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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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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!

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Wednesday - April 17, 2013

From: Carlsbad, CA
Region: California
Topic: Trees
Title: Fast growing non-invasive flowering tree from Carlsbad CA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Looking for fast growing flowering tree with non-invasive roots.

ANSWER:

Would you like fries with that? Sorry, you at least didn't ask for evergreen and deer resistant, as some of our other clients have. We are always touched by the faith the public has in Mr. Smarty Plants coming up with anything they ask for. We must tell you that the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, home of Mr. Smarty Plants, will recommend only plants native to North America as well as to the area in which those plants will be grown; in your case, San Diego County in the southwestern tip of California.

You are very fortunate that you live close to Las Pilitas California Native Plant Nursery in Escondido. Go to their site on trees native to California. Here is their mission statement:

"All we grow are native plants.

The Escondido nursery grows primarily for the San Diego, Riverside, Orange, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles counties. We have some desert native plants, mountain plants and a lot of chaparral and coastal sage scrub plants. Which means, we have Manzanita, Ceanothus, Salvia, Buckwheat, California Fuchsia and many other native plants."

If you scroll down the Trees page, you can click on the pictures for enlargements, or click on the tree name for more information. Because they specialize in your area, they have many more trees and much more information than we have in our Native Plant Database. Using our database, we will search on Southern California plants, of which 208 were listed. When we sorted by Habit "tree" and Height of 12-36 ft. there were 9 on the resulting list. Following each plant link to our webpage on that tree, we have tried to select some that fit your specifications. Here is more information on our Recommended Species, from which our list is drawn:

"California-Southern Recommended

Commercially available native plant species suitable for planned landscapes in Southern California. Visit our Suppliers Directory to locate businesses that sell native plants or seeds or provide professional landscape or consulting services in this state. Visit the Organizations Directory to locate native plant societies, conservation groups, governmental agencies, botanical gardens, arboreta, and other plant-related organizations in this state."

Small flowering trees for Southern California:

Chilopsis linearis (Desert willow)

Cornus nuttallii (Pacific dogwood)

Cercocarpus montanus var. glaber (Birch-leaf mountain-mahogany)

 

From the Image Gallery


Desert willow
Chilopsis linearis

Pacific dogwood
Cornus nuttallii

Smooth mountain mahogany
Cercocarpus montanus var. glaber

More Trees Questions

Watering practices for live oaks in drought from New Braunfels TX
September 04, 2011 - We have conflicting info about watering live oaks. An arborist says to water now using soaker hoses or small sprinklers and a landscaper who spoke to our garden club said that after August is too late...
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Control of live oak suckers by cutting
July 23, 2007 - How do I control the Live Oak root suckers? At the moment we are cutting them as they come out of the ground.
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Norway Pine vs. Norway Spruce
April 28, 2010 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, Is a Norway Pine the same species of tree as a Norway Spruce?
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Does Chilopsis linearis, var.Bubba produce seed pods? No.
October 01, 2007 - We have a really beautiful 2-year old Bubba, Desert Willow. It is already about 12 feet tall. I really have two questions. One does the Bubba form the seed pods like the other types of Desert Willows?...
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Windbreak [Dustbreak] for Shelton, WA
May 31, 2013 - I live on a well traveled, dusty, gravel road in the Pacific North West and would like to plant a barrier to help control the dust.
view the full question and answer

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