Archive for the 'Trees' Category

New Jacaranda in Bloom


Last year, I planted a jacaranda tree in our backyard. Although jacaranda is sensitive to freezing weather, it survived our winter without any damage and is now blooming already. Last January, the temperature dropped to about 28 degrees F one night. It dropped all of its leaves after that freeze, but it did not lose any of its branches. Right now, it’s just a stick with a few small branches at the top.

Jacaranda trees will eventually grow to an enormous size, 30-40 feet tall and as wide. My plan is to keep our jacaranda tree to under 12 feet tall through regular pruning. I do not want a large tree shading our relatively small yard. But I couldn’t resist planting one because they are so beautiful when they are in bloom. My hope is that it won’t grow too fast, so that maintaining it at a reasonable size will be possible.

June 13 2009 | Jacaranda | Comments Off on New Jacaranda in Bloom

Fall Ash Color


The leaves of the modesto ash trees in our neighborhood are nearing their peak of fall color. Being in a part of the country that is dominated by evergreens, it’s great to have some trees that produce an annual autumn color display, even though it only lasts for a few weeks. Of course, after it’s over, there’s quite a mess to clean up. At least it only happens once a year.

Large trees add a lot to the visual appeal of a neighborhood. They add a beauty to a neighborhood that can’t be replicated with architecture alone, and they can make a planned development look like more of a natural setting. I don’t really like neighborhoods that are built with the houses too close to each other and to the street that there isn’t enough room to plant and grow large trees.

Planting the same type of tree along the side of a street can make for a really attractive display of fall color. Although planting too many of the same type of tree can be risky. As more insects such as the ash borer are inadvertently imported from abroad, there is a risk that most of the mature trees in a particular area may be wiped out at the same time by a new disease or insect.

October 25 2008 | Ash | Comments Off on Fall Ash Color

Jacaranda Trees

One of the highlights of summer is the sight of jacaranda trees in bloom. Jacaranda trees are inconspicuous trees most of the year that seem to blend into the background. But every year in the month of June, the smattering of jacaranda trees in our neighborhood burst into bloom providing a breathtaking display of lavender flowers that cover the breadth of the canopy. The above picture was taken about 3 weeks ago in late June.

Jacaranda trees are probably my favorite flowering tree. They seem to grow amazingly well in the inland portions of the San Francisco Bay Area, despite the occasional freeze. Jacaranda trees suffer when the temperature drops below about 28°F. About 18 months ago, California suffered an unusually severe cold spell, with temperatures dropping into the mid to low 20s. Some Jacarandra trees in our neighborhood lost branches, but the trees survived and are now blooming again.

July 14 2008 | Jacaranda | Comments Off on Jacaranda Trees