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

Thursday - August 09, 2012

From: San Diego, CA
Region: California
Topic: Drought Tolerant, Shrubs, Trees
Title: Drought-tolerant trees for planters in San Diego
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We need some ideas for a drought tolerant tree that will provide shade (4 foot raised planters in sunny location) not get too big when mature, and not too messy. San Diego

ANSWER:

Here are some suggestions for San Diego native small trees/large shrubs that are drought tolerant and should do well in your large planters:

Cercocarpus montanus var. glaber (Birch-leaf mountain-mahogany) is evergreen and grows to about 15 feet.  Here is more information from Las Pilitas Nursery and from the Theodore Payne Foundation under its synonym, Cercocarpus betuloides.

Chilopsis linearis (Desert willow) is deciduous and here are descriptions from Las Pilitas Nursery in Escondido and Santa Margarita and from the Theodore Payne Foundation.

Comarostaphylis diversifolia (Summer holly)  is evergreen and is a slow-grower to 20 feet.  Here is more information from Las Pilitas Nursery and from the Theodore Payne Foundation.

Heteromeles arbutifolia (Toyon) is evergreen and usually grows to 6 or 8 feet but can grow as high as 20 feet.  Here is more information from Las Pilitas Nursery and the Theodore Payne Foundation.

Malosma laurina (Laurel sumac)  is evergreen and can grow to 18 feet.   Here is more information from Las Pilitas Nursery and the Theodore Payne Foundation.

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Smooth mountain mahogany
Cercocarpus montanus var. glaber

Desert willow
Chilopsis linearis

Summer holly
Comarostaphylis diversifolia

Toyon
Heteromeles arbutifolia

More Trees Questions

Privacy hedge for Dallas area
February 21, 2010 - We live in the Park Cities area of Dallas, and our neighbors are right on top of us. Our lot is small, but I'm looking for a privacy hedge or small tree to plant along the side of the fence. It needs...
view the full question and answer

Tree to plant by pool replacing mulberry in Las Vegas
January 18, 2009 - I am looking for a tree to plant between my house and pool. We just cut down a mulberry that was here due to its invasive root system. Are there any plants that can tolerate Vegas weather, provide a...
view the full question and answer

Live oaks exhibiting white foam spots from Round Rock, TX
June 08, 2014 - We have several native very large Live Oak in our backyard, and this summer we have noticed white foam spots on the branches. We live in Round Rock next to the Williamson County Park. The spots look...
view the full question and answer

Poolside tree for Whitehouse TX
May 29, 2012 - What would you recommend for native shade tree or flowering tree on the north side of a swimming pool in East Texas/Smith County? Trying to avoid too much dropping of flowers, nuts, etc. Looking to ...
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

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