En Español

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - April 24, 2010

From: San Ramon, CA
Region: California
Topic: Trees
Title: Trees for pool area in San Ramon, California
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We live in San Ramon. We are remodeling our pool and are looking for a tree that will be 15 feet from a pool. We just removed a pine tree. We have now lost our privacy and see the neighbor's back fence on their hillside. What can we plant that will be about 15 feet high, 10 feet wide at most, direct sunlight, that will not be messy near our pool, yet pretty both during every season.

ANSWER:

Below are several evergreen trees in approximately the size range you are seeking that are native to Northern California:

Prunus ilicifolia ssp. lyonii (hollyleaf cherry)

Umbellularia californica (California laurel)

Lithocarpus densiflorus (tanoak) and here are photos and more information

Heteromeles arbutifolia (toyon)

Cercocarpus ledifolius (curl-leaf mountain mahogany) and here are photos and more information

Ceanothus thyrsiflorus (blueblossom)

Morella californica (California wax myrtle) and here are photos and more information

Rhododendron macrophyllum (Pacific rhododendron)

You can see more suggested species by going to our Recommended Species page and choosing Northern California from the map or the pull-down menu.  You can use the NARROW YOUR SEARCH option in the side menu to select for characteristics that you want.

Here are photos from our Image Gallery of some of the above:


Prunus ilicifolia ssp. lyonii

Umbellularia californica

Heteromeles arbutifolia

Ceanothus thyrsiflorus

Rhododendron macrophyllum

 

 

More Trees Questions

Grasses for horses in Austin
October 27, 2012 - Hello Mr. Smarty Plants We just bought 4.5 acres in Travis County off HWY 290. We have 3 horses we keep on it but there is very little grass in the pastures. What is the best type of grass to seed ...
view the full question and answer

A tap-rooted tree for Munroe Falls, OH?
August 16, 2012 - Hello.. We need to find a fast growing shade tree which has a tap root or a heart root system. No surface roots please. We live in Munroe Falls, Ohio which I believe is Zone 5. Let us know your though...
view the full question and answer

Fast growing shade tree for Canyon Lake, TX
November 02, 2012 - What is the best, fastest growing shade tree to plant in a residential yard about 1/2 block from the Guadelupe River in Sattler, Texas?
view the full question and answer

Survivability of birch trees in Texas
August 16, 2006 - Is it known whether Gray birch (Betula populifolia Marsh) will grow in North Texas? It seems like the only birch variety which might - and how short is a "short lifespan" for a tree?
view the full question and answer

Pruning Spruce Pine (Prunus glabra)
September 02, 2015 - I have a Pinus glabra/spruce pine that is approx. 7' tall. It's limbs are few and some have been broken. Will trimming back the longer limbs to give it a Christmas shape harm this tree?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center