Los Angeles may be a sprawling metropolis, but it’s not without its natural beauty. In fact, the city is home to over 1 million trees that serve as a reminder of nature and fresh air in all corners of the city.
- 1. Coral Tree (erythrina caffra)
- 2. Bailey Acacia (acacia baileyana)
- 3. Norfolk Island Pine (araucaria heterophylla)
- 4. Marina Arbutus (arbutus ‘marina’)
- 5. Mimosa (albizia julibrissin)
- 6. Purple Orchid Tree (bauhinia variegata)
- 7. Deodar Cedar (cedrus deodara)
- 8. Floss Silk Tree (ceiba speciosa)
- 9. Californian fan palm (palmis wrightii)
- 10. Gold Medallion Tree (cassia leptophylla)
- 11. Carob (ceratonia siliqua)
- 12. Eastern Redbud (cercis canadensis)
- 13. Chitalpa (chitalpa tashkentensis)
- 14. Camphor Tree (cinnamomum camphora)
- 15. Desert Willow (chilopsis linearis)
- 16. Lemon-Scented Gum (corymbia citriodora)
- 17. Bronze Loquat (eriobotrya deflexa)
- 18. Carrotwood (cupaniopsis anacardioides)
- 19. South African Coral Tree (erythrina caffra)
- 20. Italian cypress (cupressus sempervirens)
- 21. River Red Gum (eucalyptus camaldulensis)
- 22. Moreton Bay Fig (ficus macrophylla)
- 23. Evergreen Ash (Fraxinus griffithii)
- 24. Mexican Fan Palm (washington robusta)
- 25. Silk Oak (grevillea robusta)
- 26. Golden Trumpet Tree (handroanthus chrysotrichus)
- 27. Maidenhair Tree (ginkgo biloba)
- 28. Coast Live Oak (quercus agrifolia)
- 29. Jacaranda (jacaranda mimosifolia)
- 30. Chinese Flame Tree (koelreuteria bipinnata)
- 31. California Sycamore (platanus racemosa)
- 32. Tulip Poplar (liriodendron tulipifera)
- 33. Common Crape Myrtle (lagerstroemia indica)
From coast to coast, LA has a diverse collection of trees from which residents can choose. Whether you’re looking for shade-providing deciduous or evergreen foliage, there are plenty of options for any landscape style.
Los Angeles is a beautiful place to live, with its warm climate and amazing scenery. But if you’re new to the area, there are some things that may take some getting used to. One of these things is the trees- or lack thereof. With so many people around here wanting an unobstructed view of the mountains or ocean, it’s hard for any tree (or plant) to survive in this concrete jungle.
So it’s up to homeowners to make a positive change. Planting trees is good for the environment, and it makes you happier as well! Check out some of the most common trees in Los Angeles so you can beautify your home and create a cozy outdoor spot for relaxation, all while contributing in the fight against climate change!
Also check out the most common trees in California!
1. Coral Tree (erythrina caffra)
The coral tree is native to South Africa, but thrives in Los Angeles’ Mediterranean climate. It’s drought-tolerant and grows well in most soil types. From a distance this tree might look like an average palm, but if you get closer you’ll find that its bark is made up of smooth red scales that are brilliant against the bright-green leaves.
Not only is it a nice addition to the landscape, but the flower and fruit of this tree are also edible and make for a tasty snack when ripe. Just be careful: The seeds inside the fruit contain cyanide! (Don’t say we didn’t warn you!)
2. Bailey Acacia (acacia baileyana)
This tree is practically synonymous with Los Angeles, and there’s a good reason for that. Bailey acacia trees are resilient in Southern California’s dry climate, which can make them ideal for certain areas.
The most notable feature of the bailey acacias are their bright yellow flowers that bloom in January through April. The blooms are incredibly fragrant, and will typically stay open all day. The tree itself has fine light-green feathery foliage that’s quite appealing to the eye.
3. Norfolk Island Pine (araucaria heterophylla)
This tree is the classic Christmas tree, but it’s also loved by LA folk for its beauty year-round. The Norfolk Island pine has feathery needles that are soft to the touch, and will typically grow anywhere from 40-70 feet tall (although they can reach up to 130 feet!)
Although they’re known as ‘Christmas trees’, Norfolk Island pines are actually native to Australia. If you’re looking for a tree with soft needles, bright-green foliage all year long, and the ability to grow over 100 feet tall- this is your guy!
