Mesquite trees belong in Arizona. As Jay Sharp, editor and author of the site DesertUSA.com, "Muskiton symbolizes the deserts of our southwest" such as "wolf wolf, black tail pod, western diamondback, scorpions, saguaro, prickly pear cactus." In fact, the Mesquite trees in Arizona blend into the life of the earth like corn bread and tortilla. Lomita.
Perfectly adapted to the desert
Mesquite are very harsh desert trees and have adapted over the centuries to life in the desert landscape in and around Arizona. All of its physical properties ensure its survival here, including foliage, beans, and root systems. They grow well under full sunlight and high temperatures, but they will also withstand cold during the winter in Arizona (up to 0 ° F). They are sometimes found at a rather high elevation and will adapt to shallow rocky soils. According to reports from the US Department of Agriculture and Forestry, the Mesquite tree can live for more than two centuries. (Sharp)
The Mesquite trees in Arizona can survive in areas that receive very little rain due to the extended root system. The side roots of the Mesquite tree extend several times away from the canopy. They also have very deep roots that can dig to drink up to 175 feet below ground level, although the depth of 50 feet is the most typical. Therefore, at one time they have access to water both in the very upper and lower layers of the soil.
Small waxy leaflets of mesquite trees retain precious moisture by reducing lost moisture through transpiration. They are deciduous trees, which means they provide a great shade during the summer but they drop their leaves and allow the sunlight to pass through the winter for warmth. During severe drought, they will further reduce transpiration by prematurely dropping their leaves.
Mesquite is a member of the legume family (relatives of beans and peas), making it particularly adapted to the arid environment. Mesquite trees have the ability to fertilize themselves and surrounding plants through a symbiotic relationship with colonies of soil bacteria. Bacteria living in the roots of mesquite trees convert or "fix" nitrogen in the atmosphere, providing in the soil the mineral necessary for plant growth and germination. Many gardeners use this same process to enrich the soil by planting nitrogen-covering crops. (Sharp, Shalau)
The Mesquite trees in Arizona are amazingly heavy. Their grain, coated in protective horns, is extremely durable. In fact, "seeds left undisturbed in their pods can remain viable for up to 40 years." (Clayton) Animals play an important role in numbing seeds (needed for germination) and dispersing them through feces.
Mesquite trees are easy to identify, and look like a giant fern shrub. They can reach a height of 30 feet, but the average growth of the wild Mesquite tree in the Arizona desert is about half that size. Many multiple trunks. Under the harshest conditions, the Mesquite looks more like a bush than a tree. The structure of the branches is often very convenient and detailed, which increases their individual uniqueness. In the spring and early summer, they display sets of finger-shaped protrusions covered with delicate little flowers. This is followed by the formation of long, thin bean horns, which are usually brown shades but differ in appearance between species. Many types of Mesquite trees have spines of some kind, which can be either too short or along length (all terribly sharp!).
Three Arizona native Mesquite trees and their cousins
There are about 40 varieties of mesquite worldwide, but there are three varieties of Arizona. It grows not only in the Sonoran Desert, but also in the Mojave and Chihuahuan deserts. Its range is spectacular, spanning tens of millions or acres from West Texas to California, and from Mexico to southern parts of Utah. They can thrive in a large variety of habitats in the described range. (Lomita, Sharp)
The three species of native Mesquite tree in Arizona are:
Prosopis glandulosa – Known as honey Mesquite or Texas Mesquite. These usually have a crying form and can be very beautiful.
Prosopis velutina – Known as Arizona Mesquite or original Mesquite. It is also called velvet mesquite because of the soft hair that covers the growth of young people. They are somewhat disheveled and crowded in appearance. They are popular in nurseries and will grow well on lawns and golf courses.
Prosopis pubescens – Known as spiral Mesquite, its name is acquired from the spiral or cabbage shape of the pods of the pods.
Besides these three, there are many other species of mesquite trees that grow in Arizona. Many hybrids of honey, velvet or mesquite screw, which occur mostly where the ranges of each of these local species overlap. Others are of non-native mesquite types, mostly from South America. There are Argentine Mesquite (Prosopis alba), Chilean Mesquite (Prosopis chilensis), and many other varieties and hybrids. Non-native species will not be suitable for climate here like the original Mesquite in Arizona. For example, the Chilean Mesquite does not seem tolerant of lower winter temperatures in Arizona.
Despite many positive qualities, many of the Mesquite trees are considered invasive weeds. In many countries outside North and South America where they were introduced, they were highly intrusive and troublesome, especially in Australia.
The Mesquite tree is cursed by the inhabitants of our Arizona desert. He hates livestock in particular, but over-grazing over the past two centuries has exacerbated the very problem they complain about: competition between Mesquite trees and grasses. In a densely populated area, cattle not only threaten the inhabitants of natural herbs that compete with mesquite trees for water, but they also help diffuse mesquite by eating and distributing seeds. As Frank Dubey said, "The white man is cultivated in overgrazing; he is now harvesting invasions from the Mesquite, which have stabbed millions of acres of land unproductive." All efforts to thwart or control the stubborn native Arizona tree have failed and have been deemed impractical or ineffective. Whether by fire, herbicide use or physical removal of various means, the environmental costs and side effects of trying to control the population and spreading the Mesquite have made it a problem without an easy solution.
