DESERT WILLOW

Full sun. Deciduous, thornless and fast-growing, with a low, spreading canopy and pale pink trumpet flowers from spring through fall. It provides terrific shade for old-fashioned garden plants (and gardeners). A large specimen can be seen at the San Antonio Botanical Garden.Chitalpa combines the size of Southern Catalpa (Catalpa bignonioides) with the ornamental display of Desert Willow (Chilopsis linearis). An odd inter-generic hybrid, it was first produced in Uzbekistan in the 1960s and not introduced to the U.S. until 1997. Its growth tends to be sloppy rather than stately; some pruning and shaping will help in managing its size and growth habit. Make pruning cuts at a bud or branch; focus on minimizing dead, damaged, or rubbing branches. Remove no more than 25% of the canopy during any 5-year cycle. Leaving the upper 2/3 of the crown uncut will result in a healthier specimen; never remove more than the lowest third of the tree in any pruning period.

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