Bay Area / San Mateo County Shade Trees

burlingardenMarch 30, 2014

I'm looking for a recommendation for a shade tree for my backyard. I'd like to buy a more mature tree so I can get shade sooner. Lots of direct sun and the tree will be about 6-10 ft from our garage. Clay soil and relatively close to the Bay and the lot is only about 25 ft above sea level.

I mostly need summer shade so deciduous or evergreen are both fine. I would also like to have grass or plants growing relatively close to the base of the tree. I also prefer something without fruit since we are getting rid of a bunch of old apple and plum trees of our property now.

Thanks in advance. Happy to provide any other detail.

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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

You might like to go walk around one of the fine labeled collections in the region and see if anything jumps out at you - nothing like seeing a developed specimen of a tree in person to get a good idea of how it might appear on your planting site.

San Francisco Botanic Garden
University of California Botanic Garden, Berkeley
University of California Arboretum, Davis

    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 1:28PM
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Thanks for the advice. Very helpful.

Btw - talk to a tree guy I know and he suggested the following:

Raywood ash
Norway maple
Red horse chestnut
Red maple
Southern Magnolia
Trident maple

    Bookmark   April 4, 2014 at 10:52PM
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deviant-deziner(Oh zone)

Knowing that the tree will be in close range to the garage , 6-10 feet, then I would think that a small growing tree would be more site appropriate.
These trees may be a good source to check out:
Acacia vestita - gracefuly weeping silvery cut leaf in form with soft yellow late winter flowers grows to about 16 ft tall and about the same in width.

Cercis canadensis Forest Pansy - nice burgundy heart shaped leaves that flutter in the wind. the tree grows to about 20 ft. tall and about 16 wide. Deep pink flowers in late winter /early spring .

Fruitless Olive - Swanhill - can get to 25 x 20 but easily can be kept smaller with once a year pruning.

Arbutus unedo or the larger growing A. marina ( maybe too large for your location - Madrone

Callistomon Cane's Hybrid. - gorgeous soft pinkish flowers cascading down from a 15 tall x15 wide tree. I have this growing in my Marin county yard and always receive nice feedback out its shape, form , foliage and flowering.

A trip to Flora Grubb Garden Nursery in SF will further help you to find some great trees or The Dry Garden on the Berkelely/Oakland line.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2014 at 3:38AM
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jkom51(Z9 CA/Sunset 17)

If you're in San Mateo Cty you must be near one of the very best nurseries in the entire Bay Area:

Golden Nursery
(650) 348-5525
1122 2nd ave
San Mateo, California 94401

Talk to them and see what they recommend. And remember, soil prep is 80% of the success in growing a good, strong tree.

We put a "moderate growth" liquidamber into a bed with 8" of compost dug into it, and it hit 25' in ten years. Beds that I didn't improve still got good growth, but need twice as much watering and fertilizer.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 3:44PM
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