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 - 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

More Trees Questions

Removing yaupon hollies from yard in Austin
July 04, 2009 - We recently moved into a home w/ way too many and much too large (20-30') yaupon holly's in the back yard. I had some of them cut down, but they keep coming up from the roots of the old trees. How ...
view the full question and answer

Growth rate of the American beech tree from West Hartford CT
May 25, 2010 - What is the growth rate of an American beech tree?
view the full question and answer

Identity of flowering yellow trees in Austin
March 21, 2012 - There are numerous flowering yellow trees in my Austin neighborhood. Are they mesquite or goldenball lead trees? They are quite fragrant, like a new bar of soap.
view the full question and answer

Non-native crape myrtles in Noblesville IN
August 01, 2012 - Can Crepe Myrtle trees be grown in Noblesville IN 46060? I believe we are zone five.
view the full question and answer

Young Bur Oak not Flourishing in Texas
November 06, 2014 - We have a bur oak in our SW Travis County lawn in Texas, planted about 3 years ago as a 6-7' tree. It is now about 12' but has not "flourished". It has put out virtually no horizontal branches, an...
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