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The Desert Museum palo verde is a fast-growing deciduous tree of medium size that develops an upright canopy habit, 20-30 ft. tall, 20-25 ft. wide. In contrast to other types of palo verde, this cultivar has thornless chartreuse-green stems and branches. Vast numbers of lemon-yellow flowers are produced each spring for a dramatic display.

Desert Museum palo verde is becoming the top choice for landscapes and gardens in the Inland Empire due to its fast growth, thornless nature, intense flowering and delicate shade. It is easily pruned into a canopy tree that provides filtered shade and accent value in many settings. It grows best in well-draining soils, and exposed to full sun and heat. Summer water should be deep and infrequent; over-watering can lead to fast growth and weak branching.

Water Needs

The Desert Museum palo verde performs best in Inland Empire gardens mostly with normal winter rainfall. It easily adapts to our warm and dry summertime conditions; only periodic irrigation is recommended. The chart shown below provides a baseline guide to the monthly irrigation schedule and volume of supplemental water needed to maintain healthy growth throughout the average year. It should be noted there are several months indicated by an asterisk (*) when winter rains can provide sufficient moisture and irrigation is not needed.

Irrigation Schedule and Graph

Low Water Use Plants

Irrigation Schedule 2

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
Runs per Month 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x
Inches per Run 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1"
Inches per Month 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 0" to 2" 0" to 2"

Range of supplemental summer water: 7"-14"
Range of supplemental winter water: 0"-10"

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
For more information on how to use this Irrigation Schedule and Graph, follow this link.

For information how to calculate your irrigation system’s schedule and precipitation rate, please follow this link.

Plant Properties

Plant Type: Tree, Native
Foliage Character: Winter deciduous, Drought deciduous
Habit: Upright, Open, Multi-trunk
Growth Rate: Fast
Height: 20 ft. - 30 ft.
Width: 20 ft. - 25 ft.
Water Needs: Low 2
Foliage Color: Light green
Flower Color: Yellow
Flower Season: Spring
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil, Sand, Deep soil, Clay
Exposure Adaptations: Heat, Frost, Drought, Aridity, All day sun
Function: Wildlife value, Specimen, Shade Tree, Flowering accent plant, Civic spaces, Attracts bees


Plan for some pruning when young to establish a single, low branched, or balanced multi trunk from. If the space accommodates it, looks best as multi branched or low branched form. Pruning is best in winter. Prune out suckers (shoots growing from base) and water sprouts (vigorous vertical shoots growing from branches) as they occur, any time of year. It is best to avoid organic mulch under the canopy. Mulch with gravel, small rocks, or decomposed granite is good with this tree though (D).



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