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

Friday - June 01, 2012

From: Lake Forest, CA
Region: California
Topic: Plant Lists, Drought Tolerant, Trees
Title: Small to medium drought-tolerant trees for Southern California
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I am looking for drought tolerant trees to line one side of our 70 foot driveway. We live in Southern California. Currently, we have queen palms, but I would like something more native or drought tolerant that doesn't get too big.

ANSWER:

Here are a variety of drought-tolerant trees that grow in Orange County.  I am not sure exactly what size you are looking for, but I have included a variety of sizes.

Prunus ilicifolia ssp. lyonii (Hollyleaf cherry) grows 10 to 40 ft. high.  Here are more photos and information from Theodore Payne Foundation.

Dodonaea viscosa (Florida hopbush) grows to 12 ft. high.  Here are more photo and information from HorticultureUnlimitedInc.com.

Frangula californica [syn. = Rhamnus californica](California buckthorn) grows 6 to 15 ft. high.  Here are photos and more information from Santa Barbara City College and Las Pilitas Nursery.

Fraxinus velutina (Arizona ash) grows 30 to 50 ft.  Here are more photos and information from University of Arizona Pima County Cooperative Extension Service and Las Pilitas Nursery.

Juniperus californica (California juniper) grows 10 to 15 ft. high.  Here are photos and more information from Las Pilitas Nursery and BirdandHike.com.

Prosopis velutina (Velvet mesquite) grows 30 to 40 ft. high.  Here are more photos and information from AridZoneTrees.com and the University of Arizona.

Quercus agrifolia (California live oak) generally grow 20 to 50 ft. high.  Here are more photos and information from Las Pilitas Nursery and Urban Forest Ecosystems Institute.

 

From the Image Gallery


Catalina cherry
Prunus ilicifolia ssp. lyonii

Florida hopbush
Dodonaea viscosa

Arizona ash
Fraxinus velutina

Velvet mesquite
Prosopis velutina

California live oak
Quercus agrifolia

More Trees Questions

Mountain Laurel growing in East Texas
April 24, 2008 - I found a plant that looks like a Texas Mountain Laurel growing wild on a fenceline in east texas, near Canton. It is a small shrub/tree and has flowers like wisteria. It has "hairy" stems, they ar...
view the full question and answer

Root suckers growing from base of oak in California
November 24, 2008 - I planted four trees labeled by the nursery when purchased as "Louisiana Oaks" approximately 20 yrs ago in my front yard. All trees are growing well but one of the four has a progressing mass of ro...
view the full question and answer

Controlling live oak suckers in Florida
July 20, 2014 - How do I kill emerging live oak sprouts coming from mature tree root system
view the full question and answer

Tree protection during construction
February 18, 2008 - What measures can/should be taken to ensure the health, future of live oaks while building a new home? There are many small to medium oaks on this property, some very close to the house site and the o...
view the full question and answer


July 27, 2015 - Hi, thanks for all your help in the past! I have a generous spot in my spacious back yard that is begging to be filled. The top soil is 4" sandy loam, below which is black clay.With frog strangler r...
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