Drought Resistant Trees

Lack of water is the most common plant stress encountered in urban and suburban landscapes. In areas with persistent drought conditions, or those with a true dry season, selecting drought resistant and native species will result in a more sustainable landscape that is easier to maintain.

Planting trees that are not drought resistant in these geographies will result in more work and more money spent on maintenance. Drought resistant plants, on the other hand, are adapted to live in dry conditions and will require less water and less maintenance.

Drought resistant plants, such as ginko and eastern redbud, are adapted to live in dry conditions.

Whenever selecting a tree, always consider the climate and hardiness zone before making a decision. (The USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map can be useful in determining where plants are most likely to thrive.)

Here are just a few examples of trees with drought-tolerant attributes:

Common Name

Scientific Name

Hardiness Zones

Crepe Myrtle Lagerstroemia spp. 6-10 (dependent on variety)
Eastern Redbud Cercis canadensis 4-9
Elm Ulmus spp. 3-9 (dependent on species)
Ginkgo Ginkgo biloba 3-8
Hackberry Celtis occidentalis 3-9
Hawthorn Crataegus spp. 3-9
Honey Locust Gleditsia triacanthos 3-9
Leyland Cypress Cupressocyparis leylandii 6-10
Oak Quercus spp. (dependent on species)
Red Maple Acer rubrum 3-9
Sassafras Sassafras albidum 4-9
Shagbark Hickory Carya ovata 4-9
Sumac Rhus spp. 3-9

Irrigation of Landscape PlantsDownload a technical report from our research laboratory about the irrigation of landscape plants.


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