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 Drought Tolerant Questions

Native Plants for Galveston
February 12, 2012 - I'm looking for low maintenance, drought tolerant plants for Galveston, on the bay side, in a well drained area with morning sun. I was thinking of Phlox, Muhly grass, Lantana.....and I am looking f...
view the full question and answer

Range and adaptability of evening primrose from Tucson AZ
August 28, 2009 - What is the natural range of the evening primrose? What adaptations does it have to live in the arid Southwest?
view the full question and answer

Ground cover for a bank in PA
April 28, 2012 - I live in Landisburg, PA, (zone 6). I need to find some ground cover for a primarily full sun bank that is roughly 10-12' down over the embankment and up to 100' long. This area wraps around our po...
view the full question and answer

Sun loving plants for flower bed by the pool in Weatherford Texas
October 03, 2011 - We have a 40' long x 2 1/2' wide flowerbed along our pool. It is in full sun with the pool deck across the front and a 6' privacy fence across back. Also, the level of the bed is 18" below the l...
view the full question and answer

A Bounty of Edibles for New Braunfels Texas
October 25, 2013 - I was hoping you could suggest a few plants that would serve several purposes. I live in New Braunfels, TX and would like to incorporate as many drought tolerant plants which would support birds, but...
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