Large Shade Trees for Yards, Schools,
Parks and Open Spaces in Santa Clara Valley
• This species list includes trees recommended for planting in open spaces. Because every site is unique, certain trees from the list could be inappropriate for your site.
• Trees available are not limited to the list.
Click here to download Large Shade Trees list in pdf format.
Acer x freemanii ‘Autumn Blaze’ (AUTUMN BLAZE MAPLE) Deciduous, fast growth to 60', needs moderate to regular watering, broad-dense oval crown, consistent deep red-orange fall color.
Acer macrophyllum (BIG LEAF MAPLE) Deciduous, 30 to 80' tall, fast growth, needs moderate to regular watering, broad- dense shade for large planting areas, yellow- gold fall color. CA native
Acer rubrum (RED MAPLE) Deciduous, fast growth to 40’, needs ample water, red twigs, and buds, showy flowers, leaves are shiny green above, pale beneath, bright red fall color.
Catalpa speciosa (CATALPA TREE) Deciduous, 40 to 70' tall, moderately fast growth, low water, large heart shaped leaves, long bean-like seed pods, large white trumpet shaped flowers striped yellow & brown.
Cedrus deodara (DEODAR CEDAR) Evergreen, moderately fast growth to 80' tall, low water, open canopy easily identified by graceful nodding tip, cones are upright on branches, too large for streets or small yards.
Cinnamomum camphora (CAMPHOR TREE) Evergreen, to 55’ tall and just as broad, slow to moderate growth, moderate water needs, glossy light green mature leaves, young leaves are red to gold color in spring, distinct enlarged root flair when mature, needs ample space.
Fagus sylvatica(EUROPEAN BEECH) Deciduous, fast growth to 80' tall, moderate water needs, broad cone shape with red-brown fall color, leaves can sun burn in hot weather.
Fraxinus americana ‘Autumn Purple’ and ‘Autumn Applause’ (AMERICAN ASH) Deciduous, fast growth to 50', needs moderate to regular watering, dark green leaves, deep red-purple in fall, oval-shaped crown.
Fraxinus uhdei (SHAMEL ASH) Semi-evergreen, 70 to 80' tall, low water, fast growing, can have aggressive roots – give ample space, broad oval canopy.
Ginkgo biloba (MAIDENHAIR TREE) Deciduous, slow growth to 60', needs moderate watering, unusual simple leaf, gold fall color, smog tolerant.
Koelreuteria bipinnata (CHINESE FLAME TREE) Deciduous, moderate growth to 40', needs low to moderate watering, narrow leaflets, small showy yellow flowers in summer followed by colorful papery seedpods.
Liquidambar stryaciflua (SWEETGUM) Deciduous, moderate growth to 60' tall, brilliant fall color, good form, aggressive surface roots damage any nearby concrete & messy, spiny seed pods can create a nusance.
Magnolia grandiflora (SOUTHERN MAGNOLIA) Evergreen, slow growth to 60', needs regular water in well-drained soil, thick glossy green leaves, large white flowers in summer, requires large growing space.
Nyssa sylvatica (TUPELO) Deciduous, moderate growth rate 30 to 50' tall, moderate water, wonderful red fall color, average roots, pyramidal shape when young growing more rugged in shape with age.
Pinus eldarica (AFGHAN PINE) Evergreen, moderately fast growth ,30 to 80’ tall, low water needs, few problems, tough tree for big, neglected areas, not streets or average yards, good substitute for Monterey pine.
Pinus halepensis (ALEPPO PINE) Evergreen, moderate growth, 30 to 60’ tall, low water needs, needles are light green, cones reddish to yellow brown and 3” long, open irregular crown when mature.
Pinus pinea (ITALIAN STONE PINE) Evergreen, moderate growth, 40 to 80' tall, low water, moderate growth, broad, flat topped tree when maturity, few pest problems, great park tree, to big for streets or most yards.
