Titan Tree Care

The Best Times to Plant a Tree in the Phoenix and Anthem Areas

Adding a tree (or several) to your property has many benefits. A fully-grown tree can provide shade to your yard, oxygen to the atmosphere, and can even reduce the air temperature around it. We’ve already covered topics concerning planting trees including: how deep you should plant , how wide the planting hole should be , whether or not to stake a tree , how to ensure you plant the right tree in the right place , and more. When you’re thinking of adding a new tree to your property, however, one of the first questions you may ask is “ when is the best time to plant a tree? ” The Phoenix and Anthem areas enjoy year-round sunshine, but several distinct seasons and varying weather conditions. In this article, we will cover the best time to plant a tree in the Phoenix and Anthem areas. We’ll also briefly discuss the...
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Titan Tree Care

How Wide Should the Hole Be When Planting a Tree?

Did you know that many newly planted trees don’t survive because they are planted incorrectly? It may not seem too important, but it’s surprising how picky young trees can be about how and where they are planted. One of the most common issues with tree planting that we come across is trees being planted too deep. In fact, we wrote an entire blog post on how deep you should plant a tree . But, when you’re planting a tree, you not only need to focus on the depth but also the width of the planting hole . In this article, we go over everything you need to know to choose the best planting hole size for a young tree, including: how wide the hole should be (and why), what happens to a tree if the planting hole is not wide enough, what tree roots need and what they provide, and...
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Titan Tree Care

How & When to Stake a Tree in Your Desert Landscape

Many times, when you come across a tree that has recently been planted here in the Phoenix or Anthem areas, you’ll also see a stake next to that tree, tied to the tree in various ways. We have previously written about how tree staking is not necessary for most trees , but what about those times when it is? In this article, we will go over situations where tree staking may be necessary, the proper way to stake a tree, and the correct materials to use. Situations Where Tree Staking May Be Needed In most cases, by the time you receive a tree from a nursery, it is large and strong enough to be planted on its own without staking. However, there are a few situations when staking a tree as it adjusts to its new location may be helpful – but only for a short time. The stake that...
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Titan Tree Care

Why You Should NOT Top Your Trees

We’ve all seen trees that look like the top has been chopped off. Major branches have been cut off at random lengths, branch stubs are clearly visible, and most of the leaves are gone. If you’ve ever wondered why trees are “pruned” that way, keep reading for the real facts about tree topping. FAQs About Tree Topping While it’s a common sight in some neighborhoods, hacking the top off a tree is NOT a proper form of tree pruning. In fact, it’s the second most common cause of tree death! Below are common questions people have about topped trees, including why it’s done, how it affects trees, how to help topped trees recover, and what can be done instead if your tree is too large. What is tree topping? When trees are topped, it means that the entire top of a tree is removed. This extreme tree cutting method is...
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Titan Tree Care

Creating a Pet-Friendly Landscape for your Phoenix-Area Yard

As all pet owners know, a yard is used by all members of the family – including the pets! Everyone benefits from time outdoors, and that’s no different for our furry, feathered, or scaly friends. While most families with a dog think of fences and those with a tortoise think of areas for their pet to burrow, there are several other considerations to keep in mind to keep your pets safe and to avoid costly veterinary bills. In this article, we will walk through some of the potential hazards that can be found on Phoenix-area properties, including: Spikes, thorns, and other painful parts of plants and trees, Toxic plants, trees, and seeds, Fertilizers and pesticides, Heat and weather dangers, Wild animals and other wildlife, And more! Spiky Plants, Trees, Cactus, and Seeds Can Injure Pets Most plants grown in the Southwest have some kind of spikes or thorns to protect...
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Titan Tree Care

