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Desert Shade Tree
Many types of deciduous trees on the Sonora Desert have multiple trunks, splitting at or just above soil level. The above image shows such a tree that has not been pruned. It does not need to compete with other trees for sunlight so it does not need to grow tall. Rather it spreads its branches, conserving moisture by shading the ground from the sun’s direct rays. The shade produced by low-lying branches discourages the germination of other seeds close to the base of the tree, thus reducing the competition for moisture. Desert shades trees have found a way not only to survive but thrive in this harsh, arid environment.