Shade Tree Advice

Discussion in 'General' started by wsmc42, Mar 13, 2017.

  1. wsmc42

    wsmc42 Well-Known Member

    Last fall I had to remove a 25 + year old weeping willow tree we had in our front yard. We loved that tree for its shade on the front of the house and for its beauty. I removed the tree, stump and all the roots, which means I am going to be re-doing the entire front yard. My wife and I want to get a tree planted ASAP so it can start taking root and hopefully give us some amount of shade. We have shopped a few local nurseries/ growers. I think we have our choice nailed down to two, but we are both having trouble deciding. We have decided on either a Shamel ash (evergreen ash) or a Chinese Elm. We have narrowed it down to these based on their growth rate, the shade potential, lack of mess from fruit- flowers- berries-etc and the advice of local growers as to what is right for our location/climate. I will mention that we are in SoCal, so it is warm dry climate.

    Does anyone have experience with either of these two? We actually reserved a nice Shamel Ash today, but can change it before delivery. One thing we have seen online regarding the Ash tree is that the roots can be invasive and damaging. This really concerns us, but the nursery says it will not be a problem if watered properly. My other concern with the Ash is its potential size. We live on a city lot probably less than 10,000 sq ft. My location for either tree will be about 16-17' away from the eves on the front of the house.
  2. BSA43

    BSA43 Well-Known Member

    Consider the full-grown height of whatever you put near the house or above-ground utility lines.

    Nothing looks worse than a tree that's been over-pruned by the utility company.
  3. Dits

    Dits Will shit in your fort.

    I live on a small city lot as well and have two tabebuia trees in my front yard. They are the perfect size for the small lot and provide just the right amount of shade. I understand that they do quite well in southern California as well. The spring blooms are very impressive too.
    wsmc42 likes this.
  4. Steeltoe

    Steeltoe What's my move?

    Totally thought this was about fixing a 73 Camaro.
    SirCrashAlot, pdt155, wsmc42 and 7 others like this.
  5. fastfreddie

    fastfreddie Midnight Oil Garage

    Why did you have to remove the tree?
  6. Mongo

    Mongo Administrator

    Same - or any vehicle originally built with carburetors and worked on at home :D
  7. BigBird

    BigBird blah


    I was going to suggest a foot shaped gas pedal
  8. pickled egg

    pickled egg And to all, a good night!

    In a Camaro? No wonder you drive a minivan... :moon:
  9. BigBird

    BigBird blah

    [​IMG] :D
  10. pickled egg

    pickled egg And to all, a good night!

    Peace, love and happiness, dude

  11. As a former California resident, I would suggest the Ash instead of the Chinese Elm. The Chinese Elms grow fast, but tend to get top-heavy and fall over when they are mature and there's a heavy wind. The Ash has a better root system and will stay in place longer. Just don't plant it near water or sewer lines.
  12. skidooboy

    skidooboy supermotojunkie

    DO NOT USE A CHINESE ELM!!! they are one of the dirtiest trees for clean up, YEAR ROUND, always dropping sticks, leaves, seed pods. THEY ARE NASTY, if you don't like cleaning your yard weekly. Ski
    Bloodhound likes this.
  13. Dits

    Dits Will shit in your fort.

    The city I live in planted a bunch of them downtown. They ARE messy and they look ghoulish when they lose their leaves. Also, they seem to attract a lot of spanish moss and air fern, but I'm assuming that isn't a problem in California.
  14. Mongo

    Mongo Administrator

    I think the spanish moss and air ferns would be a plus.
  15. Sabre699

    Sabre699 Wait...hold my beer.

  16. wsmc42

    wsmc42 Well-Known Member

    Thanks guys. I'm cracking up at the shade tree mechanic comments. That never crossed my mind when I was posting. It should have. I used to watch Shade Tree Mechanic all the time.

    I talked to an arborist today that had treated our willow tree. He recommended a podocarpus. He thought the Chinese elm was a better choice for my situation than the Ash. He said the root systems of the ash or a ficus can be a problem. I will do some more research about the mess a chinese elm makes. I definitely want low maintenance. I did read that they do not do well in heavy winds. It can blow here, but not like Palmdale or Ontario. A friend of my wife, whose family is in the tree trimming/care business, recommended the elm but said to be sure to get male tree as the females are prolific seeders.
  17. wsmc42

    wsmc42 Well-Known Member

    The weeping willow got hit with a boring beetle a few years back. We had it treated, but it never fully recovered. A few larger branches died out and fell off in a wind. Last year, it was probably 70% dead. When we removed it, lots of it was dried out inside and we did find some bugs inside. I'm not sure if they were termites or boring beetles. I have read that their lifespan is usually around 30 years. It was a bummer to cut it down, but it was time.
  18. motion


    I put both a Chinese Elm and a Ficus in the front yard of my home several years ago. The Chinese Elms do drop a lot of stuff, but its small and light and blows away pretty easily. At the very least, if you have a crew coming once a week, they'll blow it all out. The elms grow FAST! I think they look great, too.
  19. Stumpy

    Stumpy apprentice

    Spanish moss is the bane of my existence.
  20. rob linders

    rob linders Well-Known Member

    I guess I fell asleep in that part of science class. I never knew trees had sexes.
    badmoon692008 and Yzasserina like this.

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