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Telfair 06-13-2012 06:50 PM

Looking for an Ideal shade tree in Los Angeles
Living in Los Angeles might limit some of my choices on what grows good here, but I'm looking a for a tree that will look pretty & bloom outward on the top to shade my back yard.

In a perfect world it would stay green year round & not makes me spend lots of time raking up the leaves under it.
I'd also prefer one with a tall trunk that sprouts up high so it don't take up space in my small yard

I dont think I want a fruit tree because what would I do with all the excess fruit?!?!
I see so many people throwing it out or with rotting fruit on the ground under their tree's.
I have a dog & so I want a dog friendly tree that does not have anything that will make him sick as well.

& then I also wonder about the root growth?
I doubt a want shallow roots that spread wide causing damage to the surrounding cement or my house etc etc..

So I'm looking for ideas..
If you give me some names I'll look them up on google for images unless you have some you can post.

joecaption 06-13-2012 07:00 PM

Why not just check with your local plant nursery?

Telfair 06-13-2012 07:12 PM

Because I'm not at that point yet, so currently just looking for ideas, yet I might drop in just to ask them, Thanks for the suggestion.

1st I wanna remove the current tree I have in the fall then maybe next spring plant a replacement tree in a different part of the yard.

user1007 06-14-2012 01:55 AM

Glad you started this post. As mentioned in the other, I loved the silk tree in my own backyard. It provided great shade and was super easy to maintain. The small leaves made it a great patio tree. It had interesting puffy sort of red blooms. It was deciduous and dormant in the winter though.

Ornamental plums, especially those with purple bark and leaves and pink flowers are nice cast shade trees but not so great if you want a canopy to sit under.

Evergreen/ornamental pears can be nice but like all the roots can be invasive. Magnolias have nice large leaves and huge flowers. They are easy to maintain and provide nice shade but their trunks have to be trimmed if you plan to take advantage of shade under them.

I will have to think of more of trees for your climate. Do think about getting a copy of the Sunset Western Garden Book. You will like having it. Your library should have other books on trees and other plants for your area.

Do you think you want fruit bearing trees by the way? They can be a mess but most any Mediterranean fruit or nut trees should do well in LALALand if you can get it past the early years and pollution shock. Olives, believe it or not, can make very picturesque and nice shade trees. You either have to commit to picking the olives or "neutering" the tree with a spray each season or the stench of the dropped olives will get you even before millions of fruit flies descend.

Sometimes clumping smaller trees together is a better approach to shade. Just more food for thought.

One thing I would encourage you to do as you start your planning is scale out your yard to paper while you have the chance and not a lot is planted in the way. Having a scaled drawing will let you move trees around and explore different groupings.

Be sure to plan and plant for the eventual size of the plant material whether shrub or tree. Most people make the mistake of planting young plants too close to fences, houses, garages etc. It makes it hard to maintain them and can lead to them being damaging.

Telfair 06-14-2012 02:27 AM


Originally Posted by sdsester (Post 943110)

Sometimes clumping smaller trees together is a better approach to shade. Just more food for thought.

No, my yard is too small for that , considering I want enough room to play with my dog.
Just one tree in the proper place is all I want.

ghostlyvision 06-14-2012 08:09 PM

Try Arborday's tree wizard to get some ideas. You don't need a membership or have to buy anything from them (I didn't have much luck with the couple things I did buy through them) but the wizard can help narrow down the best types of trees for your location and what you want in a tree.

Telfair 07-02-2012 12:18 AM

So from my readings it seems the evergreens are trees that will pretty much stay green year round..
So what ones grow well in the Los Angeles area?
I'm gonna probably start trimming my current tree tomorrow..

Telfair 02-13-2013 05:18 PM

Going to completely remove the old tree from my yard on Friday, so nows time to get more serious about a replacement tree in a different part of my back yard.

I was told the one in my front yard is a orangewood tree, found no info on google about it.
Kept getting orange trees info?

Seems Tipu tree is popular?

Telfair 02-14-2013 01:18 AM

Just a couple we like, but don't know enough about them yet.

DogWood tree.

Tipu Tree.

leenamark1 02-16-2013 12:18 AM

Amur maple is an excellent, low-growing tree for small yards and other small-scale landscapes.Hedge Maple is usually low-branched with a rounded form, may be suitable for your yard.

Telfair 02-16-2013 09:20 AM

Turns out Dogwood dont grow well in L.A. & to leenamark1: I dont want a low branched tree, I actually would like a high up umbrella to not lose yard use but get plenty of shade.

I was told where theres a bunch of Tipu tress growing & I'll go check them out.

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