DIY considers the art of xeriscaping, your water bill and some creative alternatives to the overly thirsty grass lawn.
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Which ornamental trees are drought tolerant and can replace water-loving beauties like Japanese maples?
Look for these at your local nursery or in garden catalogs:
Flowering plum or cherry trees
You get the added bonus of flowers with these trees and they'll match the dark maroon color of the Japanese Maples.
Mimosa silk tree, Albizia julibrissin
These have very high drought tolerance. They have delicate, lacy fern-like foliage.
Dawn redwood, Metasequoia glyptostroboides
This tree may go into dormancy with drought, but it won't kill it. The bark is gray to slightly reddish in color and the needles are light green. The needles also turn a copper color in the fall before they drop.
Will these plants tolerate drought right away?
When you buy a plant from the nursery, it's not ready for drought yet. It's been spoiled by its nursery pot, so it's not quite tough enough yet. It needs time to get established in your garden. Give your plants plenty of water in the beginning and make sure to plant them according to their specifications. This way, they'll grow to be strong, healthy plants and they'll be ready for that drought when it comes.