Operation Cool Shade

Several people standing in front of building holding a large Operation Cool Shade bannerUPDATED 08/01/2022.

Operation Cool Shade helps beautify your home and yard while helping you save energy dollars.

Shade trees help save energy by shielding the home from direct sunlight, which lowers the outside wall temperature of your home. This can reduce cooling costs by up to 20% in just a few years! The energy you don’t use doesn’t need to be generated, which is good for the environment.

Trees and their root structure also help prevent soil erosion.

This program is approved by the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) and partially funded by a surcharge on member bills mandated by the ACC.


Tree Sales

August 29 through October 7 between 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

  • Walk In and Phone Sales Available 928 Hancock Road or call (928) 763-1100
  • MEC Member Services Office — 928 Hancock Road
  • $9 per tree — Limit 8 trees per member
  • Free LED bulb with each tree purchase

Tree Pick Up Information

  • Bullhead City Tree Pickup: November 12, 7 a.m. to 12 p.m.
    Anderson Auto Group Fieldhouse
    3663 Bullhead Pkwy, BHC, AZ
  • Kingman Tree Pickup: November 19, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
    Pinion Pine Fire Department
    6095 E Fire Grounds Road, Kingman AZ

Pay for your Trees

Operation Cool Shade Pay Portal

Trees Available in 2022

Lionetti Live OakLionetti Live Oak

Joan Lionetti is praised for its symmetrical shape and fast growth. Evergreen to semi-evergreen, Joan Lionetti has a dense canopy, upright growth, and performs best in full sun with regular water until established. Proven to handle extreme cold and hot temperatures, Joan Lionetti has proven to have a “tough-as-nails” demeanor. This majestic tree is named after the founder of the Tucson Clean and Beautiful program.

desert willow ' bubba seedless'Desert Willow ‘Sweet Bubba Seedless’

A spectacular hybrid of 2 well-known desert willow trees, Sweet Bubba Seedless is a fast-growing native tree, with glossy green foliage and large pink flowers that have one of the longest blooming cycles of all the desert willows/ Sweet Bubba will reach a mature height of 20 to 25 feet tall and close to 20 feet wide. Extremely cold hardy, heat and drought tolerant, Sweet Bubba also has a low seed count which means minimal maintenance.

desert willow 'bubba jones'Desert Willow ‘Bubba Jones’

A native tree to the desert southwest, this hybrid performs well in arid landscapes. Bubba Jones has an upright, symmetrical shape reaching a mature size of 15 to 20 feet tall and 12 to 18 feet wide. Emerald green glossy leaves make the radiant color of the large burgundy flowers seemingly pop during Bubba Jones’ blooming cycle. This tree is seedless, making it an attractive option for any residential landscape.

Vitex ‘Shoal Creek’

A dense, smaller tree naturally, the Vitex makes a great choice for smaller areas all while still providing much-needed shade. Large amethyst-purple conical-shaped flowers attract pollinators and the mature size can reach up to 20 feet tall and wide. Moderate water is best during the establishment stage of the tree. Semi-evergreen to deciduous.

Plan for Planting

Before planting, create a landscaping plan. Observe and take into consideration how your family or business uses the outdoor space where you are thinking about placing trees. Plant at least three trees where they can provide enough shade to shield your structure and outdoor living areas. Shade the roof, as well as the east, west, and south walls as much as possible.

Before You Dig

One week before you plan to dig, call Arizona 811 at (800) 782-5348 or go online to the Arizona 811 website to create a ticket. Arizona 811 will notify utility locators to mark the placement of underground utility wires and pipes where you plan to plant trees. Even if you are hiring someone to dig for you, it is your responsibility to call Arizona 811.

Look Up…

Never plant trees where their growth will interfere with overhead power lines. A good rule to follow is, at maturity, the trunk and branches of trees should be at least 15 feet away from the overhead power lines. In addition, be mindful to plant 15 feet from driveways, patios, sidewalks, and block walls.

Plant promptly and keep them watered.


Bullhead City Master Gardeners

The Bullhead City Master Gardeners will be offering a workshop on how to plant your Operation Cool Shade trees and other desert-adapted plants. It will be on Thursday, October 20 from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. at the Mohave County Library, Bullhead City branch, 1170 Hancock Road.

Whether you are new to the area or just need a refresher course, this program will cover what you need to know to successfully plant and grow your native and non-native trees and shrubs.

This presentation is part of the Master Gardener’s monthly series of programs on gardening in the Mohave Desert. They are held on the third Thursday of each month and are free to the public.