Operation Cool Shade

Several people standing in front of building holding a large Operation Cool Shade bannerREVISED 2021. STAY TUNED FOR 2022 UPDATES.

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

  • Presale dates of August 28 and September 11 between 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. By phone only at (928) 763-1100.
  • In person sales from September 22 to October 5 at the Hancock Office 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • MEC Member Services Office — 928 Hancock Road
  • $9 per tree — Limit 4 trees per member

Tree Pick Up Information

  • Bullhead City – November 13, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.
    Anderson Auto Group Fieldhouse
    3663 Bullhead Pkwy, Bullhead City, AZ 86442
  • Kingman – November 20, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
    Pinion Pine Fire Department
    6095 E Fire Grounds Road, Kingman AZ 86401

Pay for your Trees

Operation Cool Shade Pay Portal

Trees Available in 2021

Chilean Mesquite TreeChilean Mesquite — A thornless, fast-growing, deciduous tree that can reach 20’ – 30’ tall and wide. It provides a good canopy for shade and privacy, requires little water once established, and tolerates poor and alkaline soil. Also tolerates high water and responds with vigorous growth. This mesquite will drop leaves, pollen, seed pods, and flowers.

Desert Willow treeDesert Willow — This tree is well-suited for the local arid environment. It can grow 2-3 feet per year, reach a height of 30 feet, and produce fragrant flowers that attract hummingbirds and butterflies. It prefers full sun and one deep watering per month following planting should suffice. Once established, little, if any, water is required.

Rosewood treeRosewood — This evergreen to semi-green tree can reach a size of 50’ tall and 50’ wide. The growth rate is quick with ample water. Trees should be hardened off for the first few winters to avoid frost damage. Young trees become more evergreen as they mature. It has a wide-spreading root system and, when well maintained, provides not only shade for a home, but a great spot for lawn chairs beneath.

Willow Acacia treeWillow Acacia — A good option for space-restricted areas, the willow acacia is a drought-tolerant tree from Australia. Once established, this tree requires watering about once a month in the summer and every other month in the winter. However, infrequent deep watering will help establish an anchored root system, but be cautious of poor draining soils. Prune in the fall or early spring to thin the tree and raise the canopy.

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 21 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.