Guajillo is a small, spreading tree that grows to 12 feet tall by 12 feet wide. It is very shrub-like but can be trained into a small accent tree. Naturally multi-trunked, it is evergreen in the low elevation zones and briefly deciduous where winters have regular frosts. The compound light-green leaves are divided into many tiny leaflets giving Guajillo an interesting, fern-like appearance. Variable sized thorns are present on branches. In the late spring, hundreds of creamy white flower clusters burst into bloom. These ball-like flower clusters are sweetly fragrant. Native to Texas and the Chihuahuan desert, Guajillo is usually grown as a large, rounded shrub but is easily trained to a small tree.
Plant Guajillo tree in the fall in full sunlight and in well-drained soil. Guajillo is drought-tolerant, surviving on low amounts of rainfall in nature. However, it will benefit from regular watering in spring and summer. It has a moderate growth rate and may take a few years to achieve small tree stature. Being native to nutrient-poor, limestone soils, Guajillo grows extremely well in Southern Arizona without the addition of fertilizer. Water established Guajillo trees once a week in the summer and every two to three weeks in the winter. Prune the lowest two or three limbs in spring to shape and train into a small tree. Prune away dead or damaged limbs in the early spring.