Trees, Shrubs, and Flowers to Add Winter Interest to Your Phoenix Yard

In other climates, the term “winter interest” often applies to trees with peeling bark, red berries that pop against white snow, or flowers that dry out and create compelling shapes in the landscape. In the Phoenix and Anthem areas, however, it can refer to almost any tree, plant, shrub, cactus, or palm. To narrow it down, we will focus on some trees, shrubs, plants, and wildflowers that provide color or distinction, or may otherwise catch your eye during the winter months. Trees for Winter Interest Changing Leaves We’ve already talked about how “fall” color usually reaches Phoenix during the winter months. (You can read more about that in this article ). Red, orange, yellow, and even some green leaves cover the trees in the Phoenix and Anthem areas during the winter months. One tree that demonstrates this very late “fall” color is the Red Push Pistache ( Pistacia ‘Red Push’)....
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Titan Tree Care

How to Prevent Winter Tree & Plant Damage in Your Phoenix-Area Yard

Winter weather in Phoenix and Anthem can be pleasant, but there are some winter issues that can damage your trees and landscape plants. In this article, we walk through some common winter problems for trees, shrubs, and plants. Learn how winter weather occurrences such as frost, snow, and freezing temperatures can cause sunscald, desiccation, and other injuries to your landscape plants. Snow on Trees & Shrubs When you talk about “walking in a winter wonderland” in the Phoenix and Anthem areas, it really means that we have some beautiful, warm weather during the holiday season. Though there have been some (rare) occurrences of snow in the Phoenix area, snow usually only falls at higher elevations. However, it’s good to be prepared in case a rare snowfall occurs. Here’s what to know if we get a snowfall - If enough snow accumulates to coat your plants or trees, the weight of...
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Titan Tree Care

Comparing and Contrasting Mulch and Rocks for Phoenix-Area Yards

A quick drive around the Phoenix or Anthem areas will show you that a majority of homes, residences, and buildings have some sort of rock in place of grass-based lawns. While using rock may be better for our area than grass, it not necessarily the most ideal option. In this article, we’ll compare and contrast using rocks or wood mulch as the basis for a Phoenix-area yard. Both have benefits and potential downfalls, and we will cover them here. What do we mean when we refer to “mulch”? In this article, mulch refers to organic wood chips that may include bark. In other instances, mulch can refer to a variety of materials, both organic and inorganic, including: Organic Mulches Grass clippings Compost Straw Peat moss Leaves Hay Pine needles Seaweed Alfalfa Inorganic Mulches Rubber Glass Plastic Landscape fabrics Rocks are also sometimes referred to as “rock mulch,” but in this...
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Titan Tree Care

Caliche FAQs: Growing Trees and Plants in the Phoenix and Anthem Areas

  A guide to caliche soil, how it harms plants, and how to manage it so you can successfully grow trees and other plants in your Phoenix area yard. Caliche, an accumulation of calcium carbonate found in the ground throughout Southern Arizona, can be frustrating to deal with when you are trying to add new plants or trees to your property. The rock-like soil can be nearly impossible to dig through and has ruined many gardening tools, not to mention killed many plants that couldn’t survive in caliche-filled soil. In this article, we share the facts about caliche, explain how it affects plants (and planting), and give you our best tips for how to deal with it. Even if your property is filled with caliche, you CAN plant trees, shrubs, and other plants! What is caliche? Caliche is part of the soil composition in our part of Arizona, including in...
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Titan Tree Care

What is Damaging my Tecoma Plants?

If there has been an active monsoon season (like there has been at the time of this article being written), you might have noticed that your tecoma plants may not look as healthy as they normally do. This is thanks to a caterpillar that will eventually become a moth, one that is very active in the Phoenix and Anthem areas after a significant amount of rainfall. In this article, we’ll cover: How to recognize if you have a tecoma plant, What symptoms to look for, Information on what is causing the damage, Some treatment options, And more! Do you have a Tecoma plant? There are four varieties of tecomas found in the Phoenix and Anthem areas, commonly known as “yellow bells” for the plants that produce yellow, bell-shaped flowers, and “orange jubilee” for the ones that have orange flowers. Tecoma stans Tecoma stans var. angustata – Arizona yellow bells, narrow...
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hcrespo

Is My Ocotillo Dead?

