4 Most Common Places Where Acacia Trees Grow

Acacia tree in savannah zimbabwe, south africa

Acacia refers to a genus of about 160 trees that thrive in tropical and subtropical environments. If you are looking to find the most common places where acacia trees grow, this is the piece for you!

Acacia trees are best adapted to tropical and desert climates. These trees can be found around the globe and are native to Australia and different parts of Africa. In the United States, acacia trees grow best in USDA Hardiness Zones 9-11 and can even grow in USDA Hardiness Zone 8.

The first matter to take into account is that of regional growing zones, which indicate which geographical area a tree might grow in. Before we take a deeper dive into this topic and find out the most common places acacia trees grow, we should talk about the places where they can grow.

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Where Can Acacia Trees Be Planted?

Sweet acacia, silver acacia, shoestring acacia, wattle acacia, whatever type of acacia tree you may (or may not) be familiar with, there is a trend that can be seen surrounding the locations where acacia trees grow and thrive.

Though acacia trees are quite a diverse genus, they are best adapted to tropical and desert climates, as a general rule. These trees can be found around the globe and are native to Australia and different parts of Africa.

According to Arizona State University, Acacia stenophylla, more commonly referred to as a shoestring acacia, and notes that this tree, in particular, is found most often along the river channels in Queensland, Australia.

Acacia trees are actually quite similar to eucalyptus, though they produce significantly less oil. We only mention this because the two are quite comparable and both staples in Australia between their wood, leaves, and shade, of course!

Acacia trees may be found in the savannas of Africa, the beaches of Hawaii, the desert in Australia, and across different regions around the borders of the United States.

While there are certain regions that acacia trees cannot grow in, they are suited to most warm regions of the country. If you are looking to plant an acacia tree in the United States, you can focus on the southern and western regions of California, as well as New Mexico, Arizona, Georgia, Florida, and Texas.

Now that you have a better idea of where acacia trees can be planted, geographically speaking, you may have a new question!

Can I Plant An Acacia Tree Anywhere?

In short, no. It could be detrimental to an acacia tree to plant it in an environment that is too cold for it to remain viable.

You can plant acacia trees in the majority of warm regions, thanks to their aptitude for desert, subtropical, and even tropical regions. 

We won’t dive into the specifics just yet, but the growing zones that we talk about a bit further down are going to be a game-changer as you decide whether to plant an acacia tree of your own.

As we mentioned, we’ll get there soon enough! For now, we should talk about how to successfully plant an acacia tree.

How Do I Plant An Acacia Tree?

You can plant an acacia tree from the seed, but this is not as common as you might expect. 

Most people prefer to transplant saplings from a nursery or other source since it is a bit easier to support an already-growing acacia tree. This may be considered more of relocation but it is the standard practice. 

In fact, according to the University of California Riverside’s Center for Bibliographical Studies and Research, a document from 1894 essentially gives the exact same instructions that are given today in the 21st century, how cool!

If you happen to be transplanting a tree from somewhere other than a nursery, you can use a D Handle Shovels for Digging Spade Shovel for Gardening, which should ultimately help you dig up the dirt and the roots, without severely damaging roots in the process.

You should plant (or transplant) acacia trees in the fall or spring, for best success.

Now that we’ve talked a bit about how this process of transplanting a sapling can be expected to take place, however, it is worth noting the depth at which your acacia tree should be planted.

How Deep Should An Acacia Tree Be Planted?

Big yellow blooming mimosa tree spring flowers acacia dealbata

Since you are most likely going to be dealing with a sapling, that is what we will focus on here.

You’ll mainly want to ensure that your hole is deep enough and wide enough to fit the roots and the bit of additional soil that they are intertwined with. 

One of the quickest ways to jeopardize the success of your new acacia tree is to crush the roots, not cover them with enough soil, or, well…both. 

So, while you will want enough space for the roots, you’ll also want to make sure that you plan to dig your hole a bit deeper than what will fit those roots. 

It is best to place 1-3 inches of soil over the roots of your tree so that they can get acclimated to their new home and begin to extend throughout the soil your tree will now be growing in. 

Speaking of soil, there is one more big question before we get into the four most common places where acacia trees grow and the type of soil that best suits these trees.

What Kind Of Soil Does An Acacia Tree Need?

This one is nice and simple because acacia trees are very tolerant and can do well in many different types of soil. 

However, there is always a preference when it comes to plants, and that of the acacia tree is a soil that is sandy and well-draining. This should not come as a huge surprise, since we know that acacia trees tend to grow in the desert and other tropically-focused regions.

The kind of soil that is a part of the Miracle-Gro Cactus, Palm & Citrus Potting Mix is exactly what you’re looking for when you plant an acacia tree. This soil mixture can give you an idea of what the soil at your acacia tree’s location should look (and feel) like.

Alright, now we are finally getting to the most important question at hand: what are the most common places where acacia trees grow?

4 Places Where Acacia Trees Grow

Big acacia tree in negev desert, israel

While growing an acacia tree may not be that simple, knowing about the most common places where acacia trees grow is a great start.

