8 Best Small Trees For Arizona

The reasons for planting small trees for Arizona are numerous, but it’s usually the fact that not everyone has room for a giant cottonwood or a mighty oak in the backyard. In this article, we will introduce these trees to you, whether you want a bit of color, a little shade, or a touch of privacy on your property you will probably find one that fits your needs. Additionally, these trees require little to no maintenance! 

Keep reading to find out more about small desert trees, their characteristics,  and requirements!

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Small Trees for Arizona – Common Varieties

1. Birch

Birch trees usually grow to about 40 feet in height and tend to grow in multi-trunk clumps. Tree services Arizona consider it to be a fast grower, thus it is perfect for almost any landscape type. Besides, most varieties have very attractive bark that will fit in with the surroundings pretty well. 

The River birch and the White paperbark birch are a few common examples that also show spectacular autumn colors. Additionally, these small desert trees usually have a narrow spread at the base, so their canopy allows for dappled sunlight.

2. Chaste Tree

Chaste tree is more of a deciduous shrub but is commonly referred to as a tree. It grows to about 20 feet in height and about 10 feet in width. It is one of the most common small trees for Arizona and you probably know someone who has it in the backyard. The tree is easily controlled with pruning and is characterized by long panicles of white and purple flowers that attract butterflies and other wildlife. 

Due to its similar look, this tree is usually compared to the butterfly bush. However, this variety blooms later and will have repeating blooms, making it even more desirable. 

3. Chocolate Mimosa

Chocolate mimosa is a bean-less variety. It grows to about 20 feet in height and has a cooling 15-foot spread. It shows its beauty in summer when the scented clusters of pink blooms start attracting butterflies and bees. 

This fast-growing tree has an umbrella-shaped canopy and is characterized by the beautiful bronze-green foliage in spring. The leaves will then get a vibrant chocolate color that will remain until late fall, making the tree desirable throughout the whole year. 

4. Crabapple

Crabapple is a tree that can fit even in the smallest of yards. It grows no taller than 15 feet in height at maturity, but the tree has a lot to offer. Each variety will produce flowers each spring during the whole month. These flowers attract butterflies and pollinators, thus are very useful to every landscape.

Also, the flowers are later followed by clusters of fruits that are very popular among birds. Crabapples are also the brightest bloom trees each spring. 

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5. Crepe Myrtle

Crepe myrtles enjoy a long and warm season, making them perfect small desert trees for the area. They reward owners with beautiful flowers followed by the flamboyant fall colors. It grows to about 20 feet in height once it hits maturity and can even cast a small shade. 

The tree is characterized by a very attractive bark, so tree service Arizona companies recommend pruning the lower branches to expose its attractive bark. With that in mind, you should prune your crepe myrtle each winter since the tree blooms on new wood. 

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6. Desert Willow 

This Willow variety has double the bloom time than the native one. It can grow to about 20 feet in height at maturity and will bloom without dangling bean pods. It is characterized by clusters of tubular burgundy flowers that appear at branches. These are irresistible to hummingbirds and the fragrance of the tree is very welcome in firewise landscapes and even in containers. 

The tree does well in water-challenged yards and goes pretty well with almost any kind of landscape trees. 

7. Golden Chain Tree

Golden chain tree has a very spectacular color that comes from its bright yellow, lightly fragrant flowers. It grows to about 25 feet in height in the right environment but does very well in the Arizona climate and soils. The bark has a very distinctive green color and the leaves allow for the sun to break through them and reach the trunk. 

8. Magnolia 

Magnolia has very delicate white and fragrant pink flowers. They appear right before the leaves show in early spring. The tree grows to about 10 feet in height if the right conditions are provided. Still, this tree doesn’t require too much maintenance and will easily withstand drought and different types of soil. Usually, the flowers are about 10 inches long and they fully cover the tree’s canopy. 

The tree is considered to be the hardiest mountain tree in the area, so it is adapted to any type of landscape and location. 



Q: What are some dwarf trees?

A: Most common dwarf trees in Arizona are Birch, Magnolia, and Desert willow. These trees share similar characteristics, they have similar maintenance requirements and will fit in almost any type of landscape.  Also, these trees are adapted to the climate and won’t have any problems with drought. 

Q: What is the best small tree to plant?

A: The best small tree to plant in Arizona is Birch. It provides everything you’d like from a small tree, beautiful looks, low maintenance requirements, and even a small shade. Also, this tree is one of the most common ones in the area, so you can always get useful information about it, whether from owners or nurseries. 

Local Tree Experts Overview

Usually, small trees for Arizona are very similar in terms of characteristics and maintenance requirements. In addition, they all look very good in different landscapes and can withstand the climate and soil types in the area. We recommend consulting with your local arborist about planting, pruning, and maintenance when it comes to small trees to make sure you’re doing everything right to keep your trees healthy!

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