Moon Valley Blog

How to Properly Reseed for Winter Lawn in AZ/NV

Posted by Felipe Benavides on 9/21/2017


The Southwest is a beautiful place, and though we live in an arid environment, we welcome any greenery, especially from our grass lawns. So whether we use lawns to practice a golf swing, toss the football around with our kids, or just like the way the green color contrasts with the natural scenery, keeping it lush and green all year long takes a little effort. Of course, rising to the challenge of keeping it green all year long brings many rewards, so keep on reading to know how to properly reseed for winter lawns so that you can achieve the best results!

reseed_for_winter_lawnFill in Areas That Were Damaged During Summer Months

Overseeding, we do it to help fill in those areas that were damaged during the summer months so that it can revive your lawn. Of course, many homeowners in our area keep their grass green all year long by planting Ryegrass in the fall and Bermuda grass in the spring. What is the best grass seed? One of the best methods to keeping a grass lawn green through the Southwest winter is overseeding with Perennial Ryegrass. Ryegrass is a beautiful dark green lawn, which is why many around here feel that winter lawns are much more attractive than summer lawns! So, when is the best time to reseed for winter lawn? In our area, the cool fall nights make for the perfect planting weather. In fact, once the temperatures in Arizona and Las Vegas get anywhere from the low to mid 60’s and into the 70’s, we can overseed! The reason you want to reseed when the temperatures are cooler is that the sun can bake the seedlings. The window of opportunity is small, so be sure to keep this in mind!



1. Scalp and dethatch: first things first, you need to cut that summer grass back and thin so that it allows room for your new grass to grow. The removal of thatch and leaf accumulation ensures that the seed gets down to the soil. Yes, you might have to mow your lawn two or three times to get the grass down to the preferred ¼-inch to ½-inch height, so if you have got children that want to earn some extra cash, this might be an excellent opportunity to instill some good work habits!

2. Seeding: once the grass is at the preferred height, you can start to spread the Ryegrass seed (our Moon Valley Nursery pros always recommend using Perennial Ryegrass because it is the best choice for Arizona and Nevada.) Spread the seeds half in one direction and the other half in a direction that is perpendicular to the first because doing this will minimize overlap and skips. For best results spread the seeds as evenly as you can.

3. Fertilize: before you turn on the water, be sure to fertilize. Feel free to speak with any of our in-house experts, and we will be glad to help you select the perfect fertilizer. We carry the perfect blends at any of nurseries for the best results!

mulching_winter_lawn_grass4. Mulching: we recommend applying mulch if you do not have a good irrigation system, if you do not have an easy way, such as a timer, that can water 4-5 times a day, or if the temperatures have cooled down too fast. A well-composted mulch (available at all of our nurseries) will help to retain moisture and heat, all things necessary for germinating perennial Ryegrass. Once you have spread the seed, you will want to spread the mulch evenly over the entire lawn and do it to 1/8-inch to ¼-inch thickness.

5. Water: when reseeding for a winter lawn it is critical that you water because maintaining a moist seedbed for 7 to 10 days will allow the seed to germinate. Water about four to five times a day but be sure not to leave any puddles or any dry spots. Don’t worry, once the seed has germinated and grown to a height of ¾-inch to 1-inch, you can reduce the watering to 2 to 3 times and day, and after 10 to 14 days, you will want to reduce watering to once a day. Once your new lawn is established, you can water every other day in the winter.

winter_lawn_grass_mowing6. Mowing: yep, your mower is getting some nice wintertime action! With your new beautiful winter lawn, the first mowing should happen at the 10th to 14th day after germination. To prevent pulling out your new young seedlings, never remove more than 30-percent of the leaf at one time. You will want your first cut to be at the height of about ¾-inch to 1-inch, of course, if you like a higher lawn then you ought to mow 14 to 21 days after germination.

7. Nutrition: winter lawns require feeding too, so be sure to ask any of our Moon Valley Nursery pros for the best fertilizer to feed your new lush and beautiful winter lawn!


                                         Seed (always lay a little more):Fertilize.png
                                         1 lb per 100 sq ft

1 cu ft per 100 sq ft

2 cu ft per 100 sq ft

Starter Fertilizer:
1 lb per 200 sq ft

Moon Royale:
1 lb per 200 sq ft

Moon Green:
1 Gal per 500 sq ft

Topics: Insider, Winter Landscape Tips, Winter Planting, knowledge base

Why You Should Consider Privacy Yard Ideas

Posted by Felipe Benavides on 9/19/2017

Creating outdoor privacy, we all want it for our home and families and as great as backyard fences can be, choosing something natural can be much more beautiful. No doubt about it, one of the most popular requests at any nursery is the “perfect privacy hedge.” Makes sense because for many homeowners, more often than not, adjacent fence lines can be a little too close for comfort. Living walls, we all want it for our families, after all, do we want that nosy neighbor peeking over the fence, asking what’s for dinner? Of course, hedges are ideal living walls and can run the gamut from shrubs to trees and palms, and here in our area, it makes sense to choose low water use, low maintenance plants that can do the job without using too much water and do not take too much effort to look good. Hedges are a sure-fire way to delineate your property line naturally and can increase property value too. When it comes to privacy fences, there are lots of great living walls available for any yard.privacy_yard_ideas_hedge

Benefits of a Hedge:

  • Can have backyard privacy without a fence!
  • Performs as a living wall – keeps home private from neighbors and street traffic
  • Act as property line markers
  • Can be used as a sound barrier to reduce noise pollution – ideal for properties next to busy streets
  • Can work as a windbreak where they can protect against harsh winds
  • An attractive way to block unwanted views
  • Can increase security around your property
  • Can add value to a broad range of properties

