Fremontodendron 'Pacific Sunset' opinions

datura222March 5, 2013

I am considering planting this shrub to add some privacy to our yard.

Does anyone have any experience with this type of Fremontodenron? It says it is a little easier to cultivate around than other types....would I be able to plant a few smaller plants a few feet away? Or does any drop of water in summer nearby kill this plant?

How big would this get? I see varying reports from 10 feet tall and wide to 20 feet...

Thanks for any input :)

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I live in San Jose is very dry here in the summer.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 5:09PM
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Las Pilitas: a nursery specializing in natives says this one gets as big as a garage and not to plant it on little suburban lots.

I figure they know what they're talking about.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 8:32PM
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It does get very tall. I have cut mine down to four feet from 20 feet. It then gets wider with long branches. It is beautiful in bloom with very bright yellow blossoms. I have six acres here with plenty of room for several, but would not recommend it for the average city lot. It needs to be started in the winter when the ground is wet and then not watered through the summer. It will look like it is dying when the ground drys in the summer, and if you water it then, IT WILL DIE. I killed the first two I planted. After two or three years it is not so intolerant of general summer watering in the area. The seed pods have small hairs that will cause an itch if handled. It is a wonderful tree for the wide open spaces. Al

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 9:51AM
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This isn't helpful to you in any way, but I think it is interesting:

Several years ago I used to park by an empty lot on the foot of Potrero Hill in SF and I noticed a funny looking shrub starting to grow which i later determined was a Fremontodendron. I'm not sure where it came from as I've not seen any others in the area (unless they are out of sight in back yards) except for one that is rather far away in Golden Gate Park. As far as I know I am outside of the normal native range.

Very bad google street view image

It has stayed relatively small over the past 5 or 6 years with no one pruning it or watering it, and the soil there is kind of awful (serpentine). Nonetheless it is a fairly striking bush when it flowers.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 1:19PM
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