Tag Archive for: Autumn Color in Desert Southwest

I have heard people lament that they miss the obvious changes that the seasons bring in cooler climates, once they move to the desert.  A fall without yellow and red foliage doesn’t feel the same. 

Autumn color in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina

 Autumn color in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina

Visions of large, green trees whose leaves are beginning to turn into beautiful colors occupy their thoughts….

Fall foliage begins to make it's appearance in Williamsburg, VA.

 Fall foliage begins to make it’s appearance in Williamsburg, VA.

I like fall color as much as the next person, but as a native of Southern California, I have never experienced a whole lot of autumn colored foliage.  So for me, the coming of fall is indicated by drier and cooler weather, which I wholeheartedly welcome.

Some of you may not have noticed, but I have been gone for about 2 weeks on a vacation along the east coast.  My mother (Pastor Farmer), my husband, the kids and I flew from Phoenix to Atlanta, GA, where we rented a minivan and drove through western North Carolina, through Virginia, Maryland, Washington DC, Pennsylvania and ended up in New York.

We had a phenomenal time, which I will post about later.  One thing I will mention is the beautiful autumn color that we were fortunate to see on our travels.

Montreat, North Carolina

 Montreat, North Carolina

We enjoyed gathering some leaves for fall decorations back home.  I was able to get some from the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina, some in Pennsylvania, a couple of leaves from trees at the White House (the Secret Service didn’t get me in trouble for that), and a few leaves from Central Park in New York City.

Now many new people who move to the desert southwest love our mild winters, but oftentimes lament the lack of fall color in the trees in our area.  Well, for those of you who are homesick for some fall color in your desert garden, do not despair…

There is a wonderful tree that produces beautiful orange-red color in the winter.  The Chinese Pistache (Pistacia chinensis) tree stands out in the winter landscape because of it’s gorgeous color.

Autumn Colored Foliage

Autumn Colored Foliage

Aren’t they beautiful?

Throughout most of the year, this Chinese native serve as beautiful shade trees.  They reach sizes of approximately 30 ft. high and will shed their leaves in the winter.

Chinese Pistache tree

This front garden is a great example of a beautiful Chinese Pistache tree.

 It is NOT a good example of how to prune your shrubs ๐Ÿ˜‰

They are hardy to temperatures in the teens in the winter months.  Male trees are said to be more attractive then the female trees.

Autumn Colored Foliage

So, if you are a new resident of the desert, or maybe a longtime resident and would like to add a little autumn color to your landscape, here is a tree to try.

Autumn Colored Foliage

Who wouldn’t love color like this in the fall?

**I am currently getting over jet lag and going through my photos from our vacation.  I can’t wait to share some of them with you ๐Ÿ™‚

Is It Fall Yet?