Privacy Yard Ideas and Types of Hedges

Hedges are some of the hardest working elements in any landscape and an awesome way to add backyard privacy without a fence – perfect for the front yard too! You will often see them growing naturally or sheared for a formal look. Of course, if it is private yard you are after, you will want to choose an evergreen tree, shrub or another plant because they keep their dense foliage all year long, which means you get that year-round screen you want. Evergreens with densely packed foliage from top to bottom are going to work the best for a living fence. You will also want to consider that shrubs and trees grow to different heights, so it is important to find the right tree or shrub that meets your needs. For instance, you can use a low hedge as an excellent choice to frame a patio or a garden bench, edge walks or pathways. However, a low one is not going to offer very much privacy. A tall hedge is perfect if you want to create a privacy screen or to form a green wall to divide your garden into separate rooms. Of course, the best way to add instant privacy is to buy specimen trees. Specimen trees are big and have the dense foliage and attractive greenery that can block views in style, and since they are already fully grown, you will not have to wait to enjoy the beautiful features. These trees are our top picks and some of the best hedges you can find for yard privacy ideas.

ficus_hedgeIndian Laurel Column (Ficus nitida): buy specimens and plant these trees close together to create an instant privacy screen. You can see these easy-to-grow trees lined up in yards throughout the Southwest, from California to Arizona, Nevada and beyond, where they not only act as a living privacy fence, they also create vast amounts of shade and can work as a windbreak to protect from those high blowing winds. These are the number one hedge style trees for any homeowner that wants privacy, and once you see them, it is easy to see why. These Ficus nitida columns are the perfect size for any landscape.

Podocarpus (Podocarpus gracilior): shade, privacy, windbreak - these evergreen trees offer all that with the bonus of being very clean and requiring little maintenance. Their lush foliage has a fern-like look, which is why they are also known as the Fern Pine. Their roots rarely lift or crack sidewalks so that they are ideal for planting near the street where they can create a beautiful privacy screen for the front yard or backyard. They can tolerate a wide array of growing conditions so that they are suitable for growing throughout our area. Holds up great against windy, salty, coastal conditions so that they are ideal for a broad range of communities throughout our area.

carolina_cherry_privacy_trees.jpegCarolina Cherry (Prunus caroliniana 'Compacta'): can be used as a tree or shrub and this densely branched beauty with dark green foliage has an almost perfect shape that makes it ideal as a privacy hedge. Creamy white fragrant flowers arrive in the spring, for an attractive hedge that you have to see to believe. Loves the heat and thrives in full sun. You can always shear it into conical shapes, columnar shapes or standard rectangular forms for a formal look.

golden_bambooGolden Bamboo (Phyllostachys aurea): this bamboo completes any Asian-inspired garden and grows fast so that they are ideal for privacy screens. When the wind blows, the canes sway beautifully in the wind, creating a unique song all their own. Use them to create a tropical backyard retreat or as a fast-growing barrier between properties. We like to use them in a broad range of landscape styles where they can create a natural-looking backdrop.

KENTIA_PALM_GROUP_EDITED].jpgKentia Palm (Howea forsterniana): palm trees can also be used as the most tropical hedge you can find. We like to plant the beautiful Kentia Palms in any landscape and use them in staggered heights, for a look that is lush and can help create a private backyard tropical retreat. These small to medium sized palms are ideally sized for smaller yards and are prized for their dark green, arching fronds that create a tropical canopy wherever they are planted.

Moon Valley Nurseries has an in-house team of landscape design professionals and landscapers that are experts in selecting the right trees and shrubs for the perfect spot in your landscape! And with #freeplanting, it cannot get any easier to create a private yard! We bring the trees to your house and plant them for you!

Topics: Insider, landscape tips

How to Grow Tipu Trees

Posted by Felipe Benavides on 9/13/2017

How to Grow and Care for Tipu Trees

Tipu trees are a welcome addition to any landscape, especially in the desert communities where massive shade is always appreciated. After all, out here in the Southwest, the blazing sun can hammer us with the oppressive heat that can slow us down and physically drain even the toughest individuals. Luckily, there are some things we can do to alleviate the situation – plant more shade trees! And one of the best shade trees you can find anywhere is the Tipuana tipu, the superhero tree of the desert with the broad spreading canopy that provides respite from the heat! When you see these trees, you just want to run right under its canopy! Right now is the best time to plant this ridiculously fast-growing tree so that you can have the shade you want for when the desert sun is at its most oppressive. You can always buy big trees at any of our Moon Valley Nurseries, so here are some tips on how to grow and care for these large and colorful shade trees!tipu_tree_shade_tree


Tipu Trees and #FREEPLANTING!

Tipuana tipu thrives in intense heat. This is good news, since our climate offers ideal growing conditions, whether you have a home in Phoenix or Las Vegas. Giving this tree room to spread is a good idea. We like to properly plant them around a home (we specialize in this!), where they can be used to cool off those hotter rooms and possibly help you lower your utility bill too. With #freeplanting, it cannot get any easier, so be sure to discuss what you need with any of our landscape design experts. Once planted in your landscape, you will love how easy they are to grow and maintain!


Light Needs

Now that you have made the smart decision to have a Tipuana tipu tree installed in your yard, you will want to know how much sun exposure it needs. Well, these trees love full sun exposure, in fact, at least six hours of direct sun per day is ideal. The show of golden blooms in late-spring to summer is prized just as much as the shade coverage these trees produce. So, if you want the best show of flowers, let this tree revel in the sun, while you are comfortably chilling under the cooling shade canopy!

