Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Evergreen hedge for NY
February 26, 2012 - I am looking for a native evergreen shrub that could be used as a hedge or privacy screen on the Rockaway peninsula in Queens county. It is a beach community with sand soil ( except where it has been...
view the full question and answer

White ash trees with bunched up leaves from Nevada TX
June 09, 2012 - I have very young white ash trees (3' tall planted this winter) The leaves are crippled not opening up bunched up together and have a white powder. Is this aphids mites or what. Only on one tree. Th...
view the full question and answer

Live oaks dropping brown leaves
August 02, 2014 - We have three live oaks and one of them has been dropping quite a few brown leaves over the past two weeks. I looked at pictures of trees with oak wilt and ours do not look like the pictures. I als...
view the full question and answer

Replacing a Mexican ash with a live oak in Rockport TX
April 25, 2010 - I live in the Texas Coastal Bend (Rockport, TX). I recently lost a huge Mexican Ash, probably 45 years old. The trunk measures 11'6" at ground level, and gets progressively larger from there up. Its...
view the full question and answer

Need help with a 50 ft Tulip Tree with storm damage in Brownsburg, IN.
June 30, 2010 - I have a 50 ft Tulip tree that suffered storm damage. One for the main branches split at the top fork and fell. It has left about 6 ft of exposed wood but there are still a couple of main branches in...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.