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Old 01-29-2002, 09:30 AM
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Default Native tree for mid-city Los Angeles

I want to plant a native tree in my front yard to block out a business next door & a street traffic to the north. I'm midway between the beach & downtown. I'd like it to be tall & evergreen with noninvasive roots & drought tolerant. I've thought of planting a pine tree but I'm afraid it would get too big for my area. I have a lawn right now which will be partially removed. Any help would be greatly appreciated. </p>
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Old 01-30-2002, 07:55 AM
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Default Re: Native tree for mid-city Los Angeles

Brenda,Evergreen, quick growth, no root problems, drought tolerant, and it needs to fit in a fairly narrow area from how you describe it! You don't ask for much do you?

OK, Here are a few possibilities from my experience. Umbellularia cal. Bay Luarel tree-Yes, up north it gets huge but for us down here it seems to be a pretty well-behaved evergreen that is very dense and can take shearing if needed without problem. While it does like water it can and has for me do quite nicely with little water once established. It is also fragrant Strong Bay leaf smell and tends to be upright rather than spreading. Roots, no problem for me but I imagine a really happy one next to a patio would eventually cause problems 10-15 years later. If that is a concern a simple root barrier installed at time of planting can help roots avoid a particular direction of growth. I find however that trees that are encircled with a root barrier of whatever depth eventually grow under and then grow towards the lighter aerified soils near a gardens surface. If a root shiel is installed along a patio edge though it does seem to work in keeping the roots running along the edge rather than under the walk or patio. Could be what you need

Another possibility is the Incense Cedar Calocedrus decurrens. I love its color, shape and simple needs. Look it up! Same advice about the roots however.

Catalina Ironwood Lyonothamnus flor. asplen. is a very interesting tree which in youth is rather upright and has an intersting leaf shape and flower clusters. Like huge buckwheat blooms. Its a tree with character; Shredding bark, odd branching structure, contrasting bark color with bright green of leaf, etc. Consider it

Perhaps a large shrub could also be considered? Ceanothus thyrsiflorus 'Snow Flurry' is a quick grower that can reach 12 to 16 feet in height with an almost equal spread. A little selective pruning after a couple of years growth will help select the best of its shapely branches and create a nice tree-like shape.Anyway there are a few idea.Best of luck-Dan

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