common native trees in burbank california

Greetings, fellow Burbank residents and tree enthusiasts! As a seasoned arborist who has spent many years working with Burbank Tree Pros, I’ve grown a deep admiration for the wide range of native trees that shape our city’s unique green heritage. I’ve climbed, pruned, studied, and nurtured many of these stalwart trees and witnessed firsthand how they enrich our city’s biodiversity