Rain trees: characteristics and examples

rain trees

Rainfed agriculture refers to the type of plantation that does not require human beings to carry out the process of irrigation with water, using only rainwater, making the most of the existing humidity. in the ground. It is a type of agriculture that takes place in semi-arid regions where the average annual rainfall is less than 500 mm. To ensure profitable rain-fed agriculture, plant germination and growth require effective and efficient use of soil moisture. The rain trees are those that are grown in this type of agriculture.

For this reason, we are going to dedicate this article to telling you everything you need to know about rain trees, their characteristics and some examples.


rain trees

drought-tolerant fruits

Due to the nature of the rainfed agriculture system, it has a series of very specific characteristics as it is totally opposed to irrigated agriculture:

  • Rainfed agriculture is limited to areas with low rainfallor it only occurs at certain times of the year, such as countries with four seasons of the year.
  • For rainfed planting applications, monoculture is used, i.e. only one plant is grown at a time and crops are rotated or replaced every three years.
  • Fertilize the soil, using organic fertilizersobtained by a biological process of controlled decomposition, commonly known as compost or compost, to provide the soil with all the nutrients it needs to absorb plants.
  • The environmental impact is minimal and therefore sustainable in the long term. Very little work is required.

The advantages of rain-fed agriculture are:

  • Sustainable rainfed agriculture takes place during the rainy season, which makes it possible to cultivate large areas of land, without resorting to excessive labor to carry out all the planting, maintenance and harvesting tasks of the plantation.
  • Increases soil fertility, It helps to protect the environment and saves a lot of drinking water.
  • Rainfed plantations allow better use of land in the environments which cannot be cultivated due to lack of water or uneven ground.
  • If rains are scarce due to climatic factors, some crops may survive because some plants can absorb moisture stored in the soil even from previous rainy cycles.

But it also has some drawbacks:

  • Rainfed agriculture can be seriously affected by possible climatic phenomena, because plants can dry out from lack of water, or be damaged by too much water.
  • Sudden temperature changes are another risk factor for traditional rain-fed agriculture, as increased heat reduces soil moisture and cold weather oversaturates the land.
  • Productivity can be affected by climatic phenomena and changes that will significantly affect the regions that depend on these crops.

To determine which crops are most profitable for sustainable rainfed plantations, several factors should be considered such as soil type, land expansion and other factors to choose the most profitable ones. Among fruit trees, the recent popularity of the almond, olive and carob trees as favorites. Vegetables and legumes and cereals also stand out.

Characteristics of rain trees

rain trees that last

The choice of rain trees depends not only on the dryness of the climate, but also on the temperature, of course. It has worked in the Mediterranean region as well as in temperate arid zones and fragile tropical climates, with some crossbreeding in some but not others. Dry land is land in which there is less than 500 mm of precipitation. But we must also recognize that there are climates that we consider to be arid because they are vulnerable climates. So, although they are slightly above that, southern Spain in 2016-17 (600 mm of rain), they are fragile climates, hovering around 7 months with little or no rain, sometimes intensifying during the summer months.

These trees perform fairly efficient photosynthesis and close their stomata to reduce water loss through evaporation. I also have to take into account that its fruits need less water to grow. This means that rain trees can tolerate fairly long periods without rainfall without sustaining damage.

Drought resistant fruit trees

olive Tree

Besides rain trees, there are also fruit trees that can tolerate drought. Let’s take a look at some of the best examples:


Dates are a tree responsible for producing fruits, which usually ripen in September and look like olives or even dates. When completely fresh, its flesh is light green in color and very similar in texture and flavor to an apple. It can also be made dry or in jam. It is an Ibero-African endemic fruit tree. It is widely cultivated in the Mediterranean region, but also in North Africa.


The arbutus is a beautiful perennial fruit tree of arid lands whose fruits ripen in autumn. Its growth is moderate, or rather slow. The most important characteristic of this tree is that it is very resistant to cold. Its fruits are small spherical berries only about 2 cm in diameter. These fruits are edible and are in fact so delicious that they can even be used to make drinks. It is also a very attractive tree for ornamental use in the garden.


Plum trees are among the easiest rain-fed fruit trees to grow. Native to Persia and the Caucasus, it can reach a height of 6 or 7 meters. It resists heat perfectly and is perfect for low water climates. These characteristics are similar to those of the apricot, another rainfed fruit tree that also tolerates water scarcity well.


It is a semi-woody climbing plant. Derived from its fruits, grapes and wine, it is a product of great cultural and economic value, especially in certain regions of the Iberian Peninsula.

The grapes ripen in the summer and if you give the plants the care they need, you will have a good harvest. Try to get about 6 hours of sun a day and protect it from pests and disease (moisture promotes fungal growth). It also needs to be pruned regularly. It resists drought well, but despite everything, frequent watering of this plant is recommended, especially in summer.

I hope with this information you can learn more about rain trees and their characteristics.

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