SF Bay Area, clay soil tree recommendation?
We've recently decided to chop down a wild-grown siberian elm after I found out how poor tree it would be to leave growing next to our balcony and to the road below on a steep hillside (few small limbs have already fallen, and it's only like 20ft tall). I actually liked looking at the tree.. but when I found out that it's not very stableÃ¢ÂÂ¦ need something different.
We would like to replace that tree with something worth planting and keeping. except we have a tall order on the requirements:
1. hard, compacted clay (like cement blocks in summer, can get mushy and soft in the rainy winter.. although hasn't rained much in the past 3 years hereÃ¢ÂÂ¦)
2. steep hillside (30% grade)
3. don't want it growing much taller than like, 20-25ft
4. very very dry summer, (usually) very very wet winter
5. temp range typically 40-78F year-round, with few extremes into the low 30's and occasional 90-100F "Indian Summer" days (usually only lasts a few days in the fall).
6. tree will be planted in a middle of a 50yr old juniper hedge, where the elm is currently residing
7. tree will be approximately 25ft away from the house (downhill) [note: I originally wrote 15ft, but it's actually about 25ft from the house, with a 6ft wide balcony sticking out towards the tree]
8. harsh west sun, little AM sun (sun rises behind the house in a steep hillside so it'll be in the shadow until the sun is high enough in the sky)
9. drought tolerant
- evergreen or deciduous, no preference. But I like green leaves (not much of red-hued leaves year-round)
- windy environment
Any thoughts? We thought about various myrtle, but then realized it might need too much watering in the summer which will hurt the juniper. oh I also need to mention it has a tall monterey pine and redwood (~30-40ft high right now) about 15-20ft from it on one side.
Tough order, I know.. but was hoping may be someone has a good idea for me to start looking things up.
also for stuff like this is it better to consult a landscaping specialist or an arborist specialist?
This post was edited by LNJ14 on Wed, Jan 8, 14 at 16:42