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

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

Bald cypress with chlorosis in Texas
June 15, 2009 - I have a 6' tall Bald Cypress planted 2 years ago which just this year appears to be suffering from chlorosis. The tree was bought from a chain store. It receives some drainage water from my washin...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen tree for privacy screen in Granbury Texas
December 21, 2014 - We need to put an evergreen privacy screen between our barn and our neighbor's new 132' long, unattractive building, which runs along & is just 40' away from our fence line & where they have decid...
view the full question and answer

Names of native plants in Garland, Texas
October 31, 2008 - We are building a new Assisted Living & Memory Care community in Garland Texas. We typically name the different floor plans after trees, plants or flowers indigenous or native to the area. Can you pr...
view the full question and answer

Privacy screen for Sedona AZ
August 02, 2013 - I live In Sedona Az. A builder just built a house next to my house and the new house is ugly to look at. What plant or tree would grow fast and reach 18 foot in height fast. It can be about 5 to 6 foo...
view the full question and answer

Small flowering tree for Burbank IL
April 14, 2010 - Looking for a semi-dwarf flowering tree resistant to disease and insects. Current flowering crab has fire blight. What would you suggest planting. We live in a Chicago IL suburb.
view the full question and answer

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