Four selections of trees that work well in USDA hardiness zone 8 that are all drought-tolerant and fast-growing.
Water-wise gardens need good hardy drought-tolerant plants, shrubs and trees. These can assure that the garden can survive well between rains and supplemental watering is kept to a minimum. For getting a mature garden quickly, try fast growing drought-tolerant trees. Those that live in USDA hardiness zone 8 can try any of the four selections below.
Red Buckeye, or Aesculus pavia, is a easy-to-grow tree that is fast-growing, drought-tolerant, and attracts hummingbirds to the landscape. It is from the horse chestnut family of plants.
It grows 8 to 10 feet in height with purple-green leaves and red flowers on spikes. The flowers will bloom in the spring. Although they appear chestnut-like, the seeds are quite poisonous.
Red buckeye prefers non-acidic soil and full sun. It tolerates shade and partial shade as well as drought and brief flooding. Propagate a red buckeye by seed, cuttings or grafting.
The silk tree or mimosa, also known as Albizia julibrissin, is a fragrant fast-growing drought-tolerant tree from the bean family. It grows 35 feet high with feathery leaves and pink clustered flowers.
Fragrant flowers bloom in summer. Grow a silk tree in full sun in any soil; it tolerates partial shade. To propagate it, use seed. Though it is a beautiful tree that is used to accent a landscape, it can get invasive quickly.
Deodar cedar, or Cedrus deodara, is a fast-growing evergreen drought-tolerant tree from the pine family. It has the ability to grow 150 feet tall but usually stays about 50 feet high.
Leaves are needle-like while cones are blue-green. It should grow in non-acidic soil in full sun. To propagate, use graftings or seed. This is definitely a tree that needs a lot of room to grow.
Chinaberry or bead tree, also known as Melia azedarach, is a fast-growing drought-tolerant tree from the mahogany family. It grows 50 feet high with deciduous feathery leaves and fragrant star-like flowers.
Flowers bloom in the spring and summer. It should grow in partial shade or full sun in any soil type. Propagate by seed. Chinaberry is an invasive species if not kept under control and the berries are poisonous.
The above four selections are a good way to get acquainted with fast-growing drought-tolerant trees. While two of them can get invasive, it’s up to the gardener or landscaper to determine if the value of the tree is worth the chance.