When I moved to Arizona, I thought I was moving to a desolate desert, void of vegetation. I was amazed for the Sonora desert is full of vegetation. The main type of tree is the mesquite. I was initially grateful for them.

But that was five years ago; now I can’t stand them.

In spring they produce large amounts of yellow pollen which piles up everywhere and gets into everything. Every day the backyard is dusted with the stuff.

In the summer they produce small brown-black seed pods which resemble the droppings of a small dog. Once again the area is covered, and it is no prettier.

Mesquite trees have very shallow roots; a good rain storm easily topples them.

Despite the dearth of water, they grow like weeds (for such they are). Their prickly branches are in constant need of pruning – and they are everywhere.

When we lived in Ann Arbor, we saw the consequences of a ‘one tree environment’ – all the ash trees had to be removed due to some nasty invasive beetle. I think mesquites could suffer a similar fate. I would be intrigued to know what sort of critter has the stamina to tackle a mesquite.

Well, they are better than nothing. Beggars can’t be choosers.