California Pepper Tree

Growing a California Pepper Tree

A California Pepper Tree is a beautiful addition to any yard.  Its drooping branches and bright green leaves provide a dramatic look that is perfect next to a body of water or anywhere else that you’d like to add a little visual interest.  Many, when they see a California Pepper Tree, say that they are reminded of a Weeping Willow Tree.



There are many great things about a California Pepper Tree. For one, the tree keeps it vibrant color throughout the summer.  Also, it is a fast growing tree. That means that you won’t have to wait twenty or more years to see the tree reach its full height of 25 to 40 feet.

Of course, the downside to the fact that it is such a fast growing tree is that frequent maintenance (i.e. pruning) is required in order to keep it looking its best. Still, many feel it is well worth the initial investment of time to have quick access to shade for their dogs and other animals.

When planting a California Pepper Tree, you will have to be mindful of the fact that its roots tend to stay close to the surface. For that reason, it does not make an ideal choice to plant very close to a house or outbuilding.

The tree is rather drought tolerant, but there is a catch. While the California Pepper Tree can withstand some drought conditions, over time this can cause the branches to start to become hollow. When this happens, they will snap under very little pressure. Still, the tree is a good choice for areas where water is not abundant.

The trees are a good source of shade, and some people have said that their farm animals, such as horses, enjoy eating the leaves.  Some people have reported having an allergic reaction when the fruit of the tree brushed against their skin. Also, the fruit is not edible.

Another possible drawback to having a California Pepper Tree in your yard is that some report that the trees make quite a mess.  While the little red berries are small, they can be annoying if they are dropping onto your car every day.  Of course, one could just not park under the tree and eliminate that particular problem, but many don’t want to deal with the mess of the fruit on their property.

Others have found that the plants have buckled their walkways. This problem can be attributed to the fact that, as mentioned earlier, the roots grow close the surface.  It is best to give this tree a wide berth so that the root system will not interfere with any other landscaping elements.

The tree can be pruned to allow people to walk under it. Left on its own, the branches will droop so low that this will not be possible. They are a great choice for people who like to be a bit creative with their pruning.

The California Pepper Tree is a favorite of many pests so that must be taken into consideration. Also, the tree is subject to some common diseases such as root rot and wood decay. With proper planting and care methods, however, the threat of the diseases is minimized.

The California Pepper Tree is not a good choice for someone with a small yard or who wants a tree with which they can line a walkway. For those with more land, however, the tree makes a beautiful and dramatic addition.