Thread: Need a tree reccomendation for a large patio planter

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  1. #1

    Need a tree reccomendation for a large patio planter

    I have a restaurant in California bay area (zone 9) that has patio seating. I'm looking for a good sized tree that would provide shade for the patio and be content in a large planter.

    Here are the requirements:
    •Provide shade/canopy
    •Not messy (prefer not to have a deciduous)
    •Not attract too many birds (for the obvious reasons)
    •Happy in a large planter (planning on having on built accordingly)
    •Withstand the elements - esp. wind gusts - we are on the water but are fairly protected.

    I was thinking a citrus or olive (although poss. messy, the fruit is something we can utilize in the restaurant) maybe a palm, I'd be interested in hearing the pros/cons on these ideas as well as any other suggestions you all might have...

    Thanks for your time! Eden

  2. #2

    RE: Need a tree reccomendation for a large patio planter

    Hmmm... A big umbrella?

  3. #3
    Oak
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Eastern PA
    Posts
    457

    RE: Need a tree reccomendation for a large patio planter

    Sadly, I think Lou's nailed the best solution for you.

    Anything that's going to provide decent shade is going to need to be planted in the ground - or in a very large container.

    Pretty much any tree is going to have some litter, and will be likely to attract birds. Then again, I'm not sure about that coast, but if you're within several hundred miles of the Atlantic, you're likely to get gulls - and the closer to the water, the more likely (here in PA a good 3 hours or more from the ocean, the gulls live around parking lot puddles and fast food places).

    You can add some of the larger containerized plants for appearance, but I wouldn't expect all that much shade from them.

    Shade or not, I hope you do go with some citrus, olives, and other food bearing trees and plants. If I ever start my restaurant, that sort of thing (along with partnering with local farms) would be part of the whole plan. I've heard that olives can be very messy (although here they're used as houseplants, so that would seem at odds?) and I would expect all of them to be heavily frequented by stinging insects (which is good for the pollination and keeping some other insects at bay, bad for any allergic diners nearby).
    Cheers,
    Everett

    Green Man Enviroscaping LLC
    www.greenmanenvy.com

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Oak Quirky Quercus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    1,589

    RE: Need a tree reccomendation for a large patio planter

    The restaurants around me that have outdoor seating (seasonal) usually use arborvitae in containers. The seem to do good in containers for quite a while and meet your other criteria. I would look into shrubs more than trees though for other options. Japanese Clayera (sp?) comes to mind.
    Stay away from anything with berries (birds) flowers (bees)

  5. #5
    Oak
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Central Oklahoma - Zone 7 for now
    Posts
    548

    RE: Need a tree reccomendation for a large patio planter

    Most anything can be 'planted' in a planter, but you will be repotting it at least every other year, and big pots can be a real chore...possibly even taking a pro with 'heavy eqpt' (A-frames and such maybe). It could very well be worth it, though, IMO. A Ficus could certainly fit your needs, and many types are available (can be pricey at bigger sizes, though). Schefflera are good, too, and can even be gotten with epiphytic/banyan-like (??) roots ($$$) that plain look *cool*.

    Some citrus can be worthy, but often there's thorns (like on lemons), or maybe think of some types of olives (!!!)...many types are available and some are really attractive in bark and foliage, too. I highly recommend calling some 'specialty nurseries' on this as your climate can support a great variety of species. There's things like Calliandra, Delonix regia (Royal poinciana, per se), and such that just might be wonderful. I *love* Calliandra emarginata (for bonsai) myself - a species from Madagascar and a bit like a Silk tree, but not invasive

    You can also think of some bamboo - plenty of 'exotic' bamboos that work great in pots and aren't messy, yet can cast a nice shade with a semi-spreading canopy upon things as well. I would just love to have that climate to 'play' with, LOL! You *will* want somethign that can tolerate salt-spray though - most 'conifers won't other than Japanese Black Pine (Pinus thunbergii), which is a consideration and can be shaped into really interesting shapes. That species might be worth looking into, IMO, if you want a 'conifer' that gives a bit of 'exotic' feel...works great in pots, too with proper care and can go several years without repotting.

    HTH,
    Alex

  6. #6
    Oak
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Knoxville,Tn
    Posts
    356

    RE: Need a tree reccomendation for a large patio planter

    Burst a hole in the sidewalk and put a clumping palm that will grow 20' or more. If you take this to a local nursery they will come up with a recommendation. And in 2 years you will have a dead potted whatever.

    just my opinion

    treeherder

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