Choosing The Best Trees For Santa Clara County

When you decide to plant trees or shrubs for yourself or a public project, you might think you’re on easy street. Planting trees sounds enormously simple, but the truth is there’s an enormous amount of research that goes into figuring out which trees will flourish in different areas. There are lots of contributing factors to take into consideration, such as soil type, native plant species, moisture levels and the climate in general, and even local laws that can come into play.

Trees Native to Santa Clara County

There aren’t as many tree species native to Santa Clara County as you might think. The mighty redwoods certainly come to mind, as there are multiple locations in the county where you can visit preserved groves of the giant conifers. Douglas firs have received tribute in the form of Kyle Mclaughlin’s character from Twin Peaks reveling in their stoic beauty as well. Aside from these coniferous beauties, the other trees that have received attention from the public are the many Californian oak varieties, including the California black oak.

When choosing the right tree for you, first you have to decide what kind of tree you’re trying to plant. Will it be coniferous or deciduous? In other words, will it look like a Christmas tree or an apple tree? How many trees or shrubs are you looking to plant? If this is for your own home, are you looking to create a shaded grove or give additional texture and geometry for your landscape?

Deciding on the Right Tree for You

Assuming this is for your own home, deciding on a tree is a matter of your own personal preference. However, you also need to take into consideration the limitations and rules of any local homeowner’s association near you. Even if you don’t participate in meetings of your community, these rules can still affect you, and may have limitations on tree types that can be planted. Before planting anything, you should consult with any such organization to ensure you won’t be fined or forced to remove your planted trees. Some homeowner’s associations don’t want you planting large trees in your front yard, as when they grow they can obscure vision of your home or present possible threats to power lines and local structures.

A good rule of thumb when planting trees is that small trees go in the front yard, while larger trees go in the back. When choosing what kinds of trees you want to plant, it’s usually best to choose local varieties that won’t negatively impact the Santa Clara Valley ecosystem. Non-indigenous varieties of trees and shrubs can spread seeds and perform hostile takeovers of local ecosystems, so make sure whatever tree or shrub you go with is local to your area and won’t negatively impact your local biosphere. If you’re unsure of where to start, it’s never a bad idea to consult with professionals.