4. Marina Arbutus (arbutus ‘marina’)
This tree is native to the west coast of North America, and can be found as far south as Chile. It’s also drought-tolerant, which makes it a great addition to any area that doesn’t receive much rainfall.
The marina arbutus grows quickly- sometimes up to 1 foot per year! The bark will often take on a mottled appearance and the leaves will change color in the fall, going from bright-green to copper.
The marina arbutus is also known for its vibrant-red fruit that sprouts in June through September. The berries make for an attractive landscape feature during these months (and tasty snacks for local fauna), but it’s important to be careful when removing them from the trees. The fruit is a common culprit of non-native pest invasions, so use caution when disposing!
5. Mimosa (albizia julibrissin)
This tree is a popular choice in Los Angeles, and with good reason. Mimosa trees are known for their beautiful pink flowers that bloom from April to July. They’re also incredibly drought-tolerant, so they can thrive even when water restrictions are imposed by city officials.
The leaves of the mimosa grow in feathery clusters and usually change color during the fall months. They’re a light-green color when they first emerge, but will fade to dark-green as the summer wears on.
It’s also important to note that mimosa trees aren’t actually related to real mimosas (which are small flowering trees native to Africa), so don’t let the name fool you!
6. Purple Orchid Tree (bauhinia variegata)
This tree is native to China, India, and Vietnam. It’s also popularly known as the Hong Kong orchid tree, which makes sense given that it’s one of the most widely planted trees in Hong Kong.
The purple orchid tree has large dark-green leaves with an intense white flower (which usually blooms between October and March). The flower- which is shaped like an orchid- can grow to be 3 inches wide, and will attract butterflies when in bloom.
It’s important to note that this tree doesn’t actually produce edible fruit (although the leaves are edible if properly prepared), but it does have showy blooms that’re sure to brighten up your yard!
7. Deodar Cedar (cedrus deodara)
The deodar cedar is a massive tree that can grow anywhere from 60-100 feet high. It’s known for its soft blue-green foliage and strong wood (which has been used as timber and wood pulp).
The deodar cedar thrives in the mountainous regions of India, so it makes sense that it would do well even in harsh winter climates. The tree is also a major source of construction material and firewood, given that it’s incredibly strong and resistant to the elements.
8. Floss Silk Tree (ceiba speciosa)
The floss silk tree is native to tropical South America, which makes it an attractive landscape feature in Los Angeles (where the climate isn’t too different). It has a grey trunk that peels into 5 sections, and large green leaves. Unfortunately, its beautiful white blooms are usually hidden under the foliage.
Floss silk trees grow quickly, and some specimens have been known to grow as high as 80 feet within a 20-year period!
9. Californian fan palm (palmis wrightii)
The Californian fan palm is native to the Santa Monica Mountains, and can be found growing wild on slopes and creek beds. They’re also popularly grown in city landscaping, which makes sense given their ability to grow in a variety of conditions.
Californian fan palms have a silvery green color and can reach heights of 50-60 feet when fully grown. They’re also known for their beautiful yellow flowers, as well as the fact that they attract hummingbirds during the spring months.
These palms produce edible fruit (which is rich in vitamins A and C), but it’s important to note that the fruit is highly poisonous when unripe.
10. Gold Medallion Tree (cassia leptophylla)
Gold medallion trees are a popular choice in Los Angeles, and make sense given their ability to adapt to a wide variety of climates. They aren’t known for producing any fruit or flowers, but they’re incredibly drought-tolerant trees that grow well in arid environments.
These dark green trees have bright green leaves with a purplish tinge, and grow up to 30 feet in height.
11. Carob (ceratonia siliqua)
The carob tree is a large tree that can grow between 20-25 feet. It has a grey trunk with small branches, and its leaves have a sort of rounded appearance.
It’s important to note that the carob tree will only bear fruit after 5-6 years of growth, but once it starts producing fruit it should be expected to live between 100-200 years.
Carob trees should be pruned regularly in order to produce the best fruit, and because they can grow so large it’s important not to plant them too close together (otherwise their roots will compete).
12. Eastern Redbud (cercis canadensis)
Eastern redbud trees are one of the most widely planted trees in Los Angeles, and for good reason. These small trees aren’t known for their blooms, but their heart-shaped leaves turn bright purple during autumn months (which makes them a popular choice among landscape designers).
These beautiful trees resemble cherry trees, with their glossy green foliage and delicate pink blooms. They also produce edible fruit (which is popular with many bird species).
