October 20, 2016
Native honey or Texas mesquite is a medium-height, often shrubby, deciduous tree. Due to their thorny branches and tendency to take over in disturbed areas, mesquite trees have a pretty sullied reputation, especially among ranchers.
But in cultivation, honey mesquite makes a great landscape tree. It lends the perfect amount of bright, dappled shade to a yard; providing protection from the harsh rays, but allowing enough light in for other plants to grow underneath.
The divided leaves sway in the slightest breeze and have a beautiful, wispy appearance. Once established, honey mesquite easily survives on annual rainfall, but will benefit from a little supplemental irrigation during extended heat and drought.
With ample rainfall, the tree produces fragrant, creamy-white flowers, followed by long bean pods that can be slightly annoying to clean up.
Plant honey mesquite in full sun, and away from your home and other structures. Getting only 20 to 30 feet tall but up to 40 feet wide, honey mesquites can be too large for some home landscapes, so be sure you have plenty of space.