We’ve recently had quite a bit of rain in the Phoenix and Anthem areas. Many drought-deciduous trees and plants are thriving after surviving the ongoing drought conditions. But, even with the added moisture, some plants and trees that you thought were surviving might not be bouncing back, including some ocotillos. In this article, we’ll cover: what an ocotillo plant is (and is not!), some interesting facts about ocotillos (including what you cannot do with them), how to tell if your ocotillo is dead or just dormant, and an interesting way that ocotillos have been used in landscapes for centuries. What is an Ocotillo? Ocotillo, or Fouquieria splendens , is a desert plant that often looks like a bundle of dead sticks. It goes by many names, including: Coachwhip Candlewood Slimwood Desert coral Jacob’s staff Jacob cactus Vine cactus Flaming sword Devil’s walking stick Monkey-tail However, most people use the common...
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Titan Tree Care

The Pros and Cons of Mesquite Trees

Mesquite trees are just as much a part of our desert environment as the iconic saguaro cactus, quail, coyotes, or any other symbol of life in the southwest. However, they certainly don’t get as much attention. Mesquite trees can either go unnoticed as a background tree not worthy of attention, or they can be a hotly contested topic – with points showing the benefits of mesquite trees, but also equal arguments against them. In this article, we will: introduce you to the mesquite trees most commonly found in the Phoenix and Anthem areas, share the benefits of adding a mesquite tree to your landscape, and go over some of the negative aspects of mesquite trees you may want to consider before planting. No matter your thoughts on whether a mesquite tree would work well for your property, they are a vital part of the desert ecosystem and an important tree...
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Titan Tree Care

About Desert Ironwood: Spring Flowers, Uses, Growth & More

Lately, we’ve been getting a lot of questions about ironwood trees, and specifically about their spring flowers. Many residents of Anthem and surrounding areas don’t recall ever seeing ironwood trees in bloom. That’s not unusual, but that’s also not the only unique thing about our native ironwood trees. In this article, we’ll cover some of the interesting facts about ironwood trees, whether you might want to add one to your property, all about their spring blooms, and more! What is the official name for ironwood trees? The official name for the trees we often call ironwoods is desert ironwood ( Olneya tesota ). It is also known as tesota and palo de hierro. How did the desert ironwood get its name? One reason may be that the wood of an ironwood tree is so dense that it cannot float in water. This dense wood also means that some of its...
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hcrespo

Why is Sap Oozing from My Tree’s Trunk?

Spring in the Phoenix and Anthem areas can look like the desert is “waking up.” Spring flowers appear on shrubs, trees, and various forms of cactus. New, light green leaves are sprouting on trees. Local wildlife is out and about, and you’re more likely to spot lizards, snakes, insects, quail, roadrunners, and more. One of the lesser-known signs of spring and early summer can be sap oozing from tree trunks. In this article, we’ll cover: What sap is, Why sap may be oozing from your tree trunks, Pest and disease issues associated with sap, and Ways that you can prevent sap bleeding. Keep reading to find out all about tree sap in the desert and what to do if you spot sap dripping down your trees. What is tree sap? Spring and early summer are the growing season for trees in the desert southwest, which means that the interior parts...
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About Arizona’s State Tree: Palo Verde

The green-barked palo verde is one of the most prominent trees in the Phoenix area. It’s especially visible in spring when it puts on a beautiful display of bright yellow flowers. But did you know that the palo verde is also Arizona’s official state tree? Keep reading to find out how and why the palo verde was chosen as the Arizona state tree, the significance of state trees, whether our state tree grows elsewhere, and why the palo verde is unique. For more information about choosing, planting, and caring for palo verde trees in Arizona, see these articles on our website: Best Shade Trees for your Anthem or Greater Phoenix Yard Do Palo Verde Trees Make You Sneeze? The Best Spring Flowering Teres for the Anthem Area Which Palo Verde Tree is Best for your Phoenix-Area Yard? Are Palo Verde Borers Killing Your Trees? What’s Digging Holes Around my Palo...
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Titan Tree Care

What’s Digging Holes Around My Palo Verde Tree?

