Mesquite Trees and the edible bits

Discussion in 'The Green Patch' started by Ganado, Aug 29, 2015.

  1. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    I need a new shade tree in the side yard and was looking at what kind of mesquite tree to plant so we can harvest the beans in the fall.

    I ran across this organization who walks around town an harvests all kinds of desert edible plants. Desert Harvesters: Appreciating the Native Foods of the Southwest » Hammermill Page

    I may go with honey mesquite but they do take a while to grow so a Chilean mesquite in the interium. Anyone else have any thoughts on desert or mesquite plants?

    I need
    1) shade for growing other veggies
    2) low water and maintenance
    Hanzo likes this.
  2. azrancher

    azrancher Monkey +++

    Chilean Mesquite are not as hardy, not familiar with the honey mesquite, what's you lowest cold temps, all the chilean mesquites froze in 0-10 degree nights, the native AZ mesquites had no problems.

  3. Altoidfishfins

    Altoidfishfins Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    Honey mesquites actually grow pretty quickly if you water them regularly. I have one in my front yard that I purchased from a local nursery and planted 6 or 7 years ago. Once established, you can cut back on or cut out watering.

    It survived hard freezes, including one that got down to the mid-teens three or four years ago. It may lose its tiny leaves as a result, but they grow back in the spring thick and with a vengeance.

    On the down side, they're messy. But that's a concern for finicky landscaping purists. For someone trying to keep that fireball in the sky off of his house, not so much.

    It is now grown almost as high as the peak of the roof and is providing lots of shade for the west-facing front of the house.

    Shade is a darn good thing to have in this country, as azrancher and anyone else who has spent time here well knows.

    The tree on the left next to the saguaro cactus is a shoestring acacia. Don't waste your time.
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2015
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  4. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    OMg! that tree is beautiful! The beans are really good for flour. So glad you posted this! I was looking at Screwbean mesquite but I dont like the flour as well.
    Altoidfishfins likes this.
  5. azrancher

    azrancher Monkey +++

    I'm guessing from the palm tree in the back yard you are either in AZ or CA, did you survive the 0 degree night we had a couple of years ago?

    Ganado likes this.
  6. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    As I walk to the mail box I notice the multiple new Skete bushes sticking their heads above the knee high grass.
    Knowing that each plant will need to be burnt back twice to prevent a Skete patch overtaking the pasture.
    I see Tractor tire tubes that appear as porcupines as you strip them from the hard tire casings.

    Then I wonder, no I know, never would I plant a single Skete seed!
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2015
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  7. Altoidfishfins

    Altoidfishfins Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    Actually, the palm tree is in the neighbor's back yard. I hate the damn things. THere was one in this back yard when I moved in. One of my first "modifications" to the place was to fire up the chain saw.

    Anyway AZrancher, I'm about 50 - 60 miles or so up the road from you on the NW side. This tree, and myself, survived the low temperatures that came our way two or three years ago. As I remember, it was right after New Years. We didn't get quite down to zero here, mid to low teens for several nights in a row. You're at a higher elevation so you hit zero without a doubt.

    Some of my outside faucets didn't fare so well, and other people had even more serious issues. This part of the country just isn't really set up for low temperatures, and they do happen.
    Ganado likes this.
  8. azrancher

    azrancher Monkey +++

    Ah yes I grew up on the NW side, of some city that I can't mention due to OPSEC. That year was the first time I've ever seen it down to zero, I spent from dawn to noon thawing out my pump and well.

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  9. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    are those the kind that mostly grow underground and you have to cut the tap root.? Those are very different than above ground mesquite. We used to have them Grubb ed because they suckers alot of water and have huge tap roots. They are a pain I wouldn't 0lant those either
  10. azrancher

    azrancher Monkey +++

    Yes they have a tap root, just die (sorry did) 9+ acres near here and they were small ones.

    Last edited: Aug 31, 2015
    Ganado likes this.
  11. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    Hmm, think great big sucker. The "Felling" thread has a picture of one that is slowly being cut down.

    BTW, on Kaui, Hawaii they planted them in a desert zone. They also renamed them: Kiawe

    Hawaii Invasive Species Council | Long-thorn Kiawe

    Planted as part of a reforestation program at the Makauwahi Sinkhole, the kiawe is a deciduous tree that can grow up to 20 meters high. The entire population of kiawe trees in Hawaii originally came from a single tree planted in Honolulu. The original seed was brought over from Paris by a Catholic priest in 1828. Kiawe is used for fuel and charcoal (and imparts a flavor similar to mesquite, a related species)

    I was so surprisedto see my "Texas" tree growing on a cliff side so I ask a Forest Ranger how they got to Paradise!
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  12. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    Dang @HK_User you mean your cutting down all that mesquite bean goodness? Or is this a no bean tree? I'm teasing, multiple skeeters can bee a P.I.T.A.
  13. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    Cows eat the beans, poop and more trees sprout. Soon you have a pasture you cannot walk across. Constant remediation.
    Ganado likes this.
  14. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    That should be your signature line. [LMAO]

    I do miss Arizona and Nevada, been 30 years since I've been that way. We had a single electric heater built in the house, and it only came on for a few nights of the year, but we warmed up soon after daylight. I miss the pomegranate tree we had.

    I do not miss the Palo Verde bushes...
    Ganado likes this.
  15. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    Now this is a Mesquite!

    Ganado likes this.
  16. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    @HK_User what? That wimpy Lil ole thing?

    Lol. Nice pic
  17. Hanzo

    Hanzo Monkey+++

    Careful the thorns. But it is my favorite firewood.
    Ganado likes this.
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