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9b Canopy trees?


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I recently moved to a new home and have way more space than I had at my old place. I really never looked at trees at my old place due to space. I have been researching canopy trees but would like to see if anyone had any ideas I have not found yet. I now live in Valley Center. I think it is a 9B/sunset19, hot dry summers and maybe a frost or two every year. I guess fast growing, lets some light through and flowering would also be nice. Thanks for your input.


Northern San Diego County, Inland

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Castanospermum australe is an awesome species that has never damaged for me,though it has only seen down to -2,5C once in my garden. Seems really hardy and not bothered by anything but is not a fast tree. From the growth rate i have seen in photos,you can have a 10m tree in about 10years. I have grown mine from seedlings and the first one i ground planted is now about 3,5m at 4-5years of age. Awesome tree but a slow(though good and supposedly really tall) canopy former for the future. Cant be beaten easily for tropical appearance and flowers! Evergreen.

For fast canopy,Grevillea robusta and the common huge growing Eucalyptus species are hard to beat in growing speed and fast spread. My 4 year old Grevillea robusta from a 2meter tall skinny sapling is now more than 8m tall and flowered for the first time already. Both Grevillea robusta and the common Eucalyptus are evergreen.

Matty's Acacia dealbata showed some equally crazy fast growth,so a species certainly worth considering too! Evergreen.

''To try,is to risk failure.......To not try,is to guarantee it''

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If you can find them and can wait a few years, Quercus suber is a fast growing oak that will provide some great canopy.

John Case

Brentwood CA

Owner and curator of Hana Keu Garden

USDA Zone 9b more or less, Sunset Zone 14 in winter 9 in summer

"Its always exciting the first time you save the world. Its a real thrill!"

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Magnolia makes for a very hardy huge canopy.

Personally, my biggest canopy comes from my Lychee tree.


Modesto, CA USDA 9b

July/August average 95f/63f

Dec/Jan average 55f/39f

Average lowest winter temp 27f

Record low temp 18f

Record high temp 113f

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If you aren't worried about root spread, a Ficus Rubignosa provides grows pretty quick and provides lots of canopy.



Riverside, CA Z 9b

1700 ft. elevation

approx 40 miles inland

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Pseudobombax ellipticum

Kigelia africana

brachychiton rupestris

brachychiton discolor

brachychiton acerifolius

Ceiba speciosa

Erythrina crista-galli

Erythrina fusca

Erythrina ...... many more

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Most of the oaks grow pretty fast in their younger years and can provide canopy quicker than one generally thinks they will. I love elms, particularly the Allee elm for providing great fast canopy. Earpod tree could be interesting.

In my post I sometimes express "my" opinion. Warning, it may differ from "your" opinion. If so, please do not feel insulted, just state your own if you wish. Any data in this post is provided 'as is' and in no event shall I be liable for any damages, including, without limitation, damages resulting from accuracy or lack thereof, insult, or any other damages

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Tipuana tipu, Prosopis spp., Enterolobium contortisiliquum.

SoCal and SoFla; zone varies by location.

'Home is where the heart suitcase is'...


"If, as they say, there truly is no rest for the wicked, how can the Devil's workshop be filled with idle hands?"

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I too live in Valley center. I live off of Woods Valley Rd near the nut farm and have many Engleman and Coast Live Oaks, but have been wanting to add some canopy over my drive way. Their is a driveway on the east side of Valley Center Road near the Lilac road junction with a bunch of Tipuana Tipu trees over. I am told they were bought from the nursury down the street 6 years ago. FAST growing canopy but will need annual lacing. I am considering putting them far enough away from the driveway to prevent destruction there of. Maybe nice mixed in with a few CDIP and Stone Pine. I have the space.

Writing Stone Pine made me think about the Aleppo about 100' from my house. Had it trimmed this weekend and found dry dying wood in the heart of it. Trimmer said it does not have long. Its an old massive tree and will be a shame to see it go. My lifetime will not see a Stone Pine grow as commanding.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you for all of the great ideas. I have got a few trees off this list. Here is what I have got and will give a try:

Ceiba speciosa

Tipuana tipu

and there are others im looking for

Not from the list:

jacaranda mimosifolia

Cassia leptophylla

Eriobotrya japonica

thanks again for all of the good ideas. I will try to take some photos later of what is in the ground.

Northern San Diego County, Inland

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Tabebiuas are the ideal canopy tree in my opinion. Low water needs, beautiful, long lasting flowers, decent growth rate,handsome out of flower-how can you beat it?

San Fernando Valley, California

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My Grandma has some 12m+brachychiton Sp. in her garden and the tropical look they give is great...

Zone 9b(10a)...Cool, humid and rainy winters... very little frost but little sunny days...

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