SanDiegoTreeMap.org. Just thought I would point out this website again. This online resource is full of information about trees in San Diego, and I think this is one of THE greatest resources out there! I use it frequently on my walks to identify trees I see around town.
I’m not sure how they figure all of this out, but it’s impressive. City governments and a few other agencies have done the bulk of the work inputting trees, but you can sign up and add a tree to the list, or just add information to existing trees already on the site. Pictures can be uploaded, too. I added the Deodur cedar tree in my front yard to the map.
When you log onto the site, you can search for trees by species, or you can search by particular address. The site show 332,010 trees input in the system as of today. There is value in those trees! The site states the value in dollar amounts for the different benefits that our trees bring to our community including the following:
- 24,621,928 lbs CO2 reduced
- 60,826 lbs pollutants reduced
- 10,996,793 kWh conserved
Anyway, who really needs a reason to plant a tree? Just do it!!!
“The tree remains, but not the hand that planted it.” – Irish saying
Orchid trees (Bauhinia variegata) are in bloom all over town. Usually, they are pink flowered, but I’ve spotted some white ones around town as well.
These trees are native to Southeast Asia, from southern China to India and Pakistan, and seem to have acclimated well to San Diego’s coastal climate. They can grow to about 30 feet high.
Beautiful flowers and interesting leaves!
Here’s the biggest orchid tree I could managed to find in town. This one is about 30 feet tall and wide.
I was in Balboa Park on Friday and spotted these beauties along Park Boulevard. ‘Wow’ is an understatement! Tabebuia impetiginosa, aka Trumpet Tree or Purple Tabebuia, is not native to the US and has a very limited growing area here. Read more about this beautiful tree….
Is it me, or is this a particularly good year for the Evergreen Pear? My neighbor’s tree started blooming last week and -boom!- there it stands in its beautiful white glory! The Evergreen Pear (Pyrus kawakamii) is native to Taiwan, but grows all over the place. It’s a medium sized tree that can grow to 30′. They also do well as an espaliered tree. This tree looks good in a variety of gardens from cottage gardens, or Zen/Japanese, to Mediterranean-styled gardens.
The big downside to the tree is that it is particularly susceptible to a disease called Fire Blight which, as you can see in the picture below, kills the tree effectively. Bummer….
I was at a garden club meeting last week, listening to fellow Master Gardener Mo Price speak about Australian plants. She’s a great speaker and a lot of fun, by the way, if you are in need of a speaker for your group! Anyhoo, she had a list of plants that she worked her way through in the talk, and when she got to the Firewheel Tree, a shout-out came from the audience. My friend, Carvill, garden club member and also a fellow Master Gardener, is a very observant person. She said that she knows where one of these trees grows on Coronado and that its blooms are spectacular. She gave us all the location, at the corner of Isabella and E Avenues. Well, I walk past there all the time, and it just didn’t ring a bell for me. So, of course, I took a walk that afternoon, and sure enough, there it was. So, thank you to Carvill – again – for noticing things that the rest of us typically just blow past.
The tree isn’t anything spectacular to look at, but get underneath and look up.
Incredible flowers! It’s a member of the Protea family – I can see why!
Peek-A-Boo! How many times have I walked past this tree and never noticed?
Stenocarpus sinuatus – Firewheel Tree aka White Beefwood, Queensland Firewheel Tree, Tulip Flower, White Oak and White Silky Oak is native to Australia. It can grow 30-40 feet high. It likes full sun, likes to be watered regularly but don’t overwater. It grows in the rainforests so it likes consistently moist soil. Obviously, we’re not a tropical zone, but growing in the parking strip, it probably gets regular water which keeps it happy enough.
Have you seen one of these trees? It’s a silk cotton tree, also known as a Kapok tree.
There are a couple of these trees on the Coronado Public Library grounds so I’ve been watching them for a few years. The thing that made me take notice was the pod that hangs from the tree. It looks like a fat sausage. Once the pod matures, it pops open. The inside expands into a big cotton ball which eventually blows apart in the wind. Here’s a cotton ball hanging. Pooooof!
There was cotton fluff lying all over the grass, and I noticed that a seed was at the center of each tuft.
Below is a Silk Cotton tree pod that has opened up. I found this pod on the ground in Balboa Park a couple of months ago and brought it home. It was hard and bright green and the skin looked like an avocado. It sat outside for a couple of months and finally started to transform last week. Yesterday I went out and found the pod completely opened up in sections with the cotton center still intact. I was struck by nature’s design so I brought the whole thing into the house and laid it out on the dining room table as you see it here. The cotton interior is starting to expand and it’s looking like a felt ear of corn. Mi Esposo is worried that it’s going to explode in the house and has asked me to remove it, but it’s still on the table. I’m hoping it pops like corn. I’d like to come home to a cotton wonderland in the house!
Jacaranda trees are popping into bloom all over town. The weather has been perfect the last few days, and combined with this vision of purple blooms, I feel like summer is right around the corner.
Is there anything more mesmerizing than a carpet of jacaranda blooms?!
This is lovely….