New Mexico Olive
Scientific name: Forestiera neomexicana
Alternate names: New Mexican Privet
Description: A deciduous shrub or small tree of the Oleaceae (ash) family. Native to New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, west to California. Little used outside of arid regions. Fairly fast growth makes it a good screening plant as well as a landscape item in arid climates. Does well in full sun. Does well in riparian areas (along streams and near lakes). This is a tree that can be pruned and used in a variety of ways.
Sometimes multi-trunked, it makes an attractive landscape tree, short enough to grow beneath utility lines. It can be pruned into a shrub or a hedge for screening, garden delineation, or used as one element of a windbreak.
Height: Up to 15 feet and nearly as broad.
Leaves: Small paired leaves
Fruit: Egg-shaped, blue-black fruit, 1/4 inch long, not always produced (some plants do not have both male and female flowers).
Habitat: Dry, rocky slopes and canyons in deserts.
Water: After established will survive without additional water, but grows faster with some water.
Wildlife: Birds eat the fruits
Management & Care: Pruning causes the many-branching tendency to increase, making it ideal for hedges and screening. Can be pruned into a tree, sometimes multi-trunked.