Plant Native Trees

Sprawling oaks and sycamores aren’t suited for small urban lots, but several other native trees are good candidates. Some to consider for patio and street trees are the heat-loving desert willow (Chilopsis linearis) with its rosy-pink blooms; shiny-leaved Catalina cherry (Prunus ilicifolia ssp lyonii) with white flowers followed by red berries; western redbud (Cercis occidentalis) with deep pink flowers followed by heart-shaped leaves, the classic red-berried toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia) loved by birds or one of the tall blue-flowered wild lilacs (Ceanothus ‘Ray Hartman’) that grow to 20 feet or more. Fall is ideal for planting natives; shop for them and get advice from experts at the fall sale sponsored by the California Native Plant Society, San Diego chapter. Details are at


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