Replacement tree for dying Cercis canadensis 'Forest Pansy'?

mc510(9b)July 19, 2011

I put a 'forest pansy' redbud tree in my small front yard, but (long story) it got a little bit buried and is now dying from crown rot. Seeing as I'm going to have to replace it, I'm now wondering if I should go with a different tree. I've been seeing a lot of comments about how redbud reseeds prolifically, which sounds like a pain.

The tree needs to stay under 25 feet; grow reasonably fast (japanese maples, sadly, are out); have a spreading form; create dappled (rather than total) shade; and be comfortable with cool summer coastal weather. Obviously the forest pansy has burgundy leaves, but that's not a requirement. I've got a lot of ants, so trees that are popular with ants and aphids are probably not my best choice.

Any good choices come to mind?

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I was thinking one of the lavateras (tree mallows) until you got to the aphid part, it does get those & scale with ants around sometimes. But I'm sure your costal view would look just like this with one, right?

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 11:33PM
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Heh, heh; I *wish* my view were *anything* like that! My view is of the across-the-street-neighbor's steel fence and residential junkyard; it's coastal only in the sense that the cool fog rolls in from the SF Bay a mile away.

I got thinking about small maples that might be faster-growing than Japanese maples; don't know anything about these but have made a note of:

Trident Maple (Acer buergeranum)
Purple blow maple (Acer truncatum)
Three Flowered Maple (Acer triflorum)

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 12:21PM
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If you want one that flowers, how about Prunus cerasifera "Krauter Vesuvius," or Prunus blireiana or Chionanthus retusus, or one of the Lagerstroemias?

Otherwise, perhaps Liquidambar styracaflua "Cherokee" (although this may eventually get taller than you might like) or a European weeping birch?


    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 7:11PM
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Hi there. I found this thread because I am also looking to add another smallish tree. Today a 60' maple came down and the lack of at least some places of shade is going to irritate a lot of my shade-loving plants....not to mention me.

Since an earlier post mentioned the Trident Maple, I can say that it has grown steadily and nicely in my front yard. It was a good choice. Others that you might enjoy would be the Smoke Tree (cotinus), Fringe Tree, Western Redbud. They are all small and attractive and do well here just 50 miles north of SF.

Now back to my search for yet another tree before I decide to get another one that I already have.....


    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 8:54PM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

I like my Fringe tree. It has a nice shape, lovely flowers, pretty foliage- it's the best tree on the property.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2011 at 1:04AM
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I am happy with my Chitalpa, for a long blooming deciduous small tree. My favorite evergreen shade tree is the Arbutus Marina, which has beautiful foliage and lovely red bark and form. To keep under 25 feet would require pruning every few years. Neither has a problem with ants. Al

    Bookmark   July 21, 2011 at 7:57AM
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Hey, Al, I think you are almost a neighbor, so tell me a bit more about the Chitalpa. Did you find it locally? How long have you had it? It looks lovely and would complement all of the roses and other bloomers. I favor deciduous trees, so all in all it sounds like a winner.


    Bookmark   July 21, 2011 at 10:38AM
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What about Magnolia Stellata?

Here is a link that might be useful: Magnolia Stellata

    Bookmark   July 21, 2011 at 10:55AM
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at one of my very favorite local nurseries (Peacock Horticultural)

Acacia Stenophylla
Cotinus Golden Spirit
Magnolia Wada's Memory

And yes, I got all three.....:-)))))


    Bookmark   July 21, 2011 at 5:37PM
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Uploaded with
Chitalpa in bloom
This tree started from a cutting 20 years ago, is now about 20 feet tall. It is cut back every year and is now almost pollarded. Al

    Bookmark   July 22, 2011 at 8:40AM
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Thanks, Al

In the picture it looks a bit like an Oleander but with prettier softer flowers.


    Bookmark   July 22, 2011 at 10:53AM
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