Patio Trees and Roses

Kippy(SoCal zone 10. Sunset Zone 24)July 19, 2014

I would like to add a couple of small shade trees, in the range of 10-15 foot tall MAX.

Do any of you have smaller trees you like near your roses? I would like to shade a couple of walls on the house and yard. I have 3 volunteers popping up currently and will pot and debate (endlessly) if I want to keep or give away to some unsuspecting

In keeping with my dads wishes for the garden, we have not added ornamental trees/shrubs other than a couple that we know he loved and struggled to grow (Lilac) Almost all trees are fruit trees, but because of the whole neighborhood rat problem, I am not planting fruit or nut trees near the house. Thankfully the host home of many of the rats has been over run and is taking care of the issue, but at the rate rats multiply it will be a long process.

My current volunteers include jacarandas and I think a mimosa along with a couple that I have yet to identify but think are going to be too big for our yard.

Which do you enjoy?

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jerijen(Zone 10)

I LOVE Jacaranda and Mimosa -- but not only are they likely too big -- they're really messy. Particularly the Jacarandas. I LOVE the carpet of blue blooms they shed, but I don't think you want to track through it, in and out of the house.

Have you considered Plumeria?

They can get to be pretty big in Santa Barbara -- or here. They do bloom. (Well, most will. I can recommend a few really good ones, and a few to avoid.) And the blooms are wonderful.

OR, you could grow a climbing rose, free-standing, or with a tuteur, and treat it like a tree.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 5:37PM
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Kippy(SoCal zone 10. Sunset Zone 24)

Thanks for the idea Jeri.

How are the Plumeria with south sun exposure and reflected heat?

Our Jacaranda is probably over 100 years old. They get very big and make an amazing amount of mess. But also some nice shade. They are protected in the city here (we are in the county) so I am more hesitant in planting one than I would be if there is not a chance I would have to get permits to deal it in the future. I am thinking of trees that I can put on the street side of the property where I hate to say I am not so worried about the mess as long as it is not edible fruit. I may put a rose hedge in there some day.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 5:52PM
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muscovyduckling(Melbourne, Australia)

Some smaller non-fruiting trees that I like in my garden are camellias, cherry blossoms, magnolia and michelia (there are lots of small ones available), japanese maple (can't plant anything near the base of these though!) and cercis.

They all do well here but I don't know what they would be like for you.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 7:50PM
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If I could, I would try some kind of Azara for the fragrance and evergreen leaves. It is too tender to grow here.


    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 2:00AM
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Krauter's Vesuvius bronze plum and crepe myrtles (if appropriate for your area) are decent, smaller garden trees which are easily maintained to smaller areas. Neither appear to have massive roots, from what I've encountered. Some crepe myrtle varieties can attain large sizes, but there are a few which remain smaller, so do some shopping for the one which eventually achieves the size you're looking for. Kim

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 12:15PM
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Sow_what? Southern California Inland

Kippy, please do not plant a Mimosa -- that is a nightmare tree. They're extremely invasive, and since the pods can travel great distances on the wind, Mimosa seedlings will be popping up throughout the neighborhood - thousands of them. They are short-lived, can be sickly, and the limbs seem to break easily. And the mess is legend. It's said that only lawn should be planted under a Mimosa, and I can tell you that Mimosa's have killed many of my gardens with the diseases they shower, and their sticky pink blossoms that attract ants and that smother everything below their huge canopy. You will be killing your back, pulling Mimosa seedlings from every corner of your property for the rest of your life, and you'll be leaving this task to your descendants as well.

Jacarandas are also messy, but not nearly as messy as Mimosas. The fallen flowers can be pretty on the ground, but can also stain. They only last a couple of months though, whereas a Mimosa's mess is 365 days a year. Jacarandas also drop needles, but not many. Jacarandas get huge (as do Mimosas), but I've been successfully keeping two dwarfed to under 15 feet without too much effort. Who knows how long they'll live this way.

The Chaste Tree is one you might consider. It stays within your size range, does not seem to be especially messy, and drips with the most gorgeous large pendant blooms each spring.

Best of luck choosing!


    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 6:17PM
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Sow_what? Southern California Inland

Oops -- I didn't notice that this tree will be near roses. Want to see what a rose looks like covered with the sticky pink flowers of a Mimosa? I can post a picture -- it's not a lovely sight. At this time of year only the zillions of flowers are showering down. In a few weeks it'll be both flowers and the ugly pods, and everything in the vicinity will be buried. You can clean it up, but within an hour, it'll look as if you hadn't done a thing. Hey, but it's great exercise, trying to save your gardens from the ravages of a Mimosa -- as long as you don't value your back!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 6:27PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

10-15' is not a tree. A "small" tree is considered to be 25'-35'!!

