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Opinions on good street trees? Bay Area

9 years ago

Hi fellow gardeners,

I need to ask advice about street trees. We live in an old neighborhood in San Jose and I want to put one or two trees in my sidewalk planting strip. The city has a trees program but only seems to give large trees, even though smaller ones are listed as acceptable they don't have them in their nursery.
So I will likely have to go it alone and buy trees myself.

Here is my question: the dominant trees on our street are ginkgo and evergreen magnolia. One evergreen- dont want to darken my yard that much in winter- and one with very stinky fruits. Both will go into my power lines and I don't fancy that terrible "chop the corner off" pruning for power line avoidance!

I like a deciduous, spring flowering tree- cherry or saucer magnolia kind of thing- but my street is busy and fairly windy, and I don't think these are good choices for windy areas? Ideal would be spring flowering, open branch structure, don't really care about fall color but yellow or orange would match the neighbors:)

I have a tudor - influenced 1 1/2 story, bungalow house built in 1914 and I am developing a formal style front yard . I have wires up fairly high so I would imagine a tree needs to top out around 25'? (Not sure since the city allows giant gingkos next door!) our soil is very fertile, clay based, fairly windy and on a busy road. Northern exposure but far enough from the house that it is Full sun all year.

I need to know what to request before getting the permit to plant. Any advice is welcome, I have been trying to figure this out for almost a year now.

Thanks everyone!


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