En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
2 ratings

Friday - November 07, 2008

From: Huntington Beach, CA
Region: California
Topic: Trees
Title: Small flowering tree for Huntingdon Beach, CA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I am looking for a short approx. 10 foot tall tree to plant in the 2 corners of my backyard near a wall. I would like them to be thin approx. 5 feet wide where light can get through so my other plants will get sun. There is mostly shade because of the 6 foot wall. I like trees that flower. Can you help me?

ANSWER:

Not many trees choose to remain that low, so we have added a couple of shrubs that can be trimmed up into a small tree. These have all been selected because they tolerate shade or part shade, and are fairly open, permitting sun to get to other plants. Two are deciduous, which means they will not shade your winter plants. All are found in Southern California.

Cercis canadensis var. texensis (Texas redbud) - blooms in early Spring, before the heart-shaped leaves appear, deciduous

Chilopsis linearis (desert willow) - deciduous, not a true willow, has beautiful pink, purple and white blooms in the summer

Prunus caroliniana (Carolina laurelcherry) - evergreen shrub, can be pruned up to small tree

Morella californica (California wax myrtle) - evergreen shrub, also trainable into small tree, aromatic foliage, attracts birds; Pictures


Cercis canadensis var. texensis

Chilopsis linearis

Prunus caroliniana

 

 

More Trees Questions

Are fuzzy oak leaf galls harmful to post oak trees?
October 19, 2012 - Are the fuzzy balls on the undersides of our post oak trees harmful?
view the full question and answer

Possible sawflies on loblolly pine (Pinus taeda)
May 03, 2011 - My pine trees looked great a week ago, now one from top to bottom is almost without needles. It is covered with greenish caterpillars. They have several stripes down their back . Could these be saw fl...
view the full question and answer

Caterpillars on Mountain laurel in Austin
September 11, 2009 - One of our 18+ year old Texas Mountain Laurels seems to be in distress this year. We treated it for caterpillars this Spring but many of the new leaves had been eaten by then. I recently started wate...
view the full question and answer

Can a madrone be used as a house plant from Grand Rapids MI
June 24, 2011 - Can a madrone tree be used as a house plant in Michigan? It is about 10" tall in a gal pot. Can a couple of trees be planted together to become one larger house plant? it's currently in a clay mix.
view the full question and answer

Identification of tree with outrageous thorns
August 10, 2014 - Can you identify this tree? It has these outrageous thorns on its trunk. They are in clusters and are anywhere from 1" long to 4" long or so.
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center