Marina Tree and Garden Club

Heritage Trees on Beach Street

Marina Trees

Welcome to the updated Marina tree page! Our community needs more healthy trees to provide beauty, character and identitify a sense of place. Our club wants to help by providing our collective observations regarding trees in Marina to encourage planting "the right tree for the spot."

New Tree List - downloadable pdf here

This list reflect some of the hardiest trees observed historically growing in Marina. The parameters for selection include wind and drought tolerance, affinity to poor sandy soils and marine salt air conditions. Other considerations include maintenance, sidewalk lifting, power line interference, sidewalk strip suitability and leaf litter. There are many other species that will grow here that may not meet all of the critera and may grow well with more care in a protected spot. The historical tree list can be explored further down the page.

Less than 20’ tall at maturity. Suitable for sidewalk strips and 36” openings in concrete. Will not lift sidewalks.

Ceanothus 'Ray Hartman' California Wild Lilac
Laurus 'Saratoga' Saratoga Bay Laurel
Heteromeles arbutifolia Toyon
Magnolia grandiflora “Little Gem” Little Gem Magnolia
Rhamnus alaternus Italian Buckthorn

20’-35’ tall at maturity. Suitable for street strips, wide medians, yards and areas away from power lines. This list reflect trees that have well behaved roots (generally).

Allocasuarina verticillate (Casuarina stricta) Mountain She-Oak, Beefwood,
coast beefwood

Arbutus “Marina” Strawberry tree
Arbutus unedo Strawberry tree
Callistemon citrinus (Melaleuca citirinus) Lemon Bottlebrush
Casaurina stricta (see Allocasuarina verticillate) Coast Beefwood, Drooping She-Oak
Corynocarpus laevigatus New Zealand Laurel
Eriobotrya japonica Loquat
Ilex aquifolium English Holly
Melaleuca ericifolia Heath Melaleuca, Swamp paperbark
Melaleuca linariifolia Flaxleaf Paperbark
Melaleuca quinquenervia Cajeput Tree
Melaleuca styphelioides Black Tea Tree, Prickly Leaf Paperbark
Pittosporum crassifolium Karo Tree
Podocarpus gracilior Fern Pine
Prunus ilicifolia ssp lyonii Catalina Cherry
Tristaniopsis laurina Small-Leaf Tristania, Water gum
Searsia lancea (Rhus lancea) African Sumac

More than 35’ tall at maturity. Not suitable under or near power lines, or, small street/sidewalk openings. Larger trees will have more issues with roots lifting sidewalks and causing damage. It is recommended that these trees be given plenty of room to grow!

Cupressus macrocarpa Monterey Cypress
Cinnamomum camphora Camphor Tree
Geijera parvifiora Australian Willow
Corymbia ficifolia Red flowering gum
Eucalyptus nicholii Willow-leaf peppermint
Eucalyptus polyanthemos Silver Dollar gum
Lophostemon confertus Brisbane Box
Lyonothamnus floribundus asplenifolius Catalina Ironwood
Pinus canariensus Canary Island Pine
Pinus halepensis Allepo Pine
Pinus pinea Italian Stone Pine
Pinus radiate Monterey Pine
Pinus Torreyana Torrey Pine
Quercus tomentella Island Oak
Quercus agrifolia Coast Live Oak

Large Deciduous Trees
Ginkgo biloba ‘Autumn Gold,’ ‘Princeton Sentry,’ ‘Saratoga’ Maidenhair tree, Ginkgo
Platanus x acerifolia ‘Columbia’ London plane, sycamore


Please Note: Palms are long lived at 50-100+ years and some get very large. Not suitable under power lines or small street/sidewalk openings because of mature size.

Chamaerops humilis Mediterranean Fan Palm
Cordyline australis Dracaena Palm
Phoenix canariensis Canary Island Date Palm
Phoenix dactylifera Date Palm
Washingtonia filifera California Fan Palm
Washingtonia robusta Mexican Fan Palm

For further information on each tree visit the Cal Poly Select-a-Tree list

Lyonothamnus floribundus

Catalina Ironwood grove with Heuchera and Sticky Monkey Flower. Photo: Juli Hofmann


Changes to the Old list

PLEASE NOTE: Some trees on our historical list are no longer recommended. Although these trees may grow very well in Marina - considerations are now given to:

Allergen Species

Cold intolerance


Invasive Species


Allergen Species

There are tree tree species that can cause severe to moderate reactions for some people. We suggest visitng the following site to get more information on trees and plants that cause allergies before planting.


Cold intolerance

The 2007 cold snap devastated the New Zealand Christmas trees and many did not recover. An older established tree may be able to withstand sustained cold snaps with only topical burning and regrowth from an established root, but this is generally a cold sensitive tree. There are more cold tolerant tree choices that we would rather recommend.

Metrosideros excelsus - New Zealand Christmas Tree


Myoporum laetum was THE main street tree in Marina for decades. It seemingly thrived in the wind and sand without any summer water and managed to look glossy all year round. This all changed when the Myoporum Thrip was introduced in to Southern California and worked its way up to the central coast about 10 years ago. Now every Myoporum that is still living shows some degree of infection and stress. It is only a matter of time before no healthy species will be found on our streets. For more information on the thrip and possible solutions for infected trees visit this article by Robert Muraoka

Myoprorum laetum - Lollypop Tree

Goodwill Garden


Invasive Species

These trees grow GREAT in our area, but sadly they will reseed freely and plant themselves in many locations causing long term maintenance problems. Although there may be specific situations in which - say for example an Acacia baileyana- would be preferred over other less invasive species - we caution for careful consideration before planting. For more information on invasive plant species in general visit

Acacia baileyana 'Purpurea' - Purple Acacia

Acacia salicina - WIllow Acacia

Leptospermum laevigatum - Australian Tea Tree (all over Fort Ord!)

Maytenus boaria - Mayten Tree (suckers freely & invasive roots)


Historical Tree List

The original tree list still has good information about many trees that have been observed growing in locations around the city. Viewing the trees locally may help inform selecting a tree for a yard, street or other space. Please note that some of the trees listed may not be good street trees. Review the criteria ratings and choose wisely! Historical Tree List


Oak and Ceanothus

Coastal Oak and Ceanothus ‘Ray Hartman’ in full bloom. Photo by Juli Hofmann


For more information on Arborists, Fruit Trees, Plant Nurseries and local informational links visit our links page.