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  Mexican Palo Verde tree
Mexican Palo Verde tree

Palo Verde Trees

Palo Verde is Spanish for "green wood or stick", which describes the plant's greenish branches and trunk.

The Littlleaf Palo Verde grows to about 20 feet in height and the Blue palo verde can top out at 40 feet. Both require full sun and are very heat and drought tolerant.

Another tree which looks very similar is the Mexican Paloverde, Retama or Jerusalem Thorn. It grows 15 or 20 feet high and also has the distintive green bark, but it's leafstems are several inches long. This variety is the one most widely grown in Southern New Mexico.

Flowers are yellow and cover the tree for a short period in the spring. Bees and several other pollinators are attracted to the blossoms.

The Palo Verde does not survive as a tree when the winter temps get too low. Some can withstand temps as low as 10 degrees fahrenheit, but most will freeze to ground level, coming back up in the spring from the roots.

As with all other plants and trees, winter survival depends on whether or not they received any water during the winter and especially prior to a hard cold snap.

Mexican Palo Verde leaves
Mexican Palo Verde leaves

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