Water and Fertilization Needsmoon-dust.png

These trees do have a high drought tolerance once established and except for those sweltering days can go weeks without supplemental watering. However, when it is first planted, it does best with a deep watering. This way, it can help settle the soil around the roots and will also help you determine whether more soil should be leveled around it. One of the best ways to keep the soil moist and not overly wet is with a drip system, so if you do not already have a system set up, our professional planting team can do it.

Our Moon Dust Fertilizer has the primary nutrients of Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potassium, all of which are required for Tipu trees to thrive. Apply the all-purpose fertilizer and watch as this tree grows stronger and flourishes - all without having to use too much water! As great as feeding with our specialized fertilizer may be, too much promotes weak, leafy growth and fewer flowers, so use sparingly, and you will love the results!

Pruning Tipspruning.png

In the Southwest, winter is one of, if not, the best time of the year to prune most landscape trees, and the Tipuana tipu is no exception. After all, who wants to be pruning during a heatwave?! This South American native that loves our western U.S. climate is prized for its upside-down vase shape because it produces all that beautiful shade. Sure, you can just let this tree grow naturally because it still looks attractive. However, by pruning the lower branches high on the trunk, you can develop the canopy to the umbrella-shaped form.

Be sure you have all the right tools before starting the project. You will need a pruning saw and a pruning lopper for moderate work and a chainsaw for the heavy work. Of course, it is a good idea to have gloves and safety glasses too. It is also good to remember that a proper cut will heal quickly. Keep in mind to remove branches that touch other limbs and to prune branches that produce little foliage.

Tipuana_tipu_treesUse the pruning lopper on small branches and the chainsaw for the larger branches. First, for drooping branches, determine whether you want the branch to grow up, down, or sideways. Be sure to prune the branch so that it is close to the shoot or branch, in other words, where you want it to continue growing. Now, for the larger branches, you will want to fire up that chainsaw, but don’t get too crazy with it, after all, you do not want to cut too much off, or else you will lose all that shade coverage. Cut the larger branches that are more than 1.5-inches across, at least 6-to-12-inches from the trunk, and about a third of the way through the branch. You will want to cut the top of the branch about 3-inches away from the bottom cut, and you will want to do this until the branch drops.

There is no need to dread pruning. It is a good way to get outdoors, burn some calories, and you get to shape as you wish! One thing is sure, big trees such as Tipuana tipu make our hot sunny days a little more bearable. Call us today to plant them now so that you are ready for the summer!



Topics: Insider, Expert, Flowering Trees

What are Coastal Aspen Trees?

Posted by Felipe Benavides on 9/12/2017

Southern California, what’s not to love about where we live – we have a beautiful ocean and coastline, sprawling mountains, and living deserts as well as the beautiful trees and other plants that thrive here. One thing that is not so common around here is aspen tree species. That’s ok though because the aspen-like trees we do have more than make up for it - the Coastal Aspen or Dalbergia sissoo (Sissoo Tree) is one such beauty. When you close your eyes and listen to the light green leaves quivering in a breeze, it is easy to imagine an aspen tree. Of course, once you open your eyes you can bask in the beauty of a medium to large landscape tree that is the majestic Sissoo.

Plant Coastal Aspen In Southern California

coastal_aspen_sissoo_treeDalbergia sissoo is drought tolerant and grows fast so that you will not be waiting too long to have a big tree in your yard. In just a few years after planting, you will be able to enjoy a beautiful, large shade tree complete with the bright green foliage and the massive amount of shade coverage you want in the summertime heat! This semi-evergreen tree with the light-colored bark and attractive foliage really does look much like an aspen tree, which is why we like to call them the Coastal Aspen! As you can tell by the name, these trees are suitable for growing near Southern California coastal communities, from Coronado to Santa Barbara and they absolutely love growing in full sun, bringing the cool coastal vibe to the hot inland areas. These are picturesque trees that offer a lovely and shady picnic spot that is ideal for families or simply enjoying some peaceful solitude in natural surroundings.

sissoo_tree_Yes, the shade they provide is a definite welcome relief, especially in the blazing sun. You know what else is really cool? If you have the skill set, this tree, which is also called Indian Rosewood features high-quality timber so that it is a top choice for making fine furniture, cabinetry, and even guitars! Plant one in your landscape, this is a fast-growing tree, so you will have the lumber you need to get started on a cool, creative project in no time at all. Of course, if you plan to use this tree for more than adding beauty and shade, such as honing your luthier skills or building custom furniture, be sure to trim and cut correctly. After all, you want the tree to grow back properly with a strong canopy spread that can reduce the temperature inside a hot room and produce that shady relief you want. The good news is that with regular maintenance, anyone can keep this tropical tree healthy and beautiful! We recommend using pruning shears to remove lower branches. Doing this will help it develop a strong canopy that is high off the ground.

Streets lined with trees are an attraction in any neighborhood. Everyone loves the sight of big trees, towering over streets, shading hot spots and adding greenery too. Plant specimens and use them to help clean the air too! These aspen-like trees are sure to fit right in with most any neighborhood, whether you live in the suburbs, beach towns, or uptown. And while an actual Populus tree may be difficult to grow around here, we can grow something that rivals and may even surpass that kind of tree – the Coastal Aspen Sissoo tree!

Here is what you get with a Coastal Aspen:sissoo_trees

  • A medium to large tree with an aspen-like appearance
  • Bright green foliage
  • A broad spreading canopy that creates a ton of shade!
  • A very fast growing tree
  • A drought tolerant tree that can grow in sandy, clay, and loam soil types
  • Beautiful dark brown wood often used to make fine furniture, cabinets, guitars!

Moon Valley Nursery grows and nurtures these aspen-like trees on our farms, value engineered so that you get the most for your money! Take advantage of our #freeplanting so that you can beautify your property with our specimen trees and more! A big and majestic tree is ready to adorn the perfect spot in your yard today!

