Best Shade Trees for Southern California

Best Shade Trees for Southern California

By Blog on October, 17 2022

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Sunny Southern California is a beautiful place to live, but sometimes you need some shade from all that gorgeous sun. Choosing shade trees can be a little bit complicated, though, because of the semi-arid climate. Choosing your trees wisely means picking varieties that are water-wise and thrive in the region. Here are some examples of water-wise shade trees perfect for creating a beautiful oasis in your California garden.

  • Jacaranda is a beautiful tree with purple blossoms that envelop it in a gorgeous cloud and carpet the ground below. Fast growing, it has fine, fern-like foliage that provides soft, filtered shade. It typically blooms in May or June, then again in July or August. While it can be severely damaged by cold, it recovers from light frost quickly. Jacaranda grows to heights of 25 to 40 feet, spreading 15 to 30 feet. Native to Brazil, it grows well in warm parts of the world, and while some people consider it too messy, it’s very popular in Southern California. Regular pruning is required for a well-shaped tree, and it needs well-draining soil that’s not highly compacted.
  • Podocarpus is an African native that has grown beautifully in Southern California for 40 to 50 years or more. It’s a clean tree, without significant leaf drop, and free from disease and pests. It grows slowly, eventually reaching a height of 50 to 70 feet and spreads to a width of 20 to 30 feet. It requires little maintenance, and its thin leaves fill dense branches for outstanding shade.
  • Camphor trees are some of the finest shade trees you can grow in Southern California. With a strong, sturdy trunk and stunning foliage of pink, red, or bronze in the spring, this native of Japan and China can grow as tall as 50 feet, boasting a spread that’s equal to its height. It does not require special tending, but the better the soil and care, the better the growth.
  • Carrotwood Trees are good for smaller, suburban lots, growing to a height of 30 to 40 feet with a spread of only about 20 feet. An evergreen with a delicate and airy appearance, it provides heavy shade and is one of the cleanest trees you’ll find, so it’s perfect for use over a patio or lawn. It needs well-draining soil and can be grown as a single or multiple-trunked tree.
  • The Indian Laurel is a remarkably clean shade tree, evergreen and wide-spreading. It grows beautifully in full sun, and its lush, green foliage makes this water-wise tree a gorgeous addition to any property. Properly placed, it can shade your home and lower your utility bills, and its’s also perfect for blocking views and providing privacy. A fast-growing tree, it also acts as a natural sound barrier, making it perfect for houses near busy roads.
  • Tipu is a popular, fast-growing shade tree that’s rapidly growing in popularity. With bright green foliage and brilliant yellow flowers, tipu trees attract butterflies and hummingbirds as well as providing an umbrella of shade. It blooms in the spring, summer, and fall, adding curb appeal to your property.

Whenever you’re looking for trees and expert advice, head to Moon Valley Nurseries. Moon Valley Nurseries started as a small neighborhood nursery garden center, and now has locations all across the West. We deliver and plant anything in our massive inventory, and because we grow each nursery plant ourselves, we can give our customers the lowest prices in town, guaranteed. Whether you need ground cover, a tree or two, or an entire landscape, our friendly staff members will go the extra mile to make you happy. Contact us through our website or stop by one of our locations to check out all we have to offer, from the best trees and plants to professional crews and planters to certified designers ready to provide expert design to make your yard the best in the neighborhood.


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