Small Canopy Shade Trees for Lining Streets in San Jose
Small canopy shade trees grow to a maximum height of less than 35’ when mature. Although Our City Forest is funded to provide large canopy trees, these trees can be considered for sites with limitations such as:
1. Overhead utility lines that conflict with healthy canopy development.
2. A concrete cutout less than or equal to 2 feet by 2 feet, or similar conditions restricting root growth.
• This species list includes trees recommended for planting in streetscape settings. Because every site is unique, certain trees from the list could be inappropriate for your street.
• Trees available are not limited to the list.
Click here to download Small Canopy Trees list in pdf format.
Acer buergeranum (TRIDENT MAPLE) Deciduous, growth to 25’ tall, round canopy, moderate to regular water needs, red & sometimes orange to yellow fall color, interesting small leaves and exfoliating bark, needs pruning when young.
Acer campestre (HEDGE MAPLE) Deciduous, growth rate slow to usually 30’ but can grow larger, low to moderate water needs, dense rounded canopy, yellow fall color, tolerates poor soil conditions and drought.
Acer ginnala (AMUR MAPLE) Deciduous, growth to 20’ tall, moderate to regular water needs, clusters of small fragrant yellow flowers in spring, red winged seeds, red fall color.
Aesculus californica (CALIFORNIA BUCKEYE) Deciduous, grows to 20’ tall or taller, low water needs –drought deciduous, wide spreading, white fragrant flower clusters, hard round fruit capsules, attracts hummingbirds, CA native.
Aesculus carnea (RED HORSECHESTNUT) Deciduous, grows to 30’ tall & 30’ wide, low to moderate water needs, dark green leaves, round canopy, pink to red flowers in early spring, grows in slightly acidic moist soil.
Agonis flexuosa (PEPPERMINT WILLOW) Evergreen, medium to fast growth to 35’ tall, low water needs– drought tolerant, can be frost sensitive, narrow willow-like leaves, pendulant form with low hanging branches, smells like peppermint, small white flowers.
Arbutus 'Marina' (MARINA MADRONE) Evergreen, to 35' tall, low water needs– drought tolerant, red bark, pink flowers in fall, decorative fruit in winter/fall.
Cercis canadensis (EASTERN REDBUD) Deciduous, fast growth to 35’ tall, moderate to regular water needs, heart shaped leaves, attractive pink flower clusters in spring.
Cercis chinensis (CHINESE REDBUD) Deciduous, grows 10-12’ tall, moderate to regular water needs, tendency towards shrub form, rosy purple flower clusters, needs sun.
Cercis occidentalis (WESTERN REDBUD) Deciduous, grows to 18’ tall & just as wide, low water needs– drought tolerant, magenta flowers, blue-green leaves, bare branches in winter hold seed pods, CA native.
Chionanthus retusus (CHINESE FRINGE TREE) Deciduous, to 20’ tall, low to moderate water needs, leaves turn deep yellow in fall, narrow fringelike, white petals in impressive, ample lacy clusters, in bloom a magnificent tree like a huge white lilac.
Chitalpa x tashkentensis (CHITALPA) Deciduous, fast growing to 30’ tall & wide, low water needs –drought tolerant, flower clusters range from pink to white, full sun, Hybrid of CA native.
Eriobotrya deflexa (BRONZE LOQUAT) Evergreen, 10'-12' tall, moderate water needs, small, broad tree with large, dramatic saw-toothed leaves, cream colored flowers in spring, good street tree.
Eriobotrya japonica (LOQUAT) Evergreen, 15’ to 30’ tall, moderate water needs, big leathery leaves, small, dull white flowers.
Koelreuteria paniculata (GOLDENRAIN TREE) Deciduous, 20’ to 35’ tall, low water needs –drought tolerant, broad canopy, showy yellow flowers, 2” colorful papery seedpods,
Lagerstroemia fauriei x indica (CRAPE MYRTLE) Deciduous, 20’ to 35’ tall, low water needs –drought tolerant, vase shaped with attractive bark, colorful fall foliage, small clusters of showy flowers in summer. Cultivars available in different colors, ‘Muskogee’ (light lavender) - performs best, resistant to powdery mildew.
Laurus nobilis ‘Saratoga’ (GRECIAN LAUREL) Evergreen, low water needs –drought tolerant, slow growth to 40’ tall, compact growth with dark green leathery leaves, clusters of small yellow flowers and dark purple berries, needs good drainage, tolerates most soils.
Maytenus boaria (MAYTEN TREE) Evergreen, slow to moderate growth to about 30’ tall, low to moderate water needs, pendulous form with hanging branches, looks like small willow, needs good drainage, deep water to prevent roots surfacing roots.
Magnolia grandiflora 'Little Gem’ (MAGNOLIA) Evergreen. grow to 20-35’tall, moderate to regular water needs, white fragrant flowers, large glossy green leaves, performs best in well drained soil.
Magnolia soulangeana (SAUCER MAGNOLIA) Deciduous, grows to 25’ tall, moderate to regular water needs narrow canopy, purple-pink flowers with white center, large glossy green leaves.
Olea europaea 'Swan Hill' and ‘Majestic Beauty’ (OLIVE) Fruitless evergreen, 25 to 30' tall, low water needs– drought tolerant, slow growth, interesting multi-trunk form, attractive gray-green leaf, prune to train.
Pyrus kawakamii (EVERGREEN PEAR) Evergreen/semi-deciduous, grows to 25’ tall, low to moderate water needs, glossy green leaves, drooping branches, clusters of white flowers during winter & early spring, frost sensitive, susceptible to firelight.
Rhus lancea (AFRICAN SUMAC) Evergreen, to 25' tall, low water needs– drought tolerant, slow growing, can have pepper-like berries, pendulant form with low hanging branches, leaves resemble willow.
Tristania laurina (ELEGANT BRISBANE BOX) Evergreen, very slow growing to 25’ tall, low water- drought tolerant, showy yellow flowers in late spring, mahogany bark peels, new leaves have red color, good screening trees.