Topics: Insider, Expert

Plumerias: More Than Beautifully Fragrant Flowers

Posted by Felipe Benavides on 9/8/2017

tropical_plumerias_flowerPlumerias, we love them for their vibrantly-colored flowers with a sweet fragrance that delights the senses. People become obsessed with the plumeria plant at an early age. Wearing plumeria flowers in the hair is a favorite pastime for women of all ages, whether you’re a young girl looking to emulate Disney’s Moana or you’re a grown-up that wants a stylish hair clip. In fact, placing plumeria flowers on a specific side of the head, tucked behind the ear, signifies your relationship status - traditionally, if you’re single you wear it on the left, and if you’re taken, you wear it on the right. Besides the flowers, they are also an exceptionally tropically plant that brings many rewards to any landscape – they grow very well in Southern California, too!

These tropical beauties are typically grown as a large bush and are easily trained and trimmed like a small tree. They can work in almost any landscape style, and no matter how you choose to use them, they are sure to be one of your favorite plants! Have a few planted in your yard and bask in the aromas such as jasmine, citrus, and gardenia. And with plumeria flower colors that range from white to yellow, as well as pink, red, and orange sunsets - aromatherapy never looked so good!


PLUMERIAS Create an Enchanting Landscape 

plumerias_plantOf course, Moon Valley Nurseries is the largest and best tree nursery in the United States, and beyond, so we want our customers to have the most beautiful landscape that increases property value and makes you feel happy…and Plumeria plants will certainly do that!

It’s easy to see why these exotic beauties, which are also called Frangipani, are such a common sight throughout our area – they are drought resistant and can easily handle the heat, neglect, insects, and other pests, all while keeping their good looks intact. Their ability to tolerate some salt spray and wind makes them suitable for coastal plantings, which is why you often see them adorning landscapes around places like Encinitas and up the coast to Santa Barbara.

plumeria_flowerYou can grow them indoors or out, though Plumeria care indoors requires a little more TLC and plenty of bright light, it is well worth it, especially when the explosion of flowers appear in your favorite bright room in the house. When allowed to grow outdoors (they love full sun), we recommend letting them grow free form. Too much pruning affects the bloom cycle, so just let them grow and let them do their thing – adding beauty and helping you recreate your Hawaiian vacation in your backyard!

We Grow the Best Varieties

plumeria_flowersThese very tropical plants come in a wide range of varieties and colors, Plumeria obtusa and rubra being local favorites. When in bloom, these are drop-dead gorgeous plants no matter which variety you have. People can choose to grow them in pots and containers or as a shrub or small tree. They’re versatile, so the best way to grow them is up to you! For the best foliage and blooms cycles, we recommend fertilizing with Super Charged Moon Juice and Moon Dust during the cooler months. Feed them from spring through fall to promote blooming so that your yard can be filled with the enchanting, colorful, fragrant blooms that are just begging you to slow down and smell the flowers!

Find the best Plumeria plants for sale at Moon Valley Nurseries, where we custom-grow and nurture them so that they are guaranteed to be the freshest, healthiest, and best-looking plants for the perfect spot in your yard!

We offer #freeplanting so that it cannot get any easier to beautify your landscape!

Topics: Insider, Industry Expert, gardening

How to Grow Tipu Trees in Southern California

Posted by Felipe Benavides on 9/5/2017

tipu_tree_front_yardIf you are traveling throughout Southern California, from San Diego to Santa Barbara, you are likely to catch sight of one of the greatest shade trees you can find, the Tipu tree or Tipuana tipu. This tree with the funny name (try repeating the name Tipuana tipu multiple times in a row!) is also a perfect tree for any water wise landscape or in any spot that could use a fast-growing, sizeable tree that offers plenty of shade capability. So as awesome as the shade may be, this is also a colorful flowering tree that puts on a spectacular display all year long, whether it is the golden blooms from late spring to early summer or its feathery, bright bluish green foliage with weeping boughs. These big trees have a beautiful high canopy so that they can provide a very inviting spot to rest under or have a family picnic.

Knowing how to grow this beautiful tree in our area is a breeze because these drought tolerant trees thrive in the heat and love to grow in a spot that gets plenty of full sun exposure. Also, with way more sunny days than not in our area, you can bet that this tree will reward you and your yard with year-round beauty! This beauty thrives in Southern California, from the coastline to the inland valleys and deserts. And to make things even better is how fast they grow! They grow at a ridiculously fast rate so that you can rest assured that this gorgeous tree will be bringing a massive amount of shade and beauty to your property in no time! Of course, since it does grow so fast, you will want to keep on reading for some tips and pointers on how to water, fertilize, prune and care for this magnificent large tree.

Where to Plant Tipuana TipuSouthern_California_Moon_Valley_Nursery_professional_planting.jpg

Tipuana tipu is one of those classic street trees and shade trees that can get your property noticed for all the right reasons. Give them ample room to spread. We also like to plant them in larger yards, where, when properly placed around a home, the vast amount of shade they produce can cool off hotter rooms and maybe even help you lower your utility bill! Of course, Moon Valley Nurseries specializes in proper tree placement, and with #freeplanting, it cannot get any easier! We also offer professional landscape design consultations that are free at our nurseries, and for a small fee, available at your property. No matter where you decide to have it planted, it is an easy tree to grow and easy to maintain.



Let's face it, besides the shade coverage these big trees are also prized for their show of golden blooms. If it is the showy late-spring to summer display you are after, plant it in full sun for the best show of flowers. Full sun exposure is at least six hours of continuous, direct sun per day.


