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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.

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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.

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Sunday - November 09, 2008

From: Huntington Beach, CA
Region: California
Topic: Trees
Title: Small tree for Huntingdon Beach, CA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have the exact same question as a previous tree question from Huntington Beach California. When I click on the answer it brings up another question. I would like to know the answer given for the 10 foot tree with a non-invasive root system. I would prefer a non-flowering tree because of my CA desert tortoises. Thanks

ANSWER:

We trust you meant you wanted inconspicuous flowers, not non-flowering. Almost all plants flower, it's part of their reproductive cycle. And, since we know nothing about California desert tortoises, we don't know if they would eat the flowers or what. We will probably give you a slightly different list of possibilities than the other correspondent to whom you referred. Most trees grow much larger than 10 feet tall, so we will find what we can, and then offer some shrubs that can be trimmed up into a small tree. Shrubs and smaller trees tend not to have such large, invasive roots as bigger plants. Usually, the roots extend beyond the dripline.

Follow each plant link to our Native Plant Database page on that plant. You will get information on how high the plant ordinarily grows, what kind of sun exposure and soil moisture it prefers, even bloom time and color. If you still don't have all the information you need, go to the bottom of that webpage and click on a link to Google for that plant, where you should find a number of sites. When you have selected the plants you like, go to our Native Plant Suppliers site. Enter your town name and state in the "Enter Search Location" box, and you will get a list of native plant nurseries, seed companies and landscape consultants in your general area. 

Umbellularia californica (California laurel) - evergreen, slow growing

Aesculus californica (California buckeye) - deciduous

Amelanchier alnifolia (Saskatoon serviceberry) - deciduous

Amorpha fruticosa (desert false indigo) - deciduous

Calycanthus occidentalis (western sweetshrub) - deciduous, Pictures

Comarostaphylis diversifolia (summer holly) - evergreen

Heteromeles arbutifolia (toyon) - evergreen

Morella californica (California wax myrtle) - evergreen, Pictures



Umbellularia californica

Aesculus californica

Amelanchier alnifolia

Amorpha fruticosa

Calycanthus occidentalis

Comarostaphylis diversifolia

Heteromeles arbutifolia

 

 

 

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