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Mr. Smarty Plants - Trees & shrubs, low water, no maintenance, disease & pest resistant

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Saturday - May 04, 2013

From: San Clemente, CA
Region: California
Topic: Shrubs, Trees
Title: Trees & shrubs, low water, no maintenance, disease & pest resistant
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We need few Trees and shrubs to meet the following needs: - Low Water or best with a taproot for Ground Water - Clay Soil in Steep Slopes (25-40 degrees) - Low or No Maintenance. (hillside, no trimming) - Disease & Pest Resistant - Both, Evergreen & Deciduous Trees are needed - Short & Tall (Shrubs 2-5 ft. & Trees 10-40 ft) Not asking for much,,, am I? Thanks for being there for us lost poppies.. :-)

ANSWER:

That is a pretty big order, but we'll see what we can do.   Las Pilitas Nursery (with locations in Escondido and Santa Margarita) classifies the plant community in San Clemente as coastal sage scrub and offers a list of native plants that grow there.  Here are a few for your consideration:

Arctostaphylos densiflora (Vine hill manzanita) is evergreen. Las Pilitas has several varieties.  Here is their description of 'Harmony Manzanita'.  It grows two to three feet high and 6 feet across and tolerates clay soil.

Arctostaphylos edmundsii (Little sur manzanita) is another low-growing evergreen that requires little water.  Again, Las Pilitas has several varieties.  Here is their description of 'Big Sur Manzanita'.

Arctostaphylos glauca (Bigberry manzanita) is a larger manzanita with red bark.  It grows to 12 feet high and 12 feet wide.   Here is more information from the Theodore Payne Foundation.

Artemisia californica (Coastal sagebrush) is an evergreen (or evergray, as it is described by Las Pilitas) shrub that grows to 3 feet.  It needs little water and tolerates clay soils.

Baccharis pilularis (Coyotebrush) is evergreen and grows 4 to 8 feet high and wide.  Here is more information from Theodore Payne Foundation.

Ceanothus griseus (Carmel ceanothus) is evergreen and grows to 10 feet high and 5 feet wide.   Here is the description from Las Pilitas.

Ceanothus thyrsiflorus (Blue blossom) is evergreen and grows to 18 feet tall.  Here's more information from Las Pilitas.

Rhus integrifolia (Lemonade sumac) is evergreen and grows to 8 to 10 feet.  Here is the description from Theodore Payne Foundation.

Symphoricarpos mollis (Creeping snowberry) is deciduous and grows to 3 feet.  Here is more information from the Theodore Payne Foundation.

Malosma laurina (Laurel sumac) is evergreen and grows to 18 feet and is drought tolerant.   Here is the description from Theodore Payne Foundation.

You will note that there is only one deciduous selection above.  That is because California is blessed with evergreen choices.  If you were asking the question about shrubs and trees for some other part of North America (e.g., Texas), you wouldn't have so many evergreen choices.

You can find more choices for shrubs, trees and perennials in Las Pilitas list and also in our  California-Southern Recommended list of commercially available native plants for landscaping in Southern California.  Use the NARROW YOUR SEARCH option to select the characteristics you want from the plants on that list.

 

From the Image Gallery


Bigberry manzanita
Arctostaphylos glauca

Coastal sagebrush
Artemisia californica

Coyotebrush
Baccharis pilularis

Carmel ceanothus
Ceanothus griseus

Blueblossom
Ceanothus thyrsiflorus

Lemonade sumac
Rhus integrifolia

Creeping snowberry
Symphoricarpos mollis

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