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CA sierra foothills, what elevation for Quaking Aspen

Posted by debinca1 zone 7 ca (My Page) on
Thu, May 12, 05 at 1:33

At the retail nursery today, I have a customer who REALLY wants a Quaking Aspen as her front focal point, right outside a 2 story window along the front entry walk.

I usually reccomend them 4k feet and above for best show. She is at 3 K shaded and wooded in the sierra foothills.

The planting area is only 7 feet wide ( my other concern ) lined with a retaining wall on both sides.

Do I insist its the wrong location or let her have her way? exposure acceptable, they are putting in the watering system.

I have showed her the Sango Kaku Japanese maple and the Stellar Pink Dogwood. She likes both. But " isnt a gardener, wants year round interest, low maintence, wants it in yeaterday, blah blah blah"

Any input would be appreciated.


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RE: CA sierra foothills, what elevation for Quaking Aspen

  • Posted by Toyon Sunset 8/14 CA. (My Page) on
    Thu, May 12, 05 at 9:51

Where in the Sierra Nevada? The range is about 400 miles long, north to south. Winters are much wetter and colder from about east of Sacramento and north. Down towards Tulare and Kern counties I don't think Aspen would do well below 5000 ft. I've seen it do ok in cultivation down to 2400 ft (Grass Valley/Nevada City) in the north. Also, planting them near concrete may not be a good idea.

Have you considered Vine Maple? It is a good native substitue for a Japanese Maple.


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RE: CA sierra foothills, what elevation for Quaking Aspen

Hi Toyon, Shoot since I was visualizing my town of Nevada City I forgot to mention thats where I am. LOL

The customer is in Nevada City Approx 3k elevation. Shaded and forrested by ponderosa pines and red cedar. I am going to visit the site today, I only just saw the plans yesterday and in the hour we were together they wanted to bring home the trees and shrubs........they went home with the assignment to decide on 3 focal point trees and decide on what kind of water system to put in.

We'll go from there.


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RE: CA sierra foothills, what elevation for Quaking Aspen

My pop grows quite a few Aspen in the Santa Cruz Mts. at an elevation of 2500 feet. They don't have the fall color they'd have at higher elevations, and sometimes get spots on their leaves. However, they are over 30 feet tall, in general look great, have been spreading (by runners) and are 25 years old. I would think you'd be ok planting them where you are, but probably could find a tree that would be a better fit. Vine Maple, Full Moon Maple (acer pseudosiebolium) indeed be nice choices.


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