean is doing. Best of Luck Lydia.

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      • Thank you so much for responding to my questions . Would you mind if I attached a picture of the tree and showed you what I am referring to. How long do you think it may take from the time for it to grow a canopy shaped tree again? Yes we live in Phoenix Arizona. We have contemplated having the tree pulled out and putting a new one in we are sick about the loss of our beautiful tree. Thank you! Lydia

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        • Sure Lydia you can attach a photo here or on our facebook which may be easier. One thing to keep in mind when replacing a tree is that is will take a long time for a new tree to make the complicated, healthy root system your current one has. It sounds like they trimmed quite a bit, darn I’d be sad too.

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  2. We have gotten seeds from yuma az in northeast pa, six year ago. One is now 20 ‘ the other 18’. They are growing trees from their roots! Like the pando!

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  3. We have the spineless trees in our yard, one in the front and two in the back. Great shade, my question is this. Are the pods edible like the honey and velvet species. I understand they are great for helping control blood sugar for diabetics.

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  4. We have had 2 ThornlessChilean Mesquite Trees with the same outcome. They lived one season and grew very fast to the point we had to trim them back because they blocked the path. They were beautiful. We had them on automatic water during the spring, summer and Fall. In the winter they were watered every 10 days or so. The leaves turned brown, but did not fall off. Again it is mid-April and the tree is dead. What could the problem be?
    Margee McIlvoy

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    • Margee here are a couple questions. Does your tree have any strange growths or visible diseases? Mistletoe is harmful to Mesquite Trees. Are both of your trees dead? Thank you for commenting.

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      • I know what you mean. I used those metal dog anchor elongated screws (I don’t know what you call them.) You screw them into the ground so you can tie your pooch to a chain. The anchor holds the chain. I have no pooch but I used it to hold up one of my trees. You may not have the right soil there for this, especially if it’s sandy. It works well with clay soil.

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          • Which ones were used after Hurricane Katrina? I bet they’re good! Yes, I tied electrical cord to the anchor and then tied old nylon pantyhose to the cord. The pantyhose stretches with the growth of the tree and it also gives it some flexibility. Anything else might cut into the tree. It was too late for that tree though – it’s roots were already too far gone from wind damage.

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