10'-15' is a medium shrub. The various selections (not the species!) of Pittosporum tenuifolium make excellent 10-15' evergreen specimens in coastal California. Look at 'Tasman Ruffles' or 'Wrinkled Blue' or 'Marjorie Channon', which gets a little larger than its purported 8'--mine are at 12'. The species gets much larger--too large for your requirements.

Something else in the 15' range might be Metrosideros 'Springfire' which blooms off and on year round and provides food for hummingbirds.

A very cool shrub in that size range is Grevillea 'Moonlight' which also attracts hummers.

Another option would be to go with a native Manzanita e.g. 'Austin Griffiths' ~10'. They are slow growing but with the cool blue green foliage to contrast with dark red bark, very gorgeous.

An upright Ceanothus would also give you something in that size range
Ceanothus thyrsiflorus var. thyrsiflorus 'Snow Flurry' would be happy for you near the coast. Quickly to 10'.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 6:35PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

Kippy, our Plumerias seem to love either direct or reflected heat. Southern exposure, Eastern, Western, we have them in all situations. The only thing they don't like is too much shade.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 6:53PM
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My youngest sister had the mimosa taken out of the center of her front lawn. They ground out the stump and "poisoned" the roots. That blamed tree didn't care. It came back for years. It's been over a decade since it was removed, and there aren't any others within blocks of her, yet seeds continue germinating in the lawn and beds. NASTY tree! As has been written, the litter is continual but those "beautiful" flowers are AWFUL! They stick to everything and look nasty, requiring hard rains or lots of manual labor to be knocked from everything anywhere near them. Jacaranda flowers stain PERMANENT black. Laundry marking pens should be made from Jacaranda pigments. Both are definitely trees you give to someone you genuinely hate. They are absolutely beautiful to see...from great distances. Kim

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 9:38PM
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Kippy(SoCal zone 10. Sunset Zone 24)

Good to know on the Mimosa....that might be one to transplant next to a neighbor I do not enjoy. I know they are invasive, that is how we got one. Probably from the county dump mulch we used a couple of wheelbarrows from the neighbors. Thinking the neighbors that brought us the fir trees and orchid trees might enjoy some mimosa.

Jannike, a small jacaranda might seem like nothing too messy to you. But trust me a 100 year old one that is taller than your house is a daily project. I was thinking on my way to moms about how I can modify the shop vac as a JacVac. They have four seasons of mess. Tiny leaf drop that you can fill trash cans with every week and does not make worthwhile compost. Stick drop where you can pick up trash cans worth of little sticks every where. Then comes honeydew season when everything is coated with sticky mildewing staining mess that you need a scrub brush to remove. Then finally flower drop season that also fills trash cans and sticks to everything. And like a mimosa, by the time you finish sweeping at one end, it is time to start again. It is a bit better over lawn except for the seed pods that jam the reel mower, the sticks that jam the reel mower and the branch bits that are constantly falling and....jamming the reel mower. Thank goodness they are protected.....My fear is the city will notice our little county street and slap a historic tree medal on them and boy would we be in trouble for looking harshly at it.

Hoov, I will look at the Pittosporum, can't believe I typed that considering I am still working on killing a stump or two of the sticky gooball seed variety. I love the look of manzanita, but I thought they did not like any irrigation? I also checked yesterday for the Ceanothus, I was looking for a low growing one but they sure had a lot more tall ones than I expected.

Jeri, I am sure I will end up with a Plumeria, I just have to decide where. My guy grew up in Hawaii and is always suggesting one, guess it needs to be were he can see it.

As luck would have it, I had to run to HD today for fixtures for work tomorrow. And what did I see when I happened to go past the garden dept??? Did you say Crepe Myrtles for $20?? So I now have a pink Tuscarora in the front and a smaller Catawba in the back. They are both supposed to be 15' max. Lets hope the size estimate was not given by David Austin :)

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 10:45PM
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adamharbeck(WA Aust)

Bauhinia candida are nice. Just my 20c worth...

