Have you noticed all the Chilean Mesquite pods dropping?

Chilean MesquiteChilean Mesquite1History – Native Mesquite trees dot southwest Arizona’s desert landscape, but the Chilean Mesquite is an interloper that has edged its way into drought-resistant gardens.  The Chilean Mesquite, Prosopis chilensis, is originally from Chile, hence its name, and it’s a relative of the pea family.  The thornless tree produces an edible fruit that is thought to have been eaten by native Americans, who also used the tree’S fibers and pounded its seed pods into a flour.

Characteristics – The Chilean Mesquite tree has a host of desirable attributes that have made it a sought-after choice for landscaping, particularly in regions of southeastern Arizona such as Tucson.  The trees thrive in the hot sun and grow quickly, reaching up to 40 feet in height.  Their grand canopy provides filtered shade and helps keep homes cool.  Deemed semi-evergreen or semi-dormant, Chilean Mesquites provide a swath of green in the typically brown desert landscape and require little water. These shed just some of their leaves, depending on how cool it gets. Greenish-yellow flowers appear in spring and summer, and the tree also bears edible fruit.

Managing the Pods – Starting in mid June and continuing into July, for roughly 4 – 6 weeks seed pods of the Chilean mesquite tree drop to the ground, creating a blanket of debris.  During this period, Caretaker Landscape’s maintenance crews will be removing the seed pods as they work their way through properties and communities.  Please be patient as this is a time consuming process as the seed pods continue to drop.

For ideas about how to use Mesquite in cooking visit Desert Harvesters Recipes.

To request for a Landscape Maintenance Bid and/or Tree Pruning Bid, please contact Mischelle Arreca, Director of Business Development at marreca@caretakerinc.com.

Mischelle is CDLP and SLM certified and is an active member in AZCREW, BOMA and ICSC. 

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