Thursday, October 6, 2011


Like many Tucsonans, I made the same mistake as a lot of people do.  About 2 years ago, I saw these lush and tropical looking trees in our neighbor's yards.  At first they looked a little bit like the Ficus trees in Phoenix.  As I began to work around trees more, I became frustrated because I knew that these plants were NOT Ficus.  And yet they looked like a Ficus.  My neighbors kept calling the 3 trees along our El Presidio property Ficus.  But they weren't!!!  On top of that we had these "Ficus" trees growing in several spots along the planters.  After doing a lot of research with zero results, I snapped a shot with my camera and did my own search.  Only then did I discover the word......"Privet".  And what do you know?  Our landscape designer came and asked me how the privet held up against our historic freeze.  Later another person labeled the trees "privet".  But just to be on the safe side, I would ask friends about how their privet was doing in their own yards.....and those that knew what the plant was called would respond favorably.  I then felt confident that I could recognize privet in Tucson!!  Anyhow, you're probably asking yourself, "What's the purpose of this post?" While yesterday was about Phoenix, Ficus Nitida addictions, and roots, today's post is for us....the Tucsonans(two-so-nahns:)  
If you want a green plant that looks similiar to a Ficus, purchase a Privet.  They did well during our freeze and make a great shrub or tree.  In the background, you'll see three massive privet trees.  They do shed leaves and branches so be careful where you place them.  They will take sun once established, but make sure they get moderate watering.   These plants provide great shade and happiness to homeowners.....and birds!  The canopy does spread a bit, but they can take some pruning before spring begins.  The leaves stay on all year, but like most plants they will shed older leaves when it's time.  It's a great plant and won't disappoint.  Give it some time to put some height on as it is a moderate grower. Once it's full grown, it will provide A LOT of shade below so keep that in mind before planting this shrub/tree into your landscape. More tomorrow gardening friends.....

1 comment:

  1. So that is what they are called! We call 'em 'nice big trees'!


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