Have you recently noticed areas of disturbed soil around some of your trees? Or signs that something has been digging up the ground beneath certain trees? In some cases, it can look like an out-of-control rototiller ran through your yard! Take a close look at which trees are being affected. If it’s mostly palo verde trees, then the damage was likely caused by a badger digging for palo verde borer grubs (the grubs are a tasty treat for badgers!). In this article, we’ll cover some of the specifics of badgers in Arizona, why their digging is actually a good thing, and some of the relationships they have with other wildlife. About Badgers Badgers are found in most states and are nocturnal members of the weasel family. If you do catch a rare glimpse of one, it’s best to observe from a distance. While they are most likely to scurry away...
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hcrespo

Which Palo Verde Tree is Best for Your Phoenix-Area Yard?

The palo verde tree is Arizona’s state tree, but do you know all of the different types? Both the foothills palo verde and blue palo verde are native to the state, and both of them are the official Arizona state tree (although some have decided that the blue palo verde alone has that honor). Other varieties are hybrids or are native to Mexico, Central America, or South America. In this article, we include: detailed descriptions of five of the most common types of palo verde trees found in the Phoenix area, ways to identify different types of palo verde trees, differences between the palo verde varieties, pros and cons of planting each kind of palo verde, and the best uses for each type. Plus, we’ve included a few of the lesser-known types as well! Keep reading to learn more. About Palo Verde Trees Palo verde trees are easily recognized by...
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hcrespo

Witches’ Broom in Phoenix-Area Trees

Some tree issues have unusual names that don’t seem to have anything to do with their name. But that’s not the case with witches’ broom – oftentimes, this deformity on trees actually looks like a broom. Witches’ broom can pop up on trees (and some shrubs and plants) for a variety of reasons. In this article, we cover how to spot witches broom, what trees in our area are likely to have it, what causes it, how it affects your trees, and what you can do.   What is Witches’ Broom? Witches broom is an abnormality that can appear on many kinds of trees or woody plants. It occurs when many small branches start growing in the same direction, creating a dense, sometimes circular, mass of branches and leaves or needles. What to Look For If you notice branches that are close together and seem to be growing in the...
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hcrespo

Do Leaves Change Color in Phoenix?

Every autumn, leaves throughout much of the country change from green into brilliant hues of red, orange, yellow or burgundy. In the Phoenix area, our low desert climate means that the vibrant fall colors found in cooler climates aren’t as common. But that doesn’t mean we don’t have any bright autumn leaves to admire! When do leaves change color in the Phoenix area? While Northern Arizona, with its higher elevation, sees leaves change during the actual fall season, here in Phoenix the colors change a bit later in the year. It’s not uncommon to see falling leaves next to outdoor Christmas decorations or to see dots of colorful foliage after the new year arrives. While not all trees in our area have leaves that change color, the bright pop of yellow or orange next to our native plants is usually a noticeable change. Look for leaves to change color in...
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Titan Tree Care

Is Mistletoe Killing Your Tree?

If you’ve ever noticed a cluster of what appear to be twigs or small branches concentrated together in your mesquite or palo verde tree, it may in fact be desert mistletoe. Mistletoe is often confused for a nest or hive, but it is a living, growing organism. What is desert mistletoe? Desert or mesquite mistletoe ( Phoradendron californicum ) is a hemiparasite that affects many of our local trees. It doesn't look quite like the traditional mistletoe hung in doorways during the holidays, but that's because it's a different variety. There are over 1,000 distinct species of mistletoe worldwide. The scientific classification of mistletoe, Phoradendron , translates to “thief of a tree,” which is a good way to think about mistletoe. It’s not “death of a tree,” per se, but it does rob your tree of certain things. As a hemiparasite, desert mistletoe attaches itself to a tree and steals...
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