Picking a Shade Tree
I'm looking to plant a shade tree in the front yard south west of the house and about as far from the driveway as possible. I'm located in North Orange county up against the hills.
When we moved in there was some type of Ash growing right next to the driveway that cracked it, plus it dropped pollen that did a number on the car windshields. I cut it down after our second year here and I'm still burning the wood 4 years later. The shade was nice though.
Height and diameter aren't much of a concern. Something that won't crack my driveway 20 feet away is a must. Drought tolerant. Somewhat fast growing. I'd like to be able to enjoy it in less than 10 years.
I've considered the following:
Schinus Molle (California Pepper Tree) There are plenty of these growing in the area, and I really like the look of the mature trees. How long will it take to reach say... 20 feet? 30? There is a nice one overhanging the sidewalk down the way and the sidewalk isn't stained or cracked. I think this might be a male tree. Maybe I'll try and take a cutting.
Possibly an Avocado. I know some species make a decent shade tree, plus you get fruit.
I really like the Valley Oak but I have a feeling it isn't suited to this area.
I'm definetely open to suggestions.