Remove or Amend Beach Sand?
I have a beach front house in So. California. The front yard, 15' x 28', is beach sand. There is a fence and street between me and the ocean but I still get lots of wind, blowing sand and salt. I have a few succulents that are doing well but not much else has grown there. A few years ago I planted some olive trees after being told they would grow in coastal areas and in sand but the salt has been too much for them and they are barely surviving. I am now renovating the house and have an opportunity to start over and even remove some sand.
I would like to redesign the yard with some trees that will thrive and give me some privacy and maybe some grasses and shrubs. It seems "coastal tea tree" or "melaleuca" may be better tree choices and I believe I could plant them right into the sand with some amendment, but I am wondering whether it might be a good idea to just remove the top 6 or 12 or ? inches of sand to either make room for amendment or to totally replace the sand with soil? Would this give me more flexibility with the other plantings? Would this give me healthier and heartier grasses & shrubs? Any advice? How much would you remove? What would you add? To what depth would you mix it? I will always have salt in the air and sand blowing in but would I be better off with a different base?