Now, it is time to go back to the topic of growing or hardiness zones. What are they? Why are they important?

Great question, let’s dive in!

What Is A Growing Zone?

According to the USDA, hardiness zones, also often referred to simply as growing zones, help us to categorize regions of the United States based on their average annual extreme minimum temperature. 

Essentially, growing zones are a way to determine what the lowest temperature in a region may be, which then helps to decide which plants can realistically thrive in any given region of the United States.

In the same way that people have their preferences in terms of temperature throughout different times of the year, plants may prefer an environment that gets a bit colder or, in the case of acacia trees, might be unable to survive in regions that are below a certain temperature

Acacia trees do best in USDA Hardiness Zones 9-11 but can be planted as low as Zone 8. 

The Hardiness Zones 9-11 are most commonly distributed throughout the West, Southwest, and Southeast regions of the United States.

These zones are split into ‘A’ and ‘B’, which account for a more specific minimum temperature variation. 

So, while the number of a growing zone represents a 10 degree Fahrenheit range, ‘A’ represents the lower 5 degrees and ‘B’ represents the higher 5 degrees of that particular Hardiness Zone.

Since we are talking about the USDA Hardiness Zones in this piece, we are going to focus on the regions in the United States that can act as good homes for acacia trees. Don’t forget, though, that acacia trees are mostly native to the African and Australian continents, so they need a fairly warm climate to grow in.

Acacia Trees Can Grow In Southern California

In this region, USDA Hardiness Zones 9a-10b, the lowest minimum temperature that can be expected in the winter is 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Southern California is very unlikely to see temperatures this low. 

The highest minimum temperature is about 40 degrees Fahrenheit, which fits many of the more temperate climates found across California.

This means that it is the perfect setting for an acacia tree to not only survive, but thrive. 

Acacia Trees Grow In Coastal California

All the way up the western coast of California we see a very similar growing zone, which is USDA Hardiness Zones 8a-11b. Though this one Zone gets a little colder and has minimum temperatures that are a bit higher. Since California is such a big state, this also may not come as a surprise to you. 

The lowest extreme temperature in this part of the country is 10 degrees Fahrenheit, which may be more likely in northern California, from time to time. The highest minimum temperature is 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

California as a whole is one of the most common places you will find acacia trees growing in the United States.

Acacia Trees Can Grow In The American Southwest

The American Southwest can range from a minimum of -15 degrees Fahrenheit all the way up to 35 degrees Fahrenheit, which is why we make the distinction that certain parts of the American Southwest are ideal for growing acacia trees. 

This region consists of USDA Hardiness Zones 5b-10a, and includes, Arizona, Texas, and a small portion of New Mexico are the only sectors of this region where we would recommend planting an acacia tree. 

Make sure to remember that the desert regions of the United States are going to be the best locations for acacias.

Acacia Trees Grow In Certain Parts of the American Southeast 

As we discuss the southern part of the United States, the American Southeast has some low minimum temperatures, but also the highest that we have seen yet. This area is comprised of USDA Hardiness Zones 7a-12a.

In Zone 7a, the minimum average temperature in winter might be a flat 0 degrees Fahrenheit. In zone 12a, however, you can expect an average minimum temperature of 50 degrees Fahrenheit- just a bit warmer on average than those Southwest California winters.

In this region, you can count on most locations being great hosts for your acacia tree, as opposed to a part of a state or a few select states in the region.

The variety of this region lends itself to be quite a good host for acacia trees to thrive in the warmth that is experienced year-round.

That’s All For Now!

African landscape with a beautiful acacia tree (acacia erioloba), hwange national park, zimbabwe, southern africa

While these are examples of the most common places where acacia trees grow, it is important to remember that there are over 160 species of acacia trees that fall under the genus of acacia.

So, you’ll always want to do a bit of research about the specific type of acacia tree that you are going to be caring for. 

Depending on what variety you choose, each will thrive more or less in certain regions where the average extreme minimum temperature in the winter ranges for that specific variety.

If you take one thing away from this piece (other than the most common places in the United States where acacia trees grow) it should be that properly maintaining an acacia tree from far before the planting stage is important.

You can have the healthiest, most viable tree but if planted in an undesirable location, your best efforts are likely to fail. 

So, do your research friends!

Remember, the 4 most common places in the United States where acacia trees grow:

  • Southern California
  • Coastal California
  • Southwest America
  • Southeast America

Thank you for taking the time to read this piece. We wish you the best of luck along your own personal tree journey!

References

Diatta, O., Sarr, M. S., Hansen, J. K., Diallo, A. M., Nielsen, L. R., Ræbild, A., & Kjær, E. D. (2021). Survival and growth of Acacia senegal (L.) Wild.(Senegalia senegal (L.) Britton) provenances depend on the rainfall at the site of origin. Annals of Forest Science, 78(4), 1-16.

Hoffmann, B., Kahmen, A., Cernusak, L. A., Arndt, S. K., & Sachse, D. (2013). Abundance and distribution of leaf wax n-alkanes in leaves of Acacia and Eucalyptus trees along a strong humidity gradient in northern Australia. Organic Geochemistry, 62, 62-67.

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