Water Needs


When the tree is first planted, it is a smart idea to water it deeply so that it can help settle the soil around the roots. Doing this will also help you figure out if you need to level more soil around the tree. Since this is a woody plant and is drought tolerant once established, it will need less watering. In fact, once established, in Southern California, your tree can go weeks without supplemental watering, except during those extremely hot weather spells or extremely windy weather. We recommend using a drip irrigation system to keep the soil moist, but not wet.


Fertilization is always a good idea for most trees, and this tree is no exception. Of course, always remember to never over fertilize as doing this promotes weak, leafy growth and few flowers. We recommend applying an all-purpose tree fertilizer such as our Moon Valley Nursery Moon Dust fertilizer, which has the primary nutrients of Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium for a healthy-looking tree that will grow stronger and flourish with less water.


Get your tools - pruning saw, pruning lopper, and a chainsaw, and get ready to shape! The best time to prune Tipu trees is in late winter. In fact, make sure to avoid pruning in spring as this is their growth period. We also recommend skipping any mid-to-late summer pruning (which is good news for anyone that dreads working in the heat outdoors.) Since these trees grow so fast, it is important to prune them so that they can grow to create the upside-down vase shape that produces the most shade. We recommend pruning the lower branches high on the trunk, and by doing this, you can develop the canopy into an umbrella shape form. For best results, wait until after they finish flowering. Always practice safe pruning. Of course, you can always let the branches droop, but doing this may take away from the beauty of this glorious tree!

tipuana_tipuThis tree is native to South America and is also called the Pride of Bolivia and Rosewood. It is naturally accustomed to the SoCal climate so that it can be the perfect living green ceiling that can cool off any landscape. If you are looking for a tree that can provide a welcome relief from the sun and heat, these tropical looking trees will provide the shade and beauty you want for your backyard or front yard!

The Best Tipu Trees for the Yard!

For an instant landscape that adds beauty and provides ample shade, buy as big as you can. Moon Valley Nurseries has specimen trees available and ready to bring instant gratification! Visit any of our Southern California nurseries and handpick the perfect tree for the perfect spot in your yard!

We make it easy with professional delivery and planting! Visit us today, and we can help beautify your yard so that you can increase property value!

Topics: Insider, Expert, Flowering Trees

Why Fall is the Best Time to Plant Trees

Posted by Felipe Benavides on 8/31/2017

Best Time to Plant Trees is Just a Few Weeks Away!

The fall season is the best time to plant trees, whether you live in Arizona, California or Nevada. Planting trees at the right time means that they are more likely to thrive. Thriving, beautiful big trees is what we all want so that you get the most value from your landscaping investment. After all, big trees will add a lot of value to your home no matter where you live. Of course, at Moon Valley Nurseries, we are the growers so that we can assure the quality of all our trees. Unlike some other nurseries, we nurture our trees and ensure that they stay healthy-looking and fresh, even during the hot summer months. Fall officially begins on the autumnal equinox, which this year lands on September 22. Planting in autumn lets your trees focus on getting roots established, which allows them to be ready for the next growing season. This way, the root systems can grow before the hot weather returns. Can you plant trees in the fall? The answer is a resounding heck yes you can!

Planting trees in fall has many benefits<img src="image file" alt="best time to plant trees">

  • Extra root growth
  • Cooler weather is perfect for tree planting – less chance for the trees to be stressed by extreme heat
  • Trees are better equipped to deal with heat and drought in the following season
  • Far less evaporation of soil moisture so that minimal amount of watering needed
  • You can pick your trees by the fall colors they produce
  • Good for landscapers – less heat to contend with!

Plant these dazzling deciduous trees that prolong the show

Let’s face it; the world needs more trees, after all, their beauty is inspiring to look at, they can remove pollution from the air, and even help lower stress levels. Fall is planting time, and out here in the Southwest, we have many deciduous trees that turn brilliant colors before dropping their leaves. Trees such as the beautiful Arizona Ash, Crape Myrtle, Raywood Ash, and Red Push Pistache add color to your yard with fall colors coming that are sure to add plenty of curb appeal! Colors such as deep red, orange red, purple, and rich red to burgundy appear, sometimes on the same tree, and always putting on a spectacular display that you must see to believe. These are some of the best trees to plant in fall so that you can enjoy the show!



Arizona Ash (Fraxinus velutina) – plant this large tree now and enjoy the spectacular scene when the beautifully rounded canopy of gray-green foliage transforms to an attractive bright yellow in the fall. This deciduous tree creates an abundance of shade in the summer too, and once the leaves have dropped, lets the warmth of the sun in during the winter. This Ash tree loves to grow in full sun and is quite a drought tolerant specimen once established. These are excellent shade trees that are sure to add fall colors with plenty of curb appeal. An Arizona Ash is a magnificent tree that will bring many years of beauty to your yard.


<img src="image file" alt="fall color">


Red Push  Pistache (Pistacia chinensis)-  during the summer, this beauty produces a clean, dark green, umbrella-shaped canopy that, when placed correctly, can cool down the temperature inside your home and provide a shady spot to cool off while you’re out in the yard. Plant them as a focal point and watch in awe as the leaves turn to an attractive, beautiful orange-red color in the fall! There are not many other trees that produce such a vibrant and broad range of fall color in our climate. Planting trees in fall, such as this Chinese Pistachio can improve any landscape.



Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia) – frothy blooms in ice cream-like colors have made this small tree a landscaping favorite throughout the Southwest. This stylish tree is perfect for color lovers, even when not in bloom as the colors in fall that range from golden, orange, and red adorn any yard and landscape with beauty. And in the winter, you can use nighttime landscape lighting to highlight the handsome outline and bark that sheds to reveal a pinkish, inner bark. We grow the best varieties for our area including Dynamite, Natchez, Muskogee, Tuscarora, Tuskegee, and Catawba crape myrtles.


raywood ash fall color msp levi.jpg


Raywood Ash (Fraxinus oxycarpa ‘Raywood’) – we love the fall colors this deciduous tree brings to the landscape. Producing the darkest green foliage of all Ash varieties, during the fall, it transforms into a large tree dominated by a rich burgundy color so that it is a stunning street tree or single specimen. A great source of color in fall, it is also an ideal big tree for the summer, thanks to its canopy that provides reliable shade. This beautiful tree thrives in full sun and is drought tolerant once established so that it is ideal for growing in any yard in the Southwest.


Big trees will make the greatest impact in any landscape. Why wait many years to have a big tree when you can buy specimen trees right now at Moon Valley Nurseries! Do you need additional guidance on where to install any of the aforementioned deciduous trees? Speak with any of our nursery pros at our nurseries or give us a call so that we can assist you! An instant landscape awaits and we make it even easier to have instant gratification with #freeplanting by our professional planting team that ensures the perfect trees are planted in the perfect spot in your yard! Planting trees the right way!

We are your one-stop shop, whether you are in search of a reliable wholesale nursery or have a need for more trees on your residential property. Visit us today and see the difference!

Topics: Expert, landscape tips

Why You Should Buy Specimen Trees - Get Trees To Climb Now!

Posted by Felipe Benavides on 8/30/2017

Hug a tree. It’s good for you. Of course, unlike a big tree, with a “starter tree” there is not much there to lovingly wrap your arms around. Mature trees are also a wise investment for anyone looking to increase property value. The first impression is vital when you are trying to sell a home. For instance, compare a landscape with just a lawn and some flowers to one that has a beautiful yard with mature climbing trees. A large tree is going to change the look of the house, the vibe, and can cover the home with shade and privacy. Also, that neighborhood with the big, beautiful trees lining the street is much more inviting than those without them. Let’s face it, the home with the big trees in the front yard is the one you are going to remember.

Why wait decades for a full-size tree?

The word specimen comes from the Latin word specere (to look), which is what these trees are designed to do, to get people to stop and stare in awe at a majestic tree. The thing is, most people do not want to wait 20 or 25 years for their trees to grow to a size that can provide the shade and immediate beauty that most want for their yard. For those that want the instant landscape, the bigger trees are the way to go. Why wait decades for the tree to grow? You can bring immediate natural maturity to your property with a beautiful, thriving tree that is full size, and full of all the features you want in a tree.<img src="image file" alt="buy specimen trees">

Memories that last a lifetime

Remember the days of climbing trees in your yard? How about your first kiss under a tree canopy? Carving your first crush initials on the tree trunk bark? Buying specimen trees are perfect for the entire family too. Large and majestic trees are medicine for the soul, begging to be explored by kids, climbed on, and spending hours hanging from the branches. Climbing trees is a core part of most everyone’s childhood. Most families are going to want to provide their kids with a tree that will bring a lifetime of happy memories, and inspire creativity. Of course, you cannot forget about all the shade big trees provide, offering a perfect spot to enjoy the great outdoors, alone or with family.

Buy specimen tree sizes that are the best for our area

BoxTrees.pngWhen shopping for big trees, you will want to be sure that the box size matches the actual tree. The fact is, some nurseries are selling 24-inch box size and up trees with trees that do not match the box, so be sure you are purchasing the tree and not the dirt. Moon Valley Nurseries has the 42-inch and 60 – 72-inch box size trees and up that are going to give you the best bang for the buck. These healthy, bigger trees already have the dense canopy that provides shade and privacy. Mature trees also have the branches and trunk, as well as the structural interest that make these majestic trees so perfect for climbing and creating instant memories. For the best investment, buy bigger, mature trees that are long-lived. After all, purchasing a full-grown tree is like having a living work of art that took decades to create. Here are some of our top picks that are long-lived, can transform your yard, and are ready to help make memories that can be passed down from generation to generation.

majestic_ashMajestic Ash (Fraxinus uhdei 'Majestic') – this is a seedless variety of evergreen ash trees, so there is no mess from seeds. These fast-growing trees have non-invasive roots too, so they are perfect for adding curb appeal and can be planted anywhere you want shade and privacy. And for the climbers, they have a firm branching structure, so feel free to climb away and explore, because the branches are not going to break easily. An excellent focal point tree, shade tree, and something that is going to live in your yard for many years to come.

Rusty-Leaf Fig (Ficus rubiginosa)– these are excellent evergreen trees that tolerate salt spray conditions, so they are perfect for our coastal communities, as well as inland. They have a broad spreading canopy that provides plenty of shade too. These beautiful trees are a favorite in San Diego and Southern California because their dense growth habit makes them better suited for smaller yards. They are also suited for Arizona landscapes where their canopy is sure to be much appreciated during those hot and sunny days outdoors!Chinese_Elm.jpg

Chinese Elm (Ulmus parvifloria) – its broad, natural umbrella-shaped canopy can bring a massive amount of shade to any landscape. Bigger Chinese Elm trees are ready to climb and can handle a tire swing with ease. Look for the “True Green” strain, which has the small, deep green leaves and the upright, rounded growth habit prized by homeowners.

Tipu (Tipuana tipu) – looking for a tree that grows well on the coast, provides ample shade, and offers plenty of privacy? Tipu trees do all that and more. These fast-growers feature feathery, bright bluish green foliage and a high canopy that provides a perfect shady spot to cool off during those sunny and warm days. These colorful flowering trees are beautiful all year long, especially when the unique show of golden blooms arrive from late spring into early summer.


