Trees for dry & sunny sites

This snippet has been extracted from “Tree for the Yard and Garden” by “John Cushnie”. Trees for dry & sunny sites are numerous in numbers which are well described & discussed at “Tree Removal in Hayward CA“.

Most trees, by their nature, grow well in shade.  There are, however, some trees that tolerate full sun and these are particularly useful when designing for small sunny gardens.  You need to be aware that gravelly soils, without humus, are free draining and, when coupled with a summer drought, may cause young trees to become stressed.

There is a difference between a free-draining dry soil in a warm, wet climate such as Great Britain and a sun-baked, frost-free California or South African soil.  During a cold, damp British winter, the temperature need drop by only 2-4 degrees Fahrenheit to kill plants. Half-hardy and frost-tender trees will only survive until the first “below average” winter.  Where the atmosphere and the soil are dry, frosty conditions are less severe on plants.  For example, my own garden in Northern Ireland is adequately watered with approximately 32in of rain each year.  Yet the top 6in frequently dries out to the point where I resort to watering young plants that haven’t had a chance to establish.  This is not the result of a hot, dry season but a lack of moisture-retentive humus in a gravelly soil, deposited before my time by a glacier.  However, once trees become established they will send out roots in search of water.

Celtis Occidentalis (3-9)

Trees for dry & sunny sites - Nettle tree
Trees for dry & sunny sites – Nettle tree

Nettle Tree or Hackberry


Height 66ft

Spread 43ft

1. Needs a warm site in full sun

2. Dislikes wet conditions

3. After a warm summer, the tree covers itself in edible red, purple, or yellow fruit

Genista Aetnensis (9-10)

Mount Etna Broom


Height and spread 26ft

1. Enjoys an impoverished soil

2. Dislikes hard pruning

3. The wild plants growing on the slopes of Mount Etna make an astonishing display of gold in summer.

Gleditsia Triacanthos ‘Sunburst’ (4-7)

Trees for dry - Locust
Trees for dry – Locust

Honey Locust


Height and spread 33ft

1. Plant in full sun

2. Dislikes spring frosts

3. Grown for its foliage the display starts gold in spring, turning to green-yellow in summer and finally a soft butter-yellow in the fall

Maackia Amurensis (4-7)

Amur Maackia


Height 50ft

Spread 30ft

1. Likes a rich soil

2. Dislikes alkaline soil

3. Although slow-growing, it flowers early in life.  The white flowers appear in profusion in mid to late summer.

Sophora Japonica (4-7)

Japanese Pagoda Tree


Height 100ft

Spread 50ft

1. Needs full sun

2. Dislikes cold winds

3. Long, creamy-white, fragrant panicles in late summer are followed by trailing seed pods that resemble a string seed pods that resemble a string of beads.

Acacoa Rhetinodes (10-11)

Silver Wattle

Evergreen Height 20ft

Spread 13 ft

1. Prefers an acid soil in a sheltered situation

2. Dislikes hard pruning

3. The clusters of lemon-yellow flowers usually open in summer, but may appear from late spring to autumn.

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