How to Grow Tipu Trees in Southern California

How to Grow Tipu Trees in Southern California

By Felipe Benavides on September, 5 2017
Tipu Tree Tipuana Tipu

Stay up to date

Back to main Blog
Felipe Benavides

Felipe has been working in the Nursery and Garden center for many years and bring extensive knowledge to trees, plants, and landscape design.

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!

Share On:

Submit a Comment

Get the latest tips & advice sent directly in your inbox, stay up to date