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
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - July 06, 2010

From: Laguna Niguel, CA
Region: California
Topic: Trees
Title: Evergreen tree for Southern California coast
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I need a tree that is evergreen, non invasive roots that is not messy that can be kept at around 20 feet. We are at the edge of the thermal layer from the ocean. Thanks.

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants is puzzling over your remark that you are "at the edge of the thermal layer from the ocean" and finds it somewhat cryptic, but assumes it means you are near the coast and receive coastal breezes?  At any rate, here are some evergreen trees native to Orange County, or counties adjacent to Orange County, for you to consider.  You can read about them and decide which might be the least messy ones.  The maximum height given for all of them is less than or only slightly more than 20 feet.  

Malosma laurina (laurel sumac) and here are photos and more information.

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

Comarostaphylis diversifolia (summer holly) and here is more information.

Ceanothus arboreus (feltleaf ceanothus) and here are photos and more information.

Ceanothus thyrsiflorus (blueblossom) and here are more photos and information.

Quercus dumosa (coastal sage scrub oak) and here are more photos and information.

Quercus berberidifolia (California scrub oak) and you can see that there is some confusion about the difference between these two scrub oaks, but either one should work well.

You can search for nurseries that specialize in native plants near you in our National Suppliers Directory and you can discuss with the nursery you visit the possible invasiveness of the roots of the particular tree that you choose.


 

More Trees Questions

Care of butternut trees (Juglans cinerea) with bumpy growths
June 12, 2007 - I have two small butternuts, around 3-4 feet. One has developed very 'bumpy' reddish growths on the leaves that are actually stunting their growth. What do you think it is and what can i do to sto...
view the full question and answer

Planting Anacacho orchid tree in Llano, TX
October 05, 2011 - Re Bauhinia lunarioides: I'm trying to pick a good site in Llano Co for a 5 gal tree I received as a gift. Your plant database says part shade. The arid zone trees publication you reference in a...
view the full question and answer

Advice on planting Korean dogwood (Cornus kousa) in Vancouver, BC
October 26, 2007 - I live in the Vancouver, BC - Pacific Northwest area and the front of our yard faces south to southwest. If I were to plant a tree other than an evergreen, would the Korean Dogwood thrive in this are...
view the full question and answer

Sprouts from Live Oak in Austin
April 06, 2011 - I have an Escarpment Live Oak..quercus fusiformis.? I get tired of all the sprouts that come up around this tree..My yard person wants to pull them up or get a roto tiller after them..? I had been t...
view the full question and answer

Problems with native palms in Austin
April 10, 2011 - We had a large variety of California fan palms and blue sabal palms in our yard that were damaged during the last freeze. We found that several of them now have "spear pull," which means we could p...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center