A yucca tree is a desert tree species that has several different subtypes, and is commonly seen in outdoor landscaping, or even as an house plant. These trees are somewhat reminiscent of palm trees, often having only green vegetation at the top, where the green crowns look like thin palm fronds. Depending on its species, a yucca tree can be a long-lived tree variety. One in particular, called the Joshua tree, can live as many as 1,000 years.
In the native environment, the yucca tree is found in Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, and Texas. As a desert plant, it exhibits some of the common characteristics of many such plants, such as being drought resistant, but not being fire resistant. They can withstand colder temperatures for brief periods of time, but prefer hot, sunny locations for optimum growth and vegetation.
Depending on the variety, the yucca tree may have one stalk or multiple stalks. They can also be pruned to produce fewer stalks, if that is the desire of the tree's owner. Thus, the yucca tree can provide the owner with a wide variety of looks, even among trees of the same species. This is one factor that helps to make the trees one of the most favored in the home environment.
More than their versatility, however, these trees are a favorite of gardeners and home hobbyists simply because they are so easy to take care of. Once it is planted, the biggest threat to the yucca tree is watering it too much. It will not require fertilizer, and may even react negatively if a fertilizer is introduced. Further, the spineless yucca is more like a yucca plant than a tree in that it generally does not grow more than eight feet (2.4 meters tall) depending on the type of container it is in.
One thing the owner of a yucca tree needs to be aware of is the potential for the species to be affected by a variety of pests. Mites and rabbits can cause the most damage, though this is generally restricted to those plants that are kept outdoors. Some mites may be able to find their way indoors, so checking for speckled or discolored foliage periodically is a good idea.
If possible, it is also best to protect the yucca tree from freezes when they happen. Doing so in container plants is easy simply by bringing them indoors. With outdoor plants, it is more of a challenge to protect them from the elements. Using blankets and even a light under the blanket can help provide warmth to keep the tree out of danger on such nights.