En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Evergreen tree for Southern California coast

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

Problems with red oak trees in North Central Texas
July 13, 2013 - What is the disease effecting Red Oak trees in North Central Texas; causing them to lose leafs in Spring/Summer and turning the remaining leaves light yellow/lime green in color. Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Tag on oak tree in Buda, TX
April 02, 2008 - I found a large oak tree on my property with a tag that has a number on it. Any idea what that means?
view the full question and answer

More trees to go with live oaks in Schertz TX
July 13, 2010 - We moved to a new house that has two recently planted live oak trees. Other than those two little trees there is nothing else on the property. Because of what I read about the oak wilt I would like ...
view the full question and answer

Are hollies toxic?
December 18, 2008 - Can I use holly from my landscaping to decorate food at Christmas?
view the full question and answer

Problem with crapemyrtle shoots in Victoria, TX
May 13, 2009 - I have a problem with crepe myrtle shoots coming up in my flowerbed. I had to remove a large crepe myrtle tree (18" diameter stump) and digging out the stump was not possible. I killed the stump wi...
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