Here is a link that might be useful: candida

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 3:05AM
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Sow_what? Southern California Inland

Kippy, I don't know how old they are, but the two Jacarandas were taller than the house before I decided to dwarf them -- what a fun day that was! It's not that they weren't messy when they were huge, it's just that the amount of work to clean their mess was nothing compared to cleaning up after the Mimosa. The Mimosa takes more time than all my other gardening tasks combined. I LOVE gardening, but if there is anything that will make me give it up, it's that stinkin' Mimosa.

Kim, I can't think of a person on Earth I hate enough to give a Mimosa. You're right though. They're absolutely beautiful to see when they're far far away -- like on Mars or Uranus.


    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 4:14AM
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annesfbay(9b Sunset 15)

I'm laughing at the mimosa musings. And I thought that liquedambar was the most hated street tree! I actually enjoy our mimosa. Haven't noticed ants just hummingbirds. Don't mind the litter and like the dappled shade it provides. As for the seedlinsg, well, just another weed of many to pull up.

Mostly, I wanted to suggest styrax or Japanese snowball tree as something to look into as a patio tree. Good luck with your choice.


    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 12:31PM
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Ninkasi(6ish Germany)

What about an Angel's Trumpet? They are beautiful and fast growers. Not to mention the flowers are heavenly. I so dearly loved mine in San Diego, wish I could grow it here.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 12:43PM
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Kippy(SoCal zone 10. Sunset Zone 24)

Has anyone planted a Mexican Elderberry?

They are covered in fruit around here right now. Thinking one might be good in a spot I want something to block the view of a neighbors house Of course a large low thorn rambler would be good there too

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 1:40PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

They seem to plant themselves, Kippy. I'd be afraid to encourage one.

I DO like Brugmansias -- Angel's Trumpets -- and most of them are dead easy to propagate. The only difficult one seems to be "Shredded White," which I successfully rooted ONCE. Subsequently, it simply refused to root.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 7:10PM
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Not "planted" one, but I dealt with a huge one at the old garden for the entire 18 years of its existence. The fruit isn't bad (yes, it's edible and you can make preserves and wine from them), and it attracts birds, rodents and coyotes by the droves. Plus, each berry germinates wherever they fall. They're very "efficient" plants and not particularly attractive, no matter how you whack them. Kim

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 9:54PM
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Kippy(SoCal zone 10. Sunset Zone 24)

Thanks Kim and Jeri! I have been enjoying them at their glory around town and checked them out on the Las Pilitas website. But it sounds better to enjoy them in some one else's yard.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 10:49PM
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annesfbay(9b Sunset 15)

Western redbud?

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 12:37AM
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Gorgeous trees. Slow growing (and rather messy). The trick is finding one of a decent size and, if you can, a decent price! Kim

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 12:57AM
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Kippy(SoCal zone 10. Sunset Zone 24)

I asked for a western and/or eastern redbuds when they boys asked what I wanted for my birthday. A friend should be able to get a nice one from a local wholesaler as they are a major client I plan on putting that lower in the garden as a shade tree so most of the mess joins the jacaranda junk

I like angels trumpets but just have not decided where to place one. For now I enjoy the neighbors

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 1:37AM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

Western redbuds are awful. The roots go everywhere and strangle roses. I had six of them for 11 years. I know western redbuds. I'm still pulling seedlings three years after I cut them down. There's a sterile Eastern Redbud called 'Don Egolf' that is much better mannered.

Manzanitas don't need a lot of water, no. That way you can save it for the roses. :^)

I was going to say crepe mytles, but they like heat. Near the coast they mildew something awful. Are you not near the ocean?

A nice small evergreen tree is Erybotria delflexa, the ornamental (not fruit bearing) Loquat. It looks similar to a Magnolia, but stays fairly smallish. Quite a good looking smaller tree. Arbutus unedo is nice, if you can place it where the fruit drop is not a problem.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 1:57AM
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The larger manzanitas make very handsome plants in the large shrub/small tree range, sculptural and elegant. I absolutely love them myself. Their flowers and berries are good for attracting birds, too.

Manzantas do not like any summer water, though you will need to water them the first summer after planting while they become established. If you use spray irrigation in your garden you will want to be sure that none of it reaches the manazanitas. And keep the driplines away as well. This means that you will not be able to underplant them with anything that needs to be watered.


    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 3:25PM
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Remember, also, if you live and garden in a high fire danger area, Manzanita isn't a recommended plant. That wood burns hot. I love it, it won't grow on my hill and the fire department advises against it due to fire danger. Kim

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 3:50PM
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Check out Chinese Perfume tree (Aglaia odorata). It's pretty.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 10:55PM
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