Pinus ponderosa (PONDEROSA PINE) Evergreen, moderately fast growth, 50 to 100’ tall, , needs low to moderate watering, symmetrical- pyramidal crown, brown platy bark, long needles. CA native
Pistacia chinensis (CHINESE PISTACHE) Deciduous, slow growth to 60', narrow leaflets, round canopy, bright red/orange fall color, Drought Tolerant- Not recommended for irrigated areas.
Platanus x acerifolia ‘Columbia’ and 'Yarwood’ (SYCAMORE) Deciduous, fast growth to 60', needs low to moderate watering, large lobed leaves, good natural structure.
Platanus racemosa (CALIFORNIA SYCAMORE) Deciduous, fast growth to 80', needs low to moderate watering, large lobed leaves, good natural structure, susceptible to anthracnose disease, yellow-bronze fall color. CA native
Podocarpus gracilior (FERN PINE) Evergreen, slow growth to 70' tall, needs low to moderate watering, dense canopy, clean, pest free, roots non-invasive.
Populus fremontii (WESTERN COTTONWOOD) Deciduous, fast growth, 40 to 80' tall, moderate water needed, fast growing, invasive roots, bright yellow fall color, triangular leaves flicker in breeze, huge tree for large areas only. CA native
Pyrus calleryana 'Aristocrat', 'Chanticleer', and ‘New Bradford’ (FLOWERING PEAR) Deciduous, moderately fast growth to 50', needs moderate watering, small simple leaves, bright red fall color, small cluster of white flowers in spring, deep rooted.
Quercus agrifolia (COAST LIVE OAK) Evergreen, slow growth 60', small simple leaves, broad-dense canopy, Drought Tolerant- Not recommended for irrigated areas. CA native
Quercus douglasii (BLUE OAK) Deciduous, to 50’ tall, low-branching, wide-spreading, bronze- yellow fall color, Drought Tolerant- Not recommended for irrigated areas. CA native
Quercus kelloggii (CALIFORNIA BLACK OAK) Deciduous, slow to moderate growth, 30 to 80’ tall, dark furrowed bark, young leaves are red-pink becoming bright glossy green turning yellow-orange in fall. CA native
Quercus lobata (VALLEY OAK, CALIFORNIA WHITE OAK) Deciduous, to 70'+ tall, can grow even wider, fast growing with ample water, tap root structure, lobed leaf, magnificent tree for large spaces only, bronze –yellow fall color. CA native
Quercus shumardii (SHUMARD RED OAK). Deciduous, moderately fast growth, 70’ tall, fall color is yellow to red, wide spreading.
Quercus suber (CORK OAK) Evergreen, moderate growth to 60’ tall, low to moderate water needs, deeply furrowed corky bark, rounded canopy, needs good drainage.
Quercus virginiana(SOUTHERN LIVE OAK) Evergreen, moderately fast growth to 50’ with broad canopy, needs regular watering with good drainage, simple leaves, dense canopy.
Schinus molle (CALIFORNIA PEPPER) Evergreen, slow to moderate growth, 25 to 40’ tall and wide, drought tolerant, limbs heavy with pendulant form, trunks of old trees have distinct burls, narrow leaflets, small red berries in fall and winter.
Sequoia sempervirens (COAST REDWOOD) Evergreen, 80' tall in 25 years, eventually to 300'+, needs ample water in well drained soil, dense canopy of deep green foliage, grand conifer for large spaces only. CA native
Ulmus parvifolia (CHINESE EVERGREEN ELM) Evergreen in Santa Clara Valley, fast growth, 40 to 60’ tall, with equal spread, moderate water, crown generally spreading with pendulant form, simple leaves, surface roots can be aggressive.
Ulmuswilsoniana (PROSPECTOR ELM) Deciduous, 40’ tall & 30’ wide, orange reddish young leaves that turn green at maturity, Dutch Elm Disease and elm leaf beetle resistant.
Zelkova serrata (SAWLEAF ZELKOVA) Deciduous, moderate to fast growth to 70’ tall, upright vase shaped form, smooth bark, green leaves with yellow to dark red fall color.