Sharp reminds us: “The uninvited guest or welcome neighbor, the Mesquite belongs to the desert. They have evolved in the desert. They play a key role in the desert ecosystem.” (Jay Sharp)
Historical significance and modern uses
"Over the past several centuries, no single station may have played a greater and more vital role in the lives of mankind in the southwestern United States than the twisted Mesquite short stature." (Excerpt from Wonderful Mesquite By Ken E. Rogers.) In fact, poor trees scattered across the southwest saved many lives. They provided a "ment from heaven" to men who suffered from the Texas Santa Expedition in 1841, as recorded in the George W. Kendall magazine (also quoted as Rogers). Beans are sweet and nutritious, and are rich in protein over soy. Lomita.
The other food that comes from the Mesquite trees in Arizona (though not directly) is honey. Swarms of bees that are strongly attracted to the Mesquite nectar do more than just fill their important role as pollinators, after all. This, however, does not complement the list of foods derived from mesquite. Even their sap has been used as a sweet gum or black dye.
"Pinole" is made by grinding pods, with or without beans that remain inside. It can be used as four or because of spices or spices. This mesquite flour is said to be healthy for diabetics, because it is sweetened with fructose, which the body processes without insulin. This is just one example of the many digestive and nutritional benefits of Mesquite and other foods discovered in the desert. Lomita.
Various parts of the Mesquite tree were also used as a remedy for many different diseases by Indians and settlers in the Border Era. Examples of diseases that the musky tree helped to relieve or heal include diarrhea, dysentery, colic, physical wounds, headaches, sick eyes, and sore throat.
Wood, bark and horns of Mesquite trees are used in barbecue and for other purposes. Dry wood burns slowly, hot and with a little smoke. It has an unmistakable smell. Some insist that burning pods together with charcoal and wood chips makes the flavor richer. (Lometa) Besides heat and cooking, wood was used to build Spanish expeditions, colonial fort, farmhouses and fencing. (Sharp) Native Americans used hard Mesquite wood for spears, stock heads and bark of Mesquite to make baskets and fabrics. The thorns were used as needles. Today wood is considered an artistic value for making furniture or sculpture because of its sometimes dark colors and beautiful patterns.
Of course, the Mesquite trees in Arizona are beneficial not only to humans but also to our wildlife. Mesquite animals are used as shelter, habitat and food. In late summer and autumn, Mesquite pills form up to 80 percent of the wolf's diet! Beans pods can also serve as feed for cattle when the herbs are insufficient.
Maintenance, problems and treatments
Although the Mesquite trees in Arizona do not require much maintenance, samples growing around our homes can benefit from a little extra care during the unusually hot summer or prolonged dry times. Sun-scorch is one of the very few problems that can affect Mesquite trees planted as part of the landscape, although they are not as susceptible to this as other citrus and fruit trees in Arizona. Fertilized irrigation and irregular accidental fertilization will help but ensure that musk around our homes suffers from deteriorating health and beauty.
During years when Arizona receives abundant rains, Mesquite trees do not require additional irrigation. However, in times of drought, the leaves will become scattered and allow more sunlight to branch. This is exacerbated by the need in the city to keep the mesquite trees weak until they survive storms and high winds, so as not to cause damage to homes and other buildings. If the bark is exposed to very intense sunlight, the heat of the sun may occur, especially when sunlight is more direct (i.e., at the top of the horizontal branches in the middle of the day). Burning sunlight causes permanent damage to the cambium, or rocky layer beneath the bark. Cracked bark and dead tissue from severe scorching can lead to secondary infection and infection, such as bark beetles and fungi called "canoty canker".
The scorching sunlight on the Mesquite trees in Arizona can be prevented but cannot be undone. Reflective paint on the most vulnerable branches reduces the chances of the Mesquite tree being damaged by sunlight. The already affected branches should be removed back to a branch containing healthy tissue. The best way to prevent the hot sun is to encourage leafy growth to protect the tree during the hottest part of the year through some irrigation and light fertilization. Give mesquite trees ammonium sulfate once in the spring. Unless you are already fed by spraying or spraying (either in your area or in the adjacent yard), water it deeply every two months from early spring to early autumn. If the monsoon brings enough water, skip deep irrigation during this period.
The Mesquite tree planted in someone's yard may not be as much as the volunteer trees grow in the desert. Most likely, the planted Mesquite tree that was planted for gardening purposes, spent some time in a pot. The more time a tree spends in a pot, the more likely it is to be tied to a root. A crippling root system makes a Mesquite tree not only struggling to receive the little water they need to thrive, but is also more likely to fall because "laying them" is not strong. John Bigman says: "Try as you like, it is impossible to climb a wobbly tree to anchor it in the ground. By putting stakes and stronger wires, correcting the tree when it falls, … you just prolong (…) the best you can do with a tree other than Stable is discarded and start again with a healthy sample. "Please refer to his article entitled" Wobbly Mesquite Trees Removal "(http://ag.arizona.edu/gardening/news/articles/17.29.html) for more information on this topic.
If nothing else, I hope this article on poor trees in Arizona will increase some Arizona's appreciation of this original plant as an undeniable thing belonging to this desert we call home.
"Primary plants burn their yellow fires
Where grass and roads meet;
Feathers and tassel like the Queen,
Do all the old Mesquite. "
-J. Frank Dubey
Bigman, John. "Remove oscillating Mesquite trees." Information Arid Southwestern Gardens. September 2003.
Bigman, John. "The scorched sun of Mesquite and Palo Verde." Information Arid Southwestern Gardens. March 2000.
Clayton, Robin N. "Mesquite velvet tree." Arizona Highway.
Dobby, Frank J. "Mesquite". Arizona Highway. November 1941.
Lomita. "Mesquite (something)." Everything2. August 2002.
Shallow, Jeff. "I respect the Mesquite tree." Backyard gardener. January 2007.
Sharp, JW. "Mesquite: something belongs." DesertUSA.