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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Thursday - November 14, 2013

From: Anaheim, , CA
Region: California
Topic: Trees
Title: Shade tree for Southern California
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I had to cut down my huge ficus tree for several reasons, however it provided lots of shade, that we miss. Can you help me find a good shade tree with non-invasive roots that is good for growing and planting in Anaheim, California?

ANSWER:

Below are several trees that will grow in your area of California and make a good shade tree.  The CalPoly San Luis Obispo references give information about the invasiveness of the roots of the plants as well as other useful information.

1)  Lyonothamnus floribundus ssp. aspleniifolius (Fernleaf catalina ironwood) is evergreen.

Here is more information from CalPoly San Luis Obispo and from Las Pilitas Nursery in Santa Margarita and Escondido.

2)  Platanus racemosa (California sycamore)  Here is more information from CalPoly San Luis Obispo.

3)  Pinus coulteri (Coulter pine)  Here is  more information for CalPoly San Luis Obispo with photos.

4)  Quercus engelmannii (Engelmann oak)  Here is more information from CalPoly San Luis Obispo with photos.

5)  Pseudotsuga macrocarpa (Big-cone douglas-fir)  Here is more information from CalPoly San Luis Obispo with photos.

6)  Sambucus nigra ssp. caerulea (Blue elder)  Here is more information from CalPoly San Luis Obispo.

 

From the Image Gallery


Catalina ironwood
Lyonothamnus floribundus ssp. floribundus

California sycamore
Platanus racemosa

Blue elderberry
Sambucus nigra ssp. cerulea

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