Low Maintenance Trees in California


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A busy life and harsh climate change in California make plant lovers think more than twice before getting a new plant. However, there are low-maintenance trees that you can pick.

Trees such as velvet Ash, Catalina Cherry Tree, saucer Magnolia, California Box Elder, and Western Redbud are the best choice as it requires low maintenance.

Moreover, you don’t need to consider overwater usage in summer or the work necessary to maintain healthy trees.

Here we have short-listed the best and low-maintenance trees according to the California weather.

5 Best Low Maintenance Trees California

There are five low-maintenance trees in California that you can indeed plant without worrying about maintenance and watering. 

Here we have mentioned the details of some of the best low-maintenance trees to plant in Sonoma county.

Velvet Ash

Velvet ash is also known as Fraxinus velutina and requires minimal take care. It doesn’t need massive watering, making it easy to maintain. Plus, the tree grows quickly in sufficient sunlight and watering. Velvet ash is a tall leafy tree. 

In fall, the leaves turn yellow, and the fuchsia color makes it beautiful. The fruits interact with birds, the flowers attract the bees, and butterflies make vibrance in the environment. 

Moreover, there are very fast to grow taller. The maximum height is increasing around 50 feet high and 60 feet wide. They are perfect for parking lots and residential street trees for shade. Also, urban locations because pollution can’t stop them from growing. 

However, minimum leaves trees have the chance of burning branches due to high heat in summers. So, it requires full sun for about 6 hours per day with a slight shade environment to grow, or if the sunlight is insufficient, that tree will grow inadequately.

They can endure infertile soil yet be safe from pests and disease, requiring sufficient nutrients to facilitate. The nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus need to be in equal ratio every fall and pour plenty of water. Also, the debris dropped from these trees could be clean easily and stainless. 

Catalina Cherry Tree

The Catalina Cherry tree, known as Prunus ilicifolia ssp, requires two main things: minimum water to grow, partial sunlight, and lives for decades once established sturdy. If you are looking for a shrub-type tree, this one is best, and it is ideal for small yards,

Moreover, the maximum height of this tree is 15 feet to 40 feet tall. Plus, it produces edible, medium black fruit and white cream flowers, attracting birds and butterflies. The tree has its fragrance that travels in the right wind. 

Most people prefer the Catalina Cherry as a shade tree as it has 35 feet of shade, and dark green leaves make it adequate for animals and humans to rest underneath in high heat.

Moreover, it can flourish in all types of soils, such as clay, rocky, sandy, and earthy, and doesn’t require watering often, and you need to water it monthly to keep it evergreen tree happy. 

However, most roots were established to borrow water from a neighbor’s water yard to keep them nourished. The endurance of this tree is remarkable as it can tolerate climates lower than 20 degrees. 

Catalina Cherry tree should be planted where it gets 6 hours of sunlight, so avoid planting it next to large and other trees. 

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Saucer Magnolia

The Saucer Magnolia tree has multiple color flowers and requires medium watering in the first few months, yet it loves warm and sunny environments to grow. 

Except for flower blooming seasons, saucer magnolia has a dark green leaf contrasted with smooth grey bark. 

The saucer magnolia can grow 1 to 2 feet per year, and approximately the height of these trees are 20 to 30 feet and 20-25 feet wide in maturity. Although after reaching 20 feet, it needs pruning and shaping. These trees start to grow slower as it gets old. 

The larger branches of this tress attract the wildlife, which most birds use as a nesting. Various birds eat seeds, and the sprouts of young trees are browsed.

In addition, Most saucer magnolia trees need well-drained, the slightest acidic soil, and it needs full sun to grow for at least 6 hours of direct sunlight. But they also endure the clay soils to survive.

Moreover, these trees are multi-stemmed, and each stem can make adequate representative trees in your back yard or garden. However, you must carefully use a weed cutter or lawnmower as it has a thin bark that can be easily damaged.

California Box Elder

The California Box Elder needs sunlight, a shady environment, and clay soil to grow. Once established, it can survive no less than five inches of water in summer.

It reached a maximum height of 50 feet, 40 ft wide the tree, and can grow significantly in mountain areas and even in the desert, and stands up against almost any weather.

The attraction of this tree has the pink flowers. Most people are curious and refer to it as flamingo, and it also attracts bugs and is quite a problem. But the color is of visual interest and provides shade to many. 

This tree’s leaves and seed are used to make a nest by birds and other animals. Squirrels and chipmunks store eat the seeds into the chaches. However, the deer search for the foliage. 

These trees are mostly found near streams and rivers; the root extends to get the groundwater. It is one of the fast and effortless trees you must grow in your butterfly or bird gardens. 

The California Box Elder has a multi-trunked; if it’s not thin, it can get bushy because of the leaves. However, it requires maintenance. If the tree is not frequently shaped and delicate, it will get broken branches.

Western Redbud

The Western Redbud, also known as Cercis occidentalis, is available for all four seasons. This deciduous shrub tree is known for its beauty. 

In spring, the silver-greyish branches contrast with magenta color flowers. It has purple-reddish seed pods that adorn branches in the winter season and are edible.

This tree will pop the visual interest in your yard or garden due to its magenta or violet flowers, and it requires a winter chill before the flowers are set adequately. Yet, the flowers appear before the leaves.

The heart shape, apple green color leaves darkens into blue-green but in fall in turns into golden yellow color. And in fall, it reveals the formation of this redbud.

But the height of a tree is between 10 to 20 feet and 10 to 15 feet wide maximum, as it doesn’t grow as a vast tall tree. Yet it takes years to get that much large enough. 

This tree’s beauty grabs the attention of butterflies, bees, hummingbirds, and other pollinators. Yet, it’s safe from disease, pests, and deer tolerance. 

Moreover, it requires a fully sunny spot with shade, and little water maintenance makes it easy to grow. You must build the well-drained soil, which can endure the clay soil and alkaline. 

The young, small redbud plants have no cold tolerance lower than 20 degrees F. However, Older plants can endure 10 degrees F. or less.

Bottom Line 

Low maintenance trees in California yard are drought tolerant. You must take care of these trees until they are established. Remember, the low maintenance is for after they get set. Then they can survive the high and low temperatures.

However, if you want flowers or shady trees, you must choose them carefully and take all the details about how to maintain and how long you maintain the trees. 

Low Maintenance Trees in California was last modified: by