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Some Street Trees
You might consider planting
in front of your home
by Bud Bloomin
March 2004

Magnolia tree

Which tree to plant?
Here are some recommended street tree varieties in North Willow Glen.

Do you have power lines overhead?
Or is your planting box only about 2' x 2'?
Then you should plant a small tree:

CRAPE MYRTLE. (Lagerstroemia fauriei), deciduous, grows to about 20' and has nice blossoms that come in red, pink or white. Lots of 'em around NWG (mostly red); look along Hull Avenue.

If you don't like the crape myrtle, how about:

MARINA MADRONE. (Arbutus 'marina'), evergreen, hybrid tree with rosy pink flowers that are strawberry-like, bark twists with age, moderate grower, little to regular water when established.

MAGNOLIA. (Magnolia grandiflora, Lil Gem or St Mary's variety), evergreen, grow to 30', with white fragrant showy flowers. Several examples have recently been planted on the south side of Marshall Avenue. There's a magnificent magnolia (different variety) in the front yard on the northwest corner of Hull and Delmas.

CHITALPA. Several people have recently planted these.

JAPANESE PAGODA TREE. Another possibility.

Or plant a native tree!

VINE MAPLE. (Acer circinatum 'monroe'), deciduous, to 25 feet, with purple or red flowers in spring and yellow, red and orange fall foliage colors. Prefers moderate water.

If you don't have power lines overhead,
go for a nice big tree! How about:

SYCAMORE. (Platanus acerifolia, the Columbia variety), deciduous, fast grower to around 50 60', maple-like leaves, brown ball seed clusters, large spreading. This is the white-trunked tree that's so common in our neighborhood and all over Willow Glen. You can see mid-sized examples (and some newly planted ones) around Hummingbird Park.

LONDON PLANE TREE. Our City Forest has been recommending these lately.

Or for variety:

ARISTOCRAT FLOWERING PEAR. (Pyrus calleryana 'Aristocrat'), deciduous, grows to 45' with white flower blossoms in early spring and glossy green leaves that change color in fall.

SOUTHERN LIVE OAK. (Quercus virginiana), evergreen in Santa Clara County, to 60' tall, heavy-limbed crown twice as wide, ample water, one of the most attractive of evergreen oaks.

CHINESE PISTACHE. (Pistacia chinensis), deciduous, to 60' tall, low water, slow-growing, beautiful fall color, good round form, great street tree. The trees in the Bird median just north of Coe are Chinese pistaches, planted circa 1990.

Or plant a native tree! Choose the sycamore above, or maybe:

COAST LIVE OAK. (Quercus agrifolia), evergreen, 20 to 70' tall, native, low, low water, dense, wide crown, good shady street tree but will not stand planting near base of trunk.

Here's the complete OCF tree list.

For more details or options,
consult the Sunset Western Garden Book.
the Urban Forest Ecosystems Tree Selector at CalPoly,
or the Our City Forest website,

Copyright 2003