Avoid wastng your money and time due to planting trees that won’t survive the Santa Clarita clmate. Knowing what deciduous and evergreen tree species are native, thrive in Santa Clarita (USDA Hardiness Zone 9), and how to plant and care for them will help you plant vibrant trees that will flourish.
Outlined below is a guide of species, planting, growing, and care information for some deciduous and evergreen trees suited for Santa Clarita’s temperate climate.
Santa Clarita’s Climate
Living in Santa Clarita, California, you should be very familiar with the region’s mildly low winter temperatures that seldomly fall below freezing. The average minimum temperatures for winter in Santa Clarita range from twenty to thirty degrees Fahrenheit. This region is also blessed with long, hot summers and longer growing seasons, typically lasting from February to December.
Tree Planting in Santa Clarita, California
In California’s Hardiness Zone 9, fall is the best time to plant new trees, shrubs, and plants. The weather, temperatures, and water requirements align to allow roots enough time to fully acclimate before the spring growing season.
Planting trees in late September, October, and November allow you to take advantage of the area’s moderate temperatures and cooling soil. Trees, shrubs, and plants can channel all their energy into developing strong roots without spending their resources on growing leaves or producing flowers.
Planting in fall gives trees a head start developing a strong root system before they need to channel water and nutrients to support spring growth. Trees planted in the fall are typically more massive, stronger, and healthier one year later than the same tree species planted in the spring.
Note: Water requirements during the fall season are considerably lower, allowing the season’s rainfall to irrigate your trees. Less watering means fewer chances of developing root rot.
Deciduous Tree Species Perfect for Hardiness Zone 9
Deciduous trees drop their foliage in the fall and enter dormancy by the winter. However, these trees will continue slowly developing their roots. A deciduous tree species can be successfully planted up to when it breaks dormancy in the early growing season.
Deciduous trees should also be planted in well-drained soil, with slightly acidic conditions being optimal for most tree species. Consider the following deciduous tree species for your Santa Clarita landscaping:
Oak Tree (Quercus)
Dating back to the 1800s, Santa Clarita has been home to tens of thousands of native oaks blanketing the local mountainsides, lining streams, and providing a beautiful and serene presence to the city’s natural landscape.
Sun – Oak trees flourish in full sun but can tolerate part shade; they need four to six hours of sun per day.
Soil – This species will thrive in humus-rich, well-drained acidic soils (The general oak tree soil pH level should range between 3.6 and 7.0)
Water – Young and mature oaks require little watering, typically only once a month. You don’t need to water an oak tree in the cooler months; winter rain will do that for you. Any watering activities should be gradually released to prevent disease and root rot development.
Mature Height – This species grows to a height of 40 to 80 feet with a spread of 60 to 100 feet.
Lifespan – 100 to 300 years (depends on the species)
Note: Oak trees are protected by law in Santa Clarita, California. The Oak Tree Preservation Ordinance reads, “No person shall cut, prune, remove, relocate, endanger, damage or encroach into the protected zone of any oak tree on any public or private property within the City except in accordance with the conditions of a valid oak tree permit.” When any actions may be required for oak tree pruning or removal, a Class II (removal of less than 3) or a Class IV (removal of more than 3) an Entitlement Application must be submitted for approval. Visit the following link to learn more about the ordinances and California tree removal permit process.
Tulip Poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera)
This popular tree species blooms in late spring and early summer, producing gorgeous tulip-shaped flowers 1½–2″ in diameter with greenish petals and a splash of orange at the base. This tree species displays vibrant yellow foliage in the fall before leaf drop.
Sun – flourishes in full or partial sun.
Soil – This species will thrive in moderately moist, deep, well-drained, loose textured soil with a 4.5 to 7.5 pH.
Water – Your tulip poplar tree will benefit from a supplemental five to seven gallons of water per week, especially during the summer and early fall.
Mature Height – This species grows to a height of 70 to 90 feet with a spread of 40 feet.
Lifespan – 200 to 300 years
Evergreen Trees Suited for Hardiness Zone 9
Evergreen trees in Santa Clarita, California, prefer full sun in the summer and shade in the winter. This combination of both requirements can be achieved by planting your trees on the north side of your property. Evergreens should be planted in well-drained soil, with slightly acidic conditions being optimal. Consider the following evergreen tree species for your Santa Clarita landscaping:
Deodar Cedar (Cedrus deodara)
The Deodar Cedar is a finely textured evergreen tree that is among the most magnificent trees in the world. Its form is broadly pyramidal when young, and its drooping branches become wide and spreading, as its central leader will often die out.
Sun – This tree should only be grown in full sunlight.
Soil – The Deodar cedar thrives in slightly acidic (6.0 to 7.0 pH), loamy, moist, sandy, well-drained, and clay soils. It prefers moist soil but has good drought tolerance.
Water – Deodar cedar trees are drought resistant and can thrive with occasional rainfall. During dry weather, provide your tree with moderate amounts of water.
Mature Height – This species grows to a height of 40 to 70 feet with a spread of 20 to 40 feet.
Lifespan – 1,000 years
This evergreen beauty is renowned for its capacity to survive in harsh and bare climates, growing out of rocks and surviving in inhospitable areas with very little water.
Sun – This tree species should be grown in full sunlight.
Soil – Junipers thrive in open, sunny locations in well-drained soils. They will tolerate a wide range of pH levels but prefer something between 5.5 to 7.0 pH. They are very tolerant of dry, clay soils, and many varieties will grow in sand.
Water – Newly planted trees will require weekly watering until the roots have developed. Once established, Junipers require little to no supplemental watering.
Mature Height – This species grows to a height of 50 feet with a spread of 6 to 20 feet.
Lifespan – 350 to 700 years
The Cypress species boasts foliage appearing in different shades of green, from dark green to light bluish-green, depending on the variety. Its leaves can range from fine needles to overlapping hair-like appendages similar to braids attached to twigs.
Sun – Cypress trees grow best in full sun, at least eight hours per day.
Soil – Most cypress varieties prefer moist to damp but well-drained light sandy or loam soil.
Water – Cypress trees require watering mostly in spring when they start the growing season and in fall just before their dormancy. This species can withstand occasional drought once established, but it’s best practice to water them if there hasn’t been a drenching rain for more than a month.
Mature Height – This species grows to a height of 50 to 80 feet with a spread of 20 to 30 feet.
Lifespan – 600 years (most species)
The Santa Clarita urban forestry division maintains, plants, and governs the removal of trees for the city’s streets, parks, and trails. Contact Urban Forestry at (661) 294-2567 during normal business hours or at (661) 290-2222 on evenings and weekends for any questions or concerns.
Tree Planting Care in Santa Clarita California
In this article, you discovered deciduous and evergreen species, planting, and growing information about spectacular trees hardy to Santa Clarita’s USDA hardiness zone.
Knowing which tree species to plant in the Santa Clarita area will help you create an inviting, flourishing, and lasting landscape.
Planting the wrong trees in Santa Clarita’s climate can result in infestation and fatal diseases, so take heed to the above info so your trees can thrive.