any suggest on a fast growing shade tree? (zone 9)

yixdelpAugust 3, 2007

I need a comparatively fast growing shade tree in my big sunny front yard. preferably deciduous, easy maintainance, not invisave, ornimental and disease resistant. It sounds too good to be true :) I mean this tree doesn't have to be perfect just "comparatively perfect"

I am in Bay Area, CA

Thanks in advance for your help!

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Platanus racemosa

    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 3:30PM
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Check your extension service.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 6:26PM
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Platanus racemosa is plagued by anthracnose and by this time each season generally looks like crap. Not exactly at the top of the disease-resistant list :-)

Recommended shade trees for your area include European hornbeam, Freeman maple cultivars, Chinese elm, Chinese pistache and Japanese zelkova. Quite a few oaks would work as well, although not exactly fast growing. Watch out for the natives, however, as they are too prone to SOD (Sudden Oak Death)

    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 7:00PM
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European hornbeam: Slow growing, OP said "fast"
Freeman maple cultivars: Weak wooded, poor branch structure that requires a lot of pruning, surprisingly slow growing, short lived
Chinese elm: Invasive
Chinese pistache: Invasive
Japanese zelkova: Slow growing not tolerant of wide range of conditions.

I change my recommendation over to london plane then sweetgum.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 8:06PM
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Juglans hindsii.

Bay Area native, reasonably fast growth, rare species (so planting it helps preserve the species).


    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 8:09PM
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California White Oak, Oregon White Oak

    Bookmark   August 4, 2007 at 1:23AM
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QQ, you are apparently more well-informed about tree growth and habits in the Bay area than is the local extension office. These are recommended species suggested by UCDavis, not my choices. FWIW, my experience with both the Carpinus and the Zelkova on the west coast is that the growth rate is moderate, not exactly what I'd term slow - Carpinus is widely planted here as a street tree and attains a resonable height in a reasonable period of time. Zelkovas can be downright rapid in their growth, esecially when young, and are very adaptable to a range of conditions including different soils, drought and urban pollution. And none of the listed species are considered invasive in California.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2007 at 7:54AM
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Is "moderate" fast? How about "reasonable". Is that a synonym for fast too?
I figure we might as well critique each other choices. Where's the harm in that? Invasive species sometimes take a while to get on the list. Certain invasives just recently made it to our list here. Why use them when there's other things that can be used? Those Chinese Elms are popping up all over the place.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2007 at 8:20AM
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First, these are not MY choices - they are recommended by the California extension service for the poster's area. Generally, these bodies take into account problematic species and are not inclined to suggest or recommend known invasives for a specific area. It is always appropriate to remember that invasive characteristics are typically determined by regional and climatic factors and are not universal in their application. As a major agricultural state and with a great deal of public and private undeveloped land, California is very aware of invasive species and rather proactive in their restrictions. And "fast" is a relative term and also carries with it the caveat that a fast growing tree often displays unfortunate charcteristics that have other, less desireable outcomes. Shade is not instantaneous and patience is a huge virtue when it comes to planting and gardening. If instant shade gratification is required, it often makes much better sense to select a more mature, larger sized tree that has a moderate or slower rate of growth than one that will rapidly achieve too great a size or exhibit weak wood or other drawbacks typically associated with rapid growth.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2007 at 9:36AM
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Dibbit(z7b SC)

Get hold of a copy of the Sunset Garden Book - it has at least one listing of trees for various situations and locations in the front, including where each tree does well. They probably won't list the latest and newest cultivars, nor the less-well known ones, but should include the tried-and-true ones. Go to the Strybing Arboretum and look at the trees planted there - see if there is one you especially like, and find out more info. Look at trees in public parks and college/university campuses - they ought to do well, without too much fussing - so get more info about each one you like from Parks and Rec. Dep't or from the Grounds Keepers.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2007 at 10:46PM
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cacau(z5/6 CO)

Try to get some input from a knowledgeable local nursery person as well, with respect to your exact location. The Bay Area is notorious for microclimates...most of it is reliably Zone 9, the designation based on annual lows, but there's a major difference in summer heat between for example SF and eastern Alameda/Contra Costa Counties...will affect what will do well for you.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2007 at 1:47AM
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