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Greg Rubin

Catalina Ironwood - Lyonothamnus floribundus
Great small to medium size evergreen tree. Moderate to fast growing, reaching 20-30 feet typically by 10-15' wide. Good sub for a small Eucalyptus tree. Looks like a small redwood from a distance. Ferny, fragrant foliage and nice large clusters of creamy flowers.
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Bishop Pine - Pinus muricata
This is a fast growing, small pine tree that is a good substitute for Japanese Black Pine. Much more drought tolerant as well. Nice fragrance.
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California Sycamore - Platanus racemosa
Another So Cal Signature tree. Fast growth, can become drought tolerant with age. Don't over water and don't feed to help control Anthracnose (early leaf drop). Supports a wide range of wildlife.
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Catalina Cherry - Prunus lyonii
Evergreen tree with neat leaves like a ficus. Has edible (though mostly pit) cherries. Fast growth to about 25 feet. Outstanding appearance.
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Quercus agrifolia
Oaks are the signature tree for Southern Cal. surprisingly fast growing when young, can form a small tree in 5-7 years. Englemans have beautiful blue foliage with yellow flowers, and the island oaks (extinct on the mainland) are fast growing with luscious leaves and huge acorns.
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Chitalpa - x Chitalpa tashkentensis
This half native tree has beautiful pink and white flowers, is fast growing to form a 15-20 foot deciduous tree. Drought and heat tolerant and adaptable.
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About the Author
Greg Rubin, President and Founder of California’s Own Native Landscape Design, Inc. is a licensed landscape contractor (C-27 No. 717147) who has been working with California native plants since 1985. His company has designed over 700 native landscapes in Southern California. Specialties include residential, commercial, and institutional landscapes that cover an array of garden styles while providing year round appeal, low maintenance, water efficiency, rich habitat, and fire-resistance.
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