Oak trees (Quercus)– for climbing, tire swings, piñatas, and shade, few trees can match the Oak tree. These are the quintessential trees for our area and perfect for anyone that wants that classic landscape that can contribute to lifelong memories. Take a beautiful drive anywhere or visit any park and you are bound to witness these large and majestic trees enjoyed by families or as a place for solitude. Several varieties of oaks grow well throughout the Southwest, so be sure to visit any of our nurseries to find the perfect tree for the perfect spot in your yard!#freeplanting

No doubt about it, at Moon Valley Nurseries, we make it easy to buy specimen trees you need to create an instant landscape so that you can start creating memories that last a lifetime. We clone all our trees from the best specimens so that we can assure their quality! One stop wholesale nursery and we've got what you need for your residential property too!

#Freeplanting, yep, you read that hashtag right! You can relax while our professional planting team does all the work so that you can come home to a beautiful landscape with large specimen trees!

Topics: Insider, Expert

How to Properly Care for a Crape Myrtle in Southern California

Posted by Felipe Benavides on 8/25/2017

Crape Myrtles, we all love the sight of these heat-loving beauties in bloom, and in Southern California, it is not unusual to witness the glorious sight of their spectacular colors from summer to late fall! These are one of the few trees that produce vibrantly colored blossoms in the summer, when not much else is in bloom, delighting homeowners and everyone else that catches the sight of these small trees in action. Red, pink, lavender, dark purple, white – these are some of the flower colors you are likely to encounter while making your way to the beach, and the sight of these blooms may even help you relax during your daily commute through Southern California traffic delays. Of course, nothing beats having one or two or three or more of these ornamental beauties adorning your property. So, while we may be busy in our daily lives, at least we can come home to a thriving, beautiful landscape scene that requires very little maintenance and offers plenty of big rewards.


Plant Crape Myrtle anytime of the year in Southern California


Homeowners can plant these ornamental beauties anytime of the year, though many do like to buy them in the summer when the bloom is in full effect. Buying and planting them in the summer is perfectly fine, just be sure to plant them in a spot that gets plenty of full sun exposure and give them infrequent but deep watering while they are transitioning into your landscape. Sometime and somewhere, it was observed that the flowers had a crepe-like texture, which is why you often see it called the “crepe myrtle,” of course, you won’t be having this one for breakfast. Lagerstroemia is deciduous, so they do lose their leaves, but that’s ok because they also have a beautiful peeling bark that makes them attractive all year long. All in all, these are fast growing trees offering numerous blooms that will make your yard the envy of the neighborhood! Lagerstroemia is a beautiful choice for privacy hedges, where they can quickly become thick and bushy trees that provide a blooming privacy screen! We also like to line a driveway with these stunning flowering trees. Tip: plant multiple colors together and create a truly unique and picturesque landscape scene!

Do I need fertilizer?Moon Juice and Bedding (8).jpg

These trees can adapt well to poor soil and are tough plants, so they do not need much fertilizer. In fact, too much fertilizer can result in too much leaf growth and fewer blooms. You can lightly apply fertilizer if your yard has inferior soil, and we recommend a slow-release fertilizer if you choose to do so. Use fertilizer if you need it and do it in the spring when the first leaves start to appear. Lightly fertilize twice a month throughout the spring and summer months and doing this will promote optimal new growth. Of course, you can find the ideal fertilizer you need at any of our Moon Valley Nursery locations throughout Southern California. Don’t forget the mulch! Also, remember, always water the trees after applying the fertilizer.

Water and Light requirements?

Lagerstroemia thrives in full sun, and yes, like any sun-worshipper, they love the heat too, so they grow best in a spot that receives plenty of full sun exposure. In fact, the more sun they get, the more brilliant the blooms, which is great news for those of us in Los Angeles (average of 284 sunny days) and San Diego (average of 146 sunny days), that can’t get enough of the vibrant flowers. So, in short, the more sun, the more blooms! Another splendid thing about these show-stopping trees is how well they tolerate drought conditions. Once established, these drought-tolerant beauties will have little to moderate water requirements!

How and when to prune?Crape_myrtle_tree_red.jpg

Homeowners and landscapers love the versatility of these plants. They look beautiful in Asian gardens, Cottage Gardens, and can be artfully pruned as the perfect addition to any modern garden. Crape myrtles bloom on new wood, so they should be pruned in winter when they are dormant or early spring. With the larger trees, we like to remove the basal suckers, twiggy growth, crossing branches, and those branches that are growing towards the middle of the plant, and doing this can expose the beautiful bark of the trunks – perfect for highlighting with night time landscape lighting. You can always snip off spent flower clusters to neaten the appearance and doing this can also promote a second, lighter bloom. There is no “incorrect” way to prune them, and it is a matter of personal taste, so have fun experimenting! Of course, you can always allow your beautiful tree to grow into its natural shape, and it will still bloom heavily if watered and fertilized properly.

Tools you will need to prune:

You can use any garden pruning tool. However, these are the tools we prefer:

  • Gardening gloves
  • Long-handled loppers
  • Hand shears
  • Chainsaw (for the larger branches)

Moon Valley Nurseries has the perfect Crape Myrtle varieties availablecrape_myrtle_images_for_blog-1.jpg

Moon Valley Nurseries grows all the best varieties for Southern California, offering mildew resistant cultivars that can tolerate coastal conditions. For coastal areas consider ‘Natchez,’ which produces white flowers and orange-red autumn color, ‘Muskogee,’ with lavender flowers and red fall color, and ‘Tuscarora,’ offering pinkish red flowers and orange-red autumn color. Other excellent selections available right now are ‘Dynamite,’ with ruffled red flowers and orange-red fall foliage and ‘Catawba,’ with dark purple flowers and orange-red fall colors. We have the larger trees available right now for immediate gratification! Buy as big as you can if you want an instant landscape full of beauty and color!


