En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Fast-growing, evergreen, non-invasive root tree for El Dorado CA

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
1 rating

Sunday - February 20, 2011

From: Eldorado Hills, CA
Region: California
Topic: Seed and Plant Sources
Title: Fast-growing, evergreen, non-invasive root tree for El Dorado CA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We need to plant a FAST-growing, non-deciduous TREE with a non-invasive root system. Where can we buy one?

ANSWER:

It's not so much a question of where you can buy one, as whether such a tree even exists. A fast-growing tree is often short-lived and susceptible to breakage and disease. There are not nearly as many evergreen trees as there are deciduous, and every tree is going to have a root system at least as far-reaching as its crown and usually much more. Since we don't know what kind of soil you have, whether you are planning on providing shade or privacy or what with your tree, that makes our recommendations even more difficult. You would have more luck controlling the invasiveness of the roots if you chose a shrub instead of a tree. There are shrubs that will grow fairly quickly but not get as big as a standard tree. You wouldn't get much shade from that, but you would get some amount of privacy. And there is no such thing as a truly evergreen shrub or tree-all plants will shed some leaves, twigs, seeds and so forth throughout the year.

Next we need to determine what plant native to North America and California will come closest to satisfying your requirements. El Dorado County appears to be in USDA Hardiness Zone 6b, with narrow bands of warmer climate to the west of your area. We are going to go to our Recommended Species section and click on Northern California on the map. On the sidebar on the right side of the Recommended Species for Northern California page we will select "Tree" under General Appearance, and click on Narrow Your Search. You can repeat this search indicating your soil moisture and the amount of sun available in the area where you wish to plant, as well as to try "Shrub" in the General Appearance selection. From the resulting lists, follow each plant link to our page on that plant to determine its expected size, speed of growth and whether it is deciduous or evergreen. We will look at a few samples of each, check to see if our selections are native in your area, and you can take it from there.

Trees for El Dorado County, CA:

Cercocarpus montanus var. glaber (Birch-leaf mountain-mahogany) - semi-evergreen, 8 to 20 ft.

Cercis orbiculata (California redbud) - deciduous, 10-20 ft.

Shrubs for El Dorado County, CA:

Arctostaphylos patula (Greenleaf manzanita) - evergreen, 3-6 ft.

Heteromeles arbutifolia (Toyon) - evergreen, 10-20 ft.

When you have located some trees and/or shrubs that most closely fit what you are looking for, go to our National Suppliers Directory, type your town and state in the "Enter Search Location" box and you will get a list of native plant nurseries, seed suppliers and landscape consultants in your general area. All have contact information so you can check on availability and growing requirements.

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Cercocarpus montanus var. glaber


Cercis orbiculata


Arctostaphylos patula


Heteromeles arbutifolia

 

 

 

 

More Seed and Plant Sources Questions

Recommendations for house plants for South Dakota
May 03, 2011 - Thank you for your web site! I live in Enning South Dakota, and I am new to this beautiful part of the United States. I would love to grow house plants but don't know where to start looking or what k...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for free in Hutto, TX
June 14, 2009 - We have moved in to a new subdivision and I would like to plant native Texas desert plants and flowers. We will only be in this house for two or three years so I don't want to spend a lot of money.Is...
view the full question and answer

Need a source of sulfuric acid for scarifying bluebonnet seeds in Austin, TX.
May 06, 2009 - I see that you recommend soaking blue bonnet seeds in concentrated h2so4 to facilitate germination. Where do you suggest I buy the sulfuric acid? I live here in Austin. Thank you,
view the full question and answer

Locating source for Crataegus Brazoria (Brazoria Hawthorn)
March 20, 2006 - I want to purchase a Crataegus Brazoria Sarg. (Brazoria Hawthorn) but cannot find a source for one. Can you help?
view the full question and answer

Source for seed of Blackfoot Daisy from Amarillo TX
October 29, 2011 - I need help finding Melampodium leucanthum seed. I have spent the last few hours on the web searching for them. I checked the resources in your lists and cannot find seed. I live in Potter Coun...
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