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

Oaks emitting substance in Lakeway TX
August 14, 2012 - We have two large oak trees in our yard that are emitting a clear, very sticky, non-fragrant substance. The leaves are beginning to be covered as is our deck. Bees are now attracted and I am worried ...
view the full question and answer

Can a Texas Mountain Laurel be grown in Drake CO
August 22, 2010 - I live in Colorado, in the mountains near Estes Park, and would like to plant the Texas Mountain Laurel. Can they be grown in this environment. I would be willing to grow them in containers so I could...
view the full question and answer

Northern Catalpa Tree Doing Poorly
July 02, 2014 - One of our Northern Catalpa trees appears to be dying. It is about 28 feet tall and this year only about 1/3 of it is producing leaves. It is next to our largest Catalpa tree (about 65 feet tall and a...
view the full question and answer

Leaves wrinkling on Tecoma stans from San Antonio TX
August 16, 2013 - My two year old esperanza (planted in the ground) froze back last winter, came back from the roots & has been doing well all summer. Recently one branch has leaves that are nice & green but very wrin...
view the full question and answer

What to do with ailing live oak trees
May 04, 2010 - We live in far north San Antonio, TX on a 2 acre lot with many trees.. about 25% oak and 75% cedar. About 15% of our live oak trees have not sprouted leaves yet this spring, or have only sprouted leav...
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