We make it easy to have a beautiful, thriving landscape!

SoCal_Moon_valley_professional_planting.jpgThe easiest way to ensure a thriving, beautiful yard that can increase property value is utilizing the professional planting service from Moon Valley Nurseries. This way, you can handpick the perfect flowering trees at any of our nurseries in SoCal and our team will ensure proper planting. Our professional planting service includes the delivery, digging, and planting the trees in the perfect spot in your yard! We also add the mulch, fertilizer and everything we plant is guaranteed to grow.


Topics: Insider, Flowering Trees

Monthly Landscape & Garden Tips (September)

Posted by Paul Popoff on 8/25/2017

Planting season is finally here! The cooler evenings paired with warm fall days is the perfect sign that the fall planting season has arrived!  Trees and plants establish extremely well this time of year and annuals and perennials are beginning to bud and bloom, ready to put on a spectacular show of color.

Now that we are transitioning out of the hotter summer months there are a few things we need to do to make sure we have our landscape and gardens in check so everything has its best chance of growing.

To Do List:

  • Watering: With the cooler evenings and cooler days, we are going to have to start thinking about watering less on our plants, trees, and lawns. All of our new trees are going to need water 1-3x per week depending on tree and plant type as well as temperature. Once our daytime temps reach 85-100 degrees is typically the time we back down from our summer watering schedule. Remember different types of plants as well as planting location plays a big factor in how much water your plants need. If you need more help please contact one of our nursery pros at your nearest Moon Valley Nursery location. During the fall months, we can also save water by reducing the amount that we give to our lawns. The cooler nights and cooler days are going to translate into the ground retaining moisture longer thus permitting us to use less water going forward. The amount of water should not be cut back, however, the frequency at which you water your lawn will be reduced. This is also the time of year that you should be considering whether or not you are going to be over-seeding your winter lawn.
  • Fertilize: Now is the best time to be fertilizing all of your plants, trees, flowers, vegetables and lawns. This is the growing season and this is when your trees and plants are going to be utilizing the most nutrients. Everything should be feed with the proper fertilizer to ensure optimal growth during this crucial time. Moon Juice is a staple that should be used on all your trees, plants, flowers, vegetables and more all year round. This makes your watering more effective as well as making the nutrients more readily available for the plants and trees to uptake. The entire brand of Moon Valley fertilizers can be used now on everything from turf, palms, desert trees, shade trees, palms and more. Click here to see all of our fertilizers 
  • Tree Care: Since everything is now starting to grow again we have to think ahead about proper care and trimming. Making sure you have your landscapes well cared for is a vital part in making sure you protect your investment. This time of year we can trim off any dead or sun damaged that may have occurred over the summer, cut back any excessive branches or some that may have been damaged by summer storms and also clean all of our citrus and fruit trees of unwanted suckers.

What to plant:

crape myrtle blog.jpgCrape Myrtle
The Crape Myrtle is a great way to brighten up any landscape! We grow our own strand of Crape Myrtle insuring you are getting the strongest,  and healthiest Crape Myrtles. These trees grow to an ideal height, establishing the canopy quickly and evenly. Our Crape Myrtles have the longest bloom cycles out of any other Crape Myrtle! With their low water needs,  low maintence and multiple colors of flower this is the perfect tree to plant to add some vibrant color to your yard!

The Tipu is a great tree in any landscape for quickly creating massive canopies of shade to cool your home, shade a patio or protect the other plants in your yard. It also requires little maintenance as it does extremely well in many soil and drought-like conditions. Because of its toughness it has quickly become a favorite street-lining tree in many areas and as the shade producer in many of our home landscapes. This is also one of the best water wise trees around. 

Chinese-elm-1.pngChinese Elm
A top performing shade tree in our region, the Chinese Elm is a widely popular for good reasons. It is very tolerant to poor soil, poor weather, and can still provide the large, wide shade that it's known for. It loves growing in the full sun and provides a massive canopy of shade at an early age. The Chinese Elm is also known as the “Evergreen Elm”. In very mild winters, Chinese Elms can retain their leaves throughout the season. In warmer months, the Chinese Elm boasts dark green foliage on an umbrella-shaped shade canopy. 

Carolina-Cherry.pngCarolina Cherry
Native to the Southeastern United States, the Carolina Cherry has become a popular choice for its minimal maintenance, natural upright conical shape, and ability to tolerate heat, drought, and wind. The Carolina Cherry is a small to medium-sized evergreen with dark green, lustrous wavy-edged foliage on brown thornless stems. They can be easily sheared into a tall screen or sound barrier which make them a near-perfect option for many homes. 

Piru-Queen-Palm-2.pngPiru Queen Palm
Specially grown at our farms, the Piru Queen Palm is unlike other Queen Palms. Our Piru Queen Palms feature thicker and harder trunks, denser and greener fronds, and produce fuller crowns. Our Queen Palms can handle hot summers, cold winters, and windy days. The palm is supported by a rounded trunk which makes it ideal in tight spaces around your pool, but it does require overhead space as the palm grows to statuesque heights. Read more about what makes our Piru Queen Palm so special.

Pygmy-Date-palm.pngPygmy Date Palm
This statuesque palm features many trunks of varying height or it can be grown with just a single trunk. Great for small spaces and accent locations near your pool, the Pygmy Date Palm is a slow grower and adapts well to sun and shade. Moon Valley Nurseries Pygmy Date Palms have been custom grown at our farms to ensure that the palm generates thicker trunks, and  fuller crowns.


Topics: Expert