A current column of mine discussed a bacterial disorder


No therapy has begun to contaminate the popular and extensively planted southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora).

In reaction, I acquired the subsequent email from Nick Kurek of Granada Hills.

“We desire to revel in our ‘Little Gem’ southern magnolia as lengthy as it lasts; however, we need to plan for an alternative with magnolia sickness at the manner. Can you please recommend something comparable: evergreen (no messy leaf or needle drop) if viable, much less than 30 toes tall, disorder resistant, warmth tolerant.”


It’s no longer automatic that your ‘Little Gem’ cultivar will be laid low with this disease, vectored by way of a glassy-winged sharpshooter insect. Evidence for this comes from oleander shrubs, which succumb to the equal disease. ‘Petite Pink’ and ‘Petite Salmon’ oleander cultivars, which develop less than half of the dimensions of traditional oleanders, are much less probable to broaden the disorder, identified via the presence of scorched leaves. Each cultivar of any species has a genetic make-up that differs from that of the obvious species type. It often occurs that positive cultivars are more (or much less) proof against a sure disorder than the apparent species.

From a distance, island oak (Quercus tomentella) resembles ‘Little Gem’ and other reasonably sized magnolia cultivars. Native to the Channel Islands, a top-notch specimen of island oak, with a pyramidal form and vivid green foliage, is developing on the Conejo Valley Botanic Garden. If you have not yet paid a visit to this 33-acre garden, which capabilities California natives and different drought-tolerant species, you would possibly want to accomplish that now. It’s located at 400 West Gainsborough Road in Thousand Oaks and is open seven days a week from 7 a.M. To five p.M. Admission is free and canine walkers are welcome.

Catalina cherry (Prunus ilicifolia ssp. Lyonii), also local to the Channel Islands, is an evergreen tree that grows about 30 ft tall. It bears white flower panicles that change into suitable for eating, if not mainly candy, black cherries. Two other native evergreens undergo scrutiny as medium-sized tree alternatives. One is Catalina Ironwood (Lyonothamnus floribundus ssp. asplenifolius), a robust vertical grower with bronzish peeling bark and serrated leaves other is a pinyon pine (Pinus monophylla), a gradual grower that produces safe to eat seeds called pine nuts.

Two additional California local timber, even though deciduous, meet your top specs. Desert willow (Chitalpa linearis) has thin, willow-type foliage and flora that variety from crimson to burgundy, relying on the cultivar. In contrast, paloverde (Parkinsonia/Cercidium species) timber has yellow plant life and an umbrella or V-shaped boom addiction. Although palo verde bushes are deciduous, their green bark keeps your interest after the annual leaf drop happens.

One of the most famous medium-sized evergreen trees for Southern California is the Marina strawberry tree (Arbutus ‘Marina’). Its plant life is identical to those visible on manzanita (Arctostaphylos spp.), a near relative. Its capabilities easy, exfoliating cinnamon bark and lush foliage, and safe to eat, if bland, pebbly skinned purple fruit.

From Australia, Melaleuca trees are not the best evergreen but have a ramification of decorative qualities and good-sized drought tolerance as properly. Many have furrowed, peeling, or spongy bark, including a maximum, considerably paperbark tree (Melaleuca quinquenervia). Lilac melaleuca (Melaleuca decussata) has caterpillar plants, as does the purple granite bottlebrush (Melaleuca elliptical). Pink melaleuca, or showy Honey-myrtle (Melaleuca nemophila), has lavender, crimson pompon plants.

Australian tea tree (Leptospermum laevigatum) is called for the potable crafted from its leaves. It well-known shows zig-zagging limbs and is densely protected this time of year with white vegetation.

Weeping bottlebrush (Callistemon viminalis) erupts with scarlet vegetation in spring and once more in the fall. Some consider the plant life messy, but I assume their wealthy crimson outburst is truthful reimbursement for any extra clean-up involved. Callistemon ‘Cane’s Hybrid’ displays scads of small purple and white bottlebrushes; the new foliar boom is likewise red.

Tip of the Week: Keep in thoughts that nearly every type of citrus tree — inclusive of navel orange, mandarin/tangerine, grapefruit, and lemon — grows no greater than twenty ft tall, with semi-dwarf cultivars achieving half that length. Citrus trees are evergreen, blessed with fragrant plant life and legendary fruit, and particularly drought tolerant in southern California. Once mature, a great soaking twice a month, even in the freshest weather, is all the water a citrus tree calls for. Fertilizer, along with micronutrients, needs to be carried out 4 instances a year, at six-week durations, from late January to early June.