13. Chitalpa (chitalpa tashkentensis)
The chitalpa is a hybrid tree that’s known for its ability to produce blooms in both pink and white colors. It thrives in arid climates, and can even survive brief periods of drought.
These trees have a unique shape, with their light green trunk and unusual branches that resemble hanging vines. They’re also known for having a strong fragrance (which becomes more pronounced during the springtime).
The chitalpa is also popular with homeowners because it’s resistant to certain pests and diseases, such as leaf fungus.
14. Camphor Tree (cinnamomum camphora)
The camphor tree is a popular choice among landscape designers in Los Angeles, mostly because of its distinct appearance and quick growth. In fact, the camphor tree will only take about five years to reach its full height — which can be as high as 80 feet!
These trees have reddish bark that flakes away during the summer months, which reveals a white layer of bark that’s responsible for their camphor scent.
They’re popularly planted for their beautiful yellow blooms, but many homeowners also prefer them because they act as natural herbivores (which helps keep pest populations at bay).
15. Desert Willow (chilopsis linearis)
Desert willows are an incredibly popular choice among landscapers and homeowners, mostly because of their unique appearance. These trees have a long trunk with branches that extend outward at a 90 degree angle, which makes them perfect for boulevard planting.
The desert willow thrives in arid climates, and prefers to be planted near water sources. As long as it has access to water, the desert willow can survive in temperatures up to 100 degrees.
Desert willows are known for their delicate purple blooms that appear during late spring months, but they’re also popular because of their heart-shaped leaves.
16. Lemon-Scented Gum (corymbia citriodora)
These trees have a grey trunk with green foliage, and can grow up to 40 feet in height.
The lemon-scented gum tree is known for its beautiful white blooms that appear during winter months. These flowers are small and round, giving the tree a delicate appearance.
Lemon-scented gum trees often produce thin, spiky bark that’s said to resemble the scales of a pinecone.
17. Bronze Loquat (eriobotrya deflexa)
Bronze loquat trees are notable for their unique appearance, which has earned them the nickname “hip tree.” These trees have light green foliage, and thick orange-brown bark that resembles the skin of an elephant.
The bronze loquat is known for having beautiful dark pink blooms (which appear between February and May). Bronze loquats also have edible fruit that tastes similar to a plum, with an orange skin.
18. Carrotwood (cupaniopsis anacardioides)
Carrotwood trees thrive in arid climates, and can survive brief periods of drought (which makes them a popular choice for homeowners who live in Los Angeles).
These trees have a unique shape with their large trunks and drooping branches that resemble hanging vines. They also produce small yellow blooms that appear between November and February.
19. South African Coral Tree (erythrina caffra)
These trees flourish in arid climates, and they’re known for their beautiful small white blooms. They also have a distinct appearance with their red stems and green foliage.
South African coral trees produce edible fruit known as “coral berries,” or “boanjos.” These bright red fruits taste similar to cranberries, and are often seen hanging from the tree’s branches.
20. Italian cypress (cupressus sempervirens)
Italian cypress trees are often used as street trees in Los Angeles, and they’re known for their high rate of growth.
These trees have a dark green trunk with lush foliage that resembles the tail feathers of a peacock. Italian cypresses also produce small yellow flowers during May and June.
21. River Red Gum (eucalyptus camaldulensis)
These trees are perfect for planting near sidewalks, because they act as natural water filters. They’re also notable for their beautiful foliage and smooth bark.
River red gum trees have broad leaves that resemble fans, which turn bright orange during autumn months. These trees can survive in arid climates with heat up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit, but they prefer mild climates with plenty of humidity.
River red gums are known for their small green blooms that appear between February and April. These trees also have edible seed pods called “gumnuts,” which are popular in Australia.
22. Moreton Bay Fig (ficus macrophylla)
These trees make a stunning addition to any home, thanks to their large growth patterns and beautiful fig leaves. Moreton Bay figs are notable for having some of the largest fig leaves in the world – they can grow as wide as five feet!
The distinctive characteristic of a Moreton bay fig is its roots that dangle from its branches like gnarled fingers. These roots are also very strong, which makes them perfect for stabilizing hillsides.
23. Evergreen Ash (Fraxinus griffithii)
These trees are often planted in front of homes and businesses, because they can survive extreme temperature changes. This makes them a popular choice for homeowners who live by the beach (where afternoon sea breezes can get quite chilly).
Evergreen ash trees have smooth bark that’s usually grey or white, but sometimes turns brown during autumn months. They also produce small green and yellow bell-shaped flowers between February and March.
