As a Landscape Pro, your customers turn to you to recommend trees for the Bay Area that will make their landscapes beautiful, green, and sustainable.
And with so many choices, it can sometimes be hard to choose the right tree to meet the unique requirements of your project.
To help you with the challenge of selecting the right trees for the Bay Area, we have assembled a great group of beautiful specimens that many residents have fallen in love with. Our list includes trees with these attributes:
- | Do well in Bay Area microclimates
- | Grow well in specific conditions or location
A tree-friendly environment like no otherThe Bay Area has a unique, highly-desirable Mediterranean climate that includes many micro-climates. This diverse environment presents an opportunity to plant a wide variety of trees that are both familiar and less common which will tolerate a wide range of conditions.
It’s important to recognize all factors that can affect a tree in the location that you’re considering including:
- | Space | Between other trees + structures
- | Competition | Proximity to other trees reaching for air + light
- | Grade | Slope of landscape affecting drainage + access to nutrients
- | Soil | Composition compatible for growth
- | Wind | Potential stress for development
- | Sun | Right exposure for health + disease prevention
- | Water | Volume + frequency
- | Care | Sustained maintenance, fertilizing + pruning for long-life
It’s always better to choose a tree that aligns with the requirements of the location as it matures. Relying on excessive pruning to force-fit a tree into a challenging location can be a disaster.
Trees for the Bay Area that clients love
The flowers attract hummingbirds and bees which clients love in their gardens. The opaque colored grayish leaves make the surrounding foliage of the other plants really pop. It can reach 82′ high with a spreading, dome-like form and is able to thrive in poor rocky soil and steep grades. We really like that it’s available in both a ‘standard’ and multi-trunked spreading tree form.
The flowers are followed by red gritty fruit that is edible but not very tasty. Plant in full to part day sun. It’s drought tolerant but looks best with occasional summer watering. It will be challenged in compacted soils such as DG. It can also be a bit messy as flowers, fruit, spent inflorescences, twigs, and bark drop year-round. Consider installing with easy access for cleaning up debris. If you’re looking for great trees for the Bay Area, this is one of the best.
Plant it in full sun to light shade with deep, infrequent watering. As a native from New South Wales in Australia, it’s appropriate for areas where a narrow upright tree is needed. It can also easily be maintained and pruned to have a tidy form.
Ceanothus ‘Ray Hartman’
With its naturally twisted trunk and branching habits, it makes a great specimen for night lighting—especially downlighting over a path. It’s also very drought tolerant and fairly pest-free. As a CA native, it can grow to 15′ and does well in heavy soils or sand with an upright form. It can also be trained as a single trunk standard or low branched to work as a very effective hedge.
Flowers are bright yellow and have a distinctive scent that is attractive to bees. It usually blooms in the late spring or early summer. This beauty is an excellent choice for a medium-scale evergreen tree.
The Persian pear is somewhat dry tolerant, but it does need seasonal watering. This is a fairly pest-free tree. Autumn leaves are spectacular, even on the coast. It can grow to 40′ and as it matures, the bark exfoliates to patches of green, tan, and white. This beauty prefers full sun and likes acidic soil that’s moist and well-drained.
As one of our favorite trees for the California coast, Ginkgo biloba is one of the oldest trees in existence. This eye-catching tree features parallel venation in the leaves along with a unique spur attachment point for the leaves. In the fall, the iconic leaves turn a brilliant, stunning yellow, and leaf drop is almost instant and in unison. The result is an easy cleanup. Since the tree is dioecious, it’s important to choose an improved cultivar such as ‘Princeton Sentry’ or ‘Autumn Gold’ that doesn’t have the smelly fruit of the female tree.
This tree can be found often in urban landscapes and on many campuses because it has virtually no insect or disease weaknesses. As a tall, hardy tree native to eastern China, it grows to 66-110′ in full to partial sun. It will also thrive in most well-drained soils but grows best in acid to neutral soil that’s evenly moist and fertile.
Acer rubrum ‘Armstrong’
The classic, maple green, palmate leaves turn vivid orange-red in the fall. And for our Bay Area clients from the east coast, this beauty reminds them of the deciduous fall colors of the season.
Laurus nobilis ‘Saratoga’
This hard-working tree has interesting golden blooms and seed pods, yet it’s not very messy. It retains its foliage well, tolerates plantings in its root zone and it adds interest to Bay Area gardens with a well-structured form.
It blooms from spring to early autumn and is followed by fruit which is woody, cylindrical capsules. What is especially interesting about this tree is the unusual, light-colored bark that splits and spreads with growth revealing the new bark beneath peeling layers of older bark.
It can thrive in a variety of soils and requires little to no water once established. It performs best in full sun but tolerates part-day sun as well. Originally from the Australia area, it is suited to coastal conditions and is a stalwart to consider.
Serving Landscape Professionals for over 150 yearsIf you’re looking for some great, tree solutions for your next project, we’ve got you covered.
As both a grower and a plant broker, we’re ready to work with you to provide just the right trees and native, water-wise plants that will make your project a success.
It’s one of the many qualities that has made us different from just an ordinary nursery for over 150 years.
To get a plant material Estimate or to place an Order, just click on over to use our ONLINE ESTIMATE | ORDER FORM.
Share your favorite trees for the Bay Area
Have you installed any interesting trees in your recent projects? Share what has been a hit with your clients and what you’ve found to be beautiful and different.
As President of Pacific Nurseries, Don Baldocchi gets satisfaction knowing the Bay Area is greener and more beautiful by helping landscape professionals succeed. Email Don or give him a call at 650.755.2330.