24. Mexican Fan Palm (washington robusta)
These large palm trees are popular for their height and cold tolerance. Mexican fan palms can thrive in temperatures between -20 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit, which makes them perfect for planting along the coastline during winter months.
Mexican fan palms have a distinctive appearance with their bright green trunk and silvery-grey leaves that resemble feathers. They also produce bright orange fruit during autumn months.
Mexican fan palms produce large yellow flowers that grow in the center of the palm fronds. These flowers attract bees and hummingbirds, and give off a distinct scent that smells like vanilla or butterscotch.
25. Silk Oak (grevillea robusta)
Silk oak trees are often planted along sidewalks and in front of businesses, because they’re fast growing evergreen trees.
This tree is notable for its smooth grey bark and bright green foliage that resembles the tail feathers of a peacock. Silk oaks also produce small pink flowers that bloom in November and December.
These trees have large seed pods that contain small nuts. These seeds are popular in Australia, where they’re used to make a protein-rich flour for baking bread.
26. Golden Trumpet Tree (handroanthus chrysotrichus)
Golden trumpet trees are often planted as living Christmas trees during the holiday season.
This tree is notable for its slender trunk and bright yellow blooms that resemble butterfly wings. It’s also one of the few tropical trees that can survive in cold regions with mild winters, such as Los Angeles.
Golden trumpet trees aren’t known for their foliage, but for their beautiful blooms that can grow up to 18 inches long. These trees also produce small brown seed pods that contain small nuts.
27. Maidenhair Tree (ginkgo biloba)
The ginkgo tree is an interesting choice, given its bizarre appearance and prehistoric look. Although the ginkgo tree has been around for over 200 million years, it’s only recently been used as a landscape tree.
These trees are notable for their distinctive fan-shaped leaves that resemble maidenhair ferns, hence its name. Ginkgoes also produce small green fruits that attract birds and squirrels from autumn to winter months.
In autumn months, the ginkgo tree produces large golden-yellow leaves that look beautiful in a garden or landscape setting.
28. Coast Live Oak (quercus agrifolia)
These trees are prominent in California, thanks to their ability to grow quickly and resist insects. Coast live oaks have been used as a shade tree since the mid 19th century, so there’s no surprise that many of these trees can still be found in old California neighborhoods.
Coast live oaks are known for their thick branches with large dark green leaves that are often covered with a light dusting of rust-colored leaves throughout autumn months. These trees also produce small spikes of flowers between April and May.
29. Jacaranda (jacaranda mimosifolia)
Jacarandas are another popular choice for homeowners who want shade and fruit.
This tree is notable for its large dark-purple blooms and feathery green leaves that resemble fern fronds. Jacarandas also produce blue seed pods that attract birds during autumn months, and small red pea-like seeds in early summer months.
30. Chinese Flame Tree (koelreuteria bipinnata)
The Chinese flame tree is notable for its bright orange-red blooms that resemble fireworks.
This fast growing deciduous tree has green leaves during autumn months, but these leaves quickly change to an orange color during early summer. It’s then that the Chinese flame tree produces tiny green flowers with yellow accents. These trees are often used as a colorful ornamental tree for homes and businesses.
31. California Sycamore (platanus racemosa)
Plantanus trees are often planted on city streets because they grow quickly, giving them the name “the poor man’s elm.” These trees can reach up to 90 feet tall by 55 feet wide, making it one of the largest trees in Los Angeles.
This tree is notable for its mottled bark that looks like the skin of a snake, and large dark green leaves that turn yellow during autumn months. These trees also produce hanging seed pods that contain small black seeds.
32. Tulip Poplar (liriodendron tulipifera)
This tulip poplar is notable for its bright yellow blooms and green-yellow leaves that resemble an umbrella. This fast growing deciduous tree is native to North America and can grow up to 155 feet tall and 50 feet wide, making it one of the largest trees in L.A.
These trees are notable for their tulip-shaped flowers that resemble the color of a tulip bulb–yellow with shades of green. They also produce small cone-like seed pods that contain winged seeds in early autumn months.
33. Common Crape Myrtle (lagerstroemia indica)
Every year from June to July, a crape myrtle tree will burst into a vibrant display of pink blossoms that practically blanket the entire tree. The blossoms are incredibly fragrant, and also attract butterflies.
This species is native to North America and can grow up to 30 feet tall with a canopy width of 15 feet. These trees are suitable for planting in containers or backyard landscaping projects, but they’re also popular choices for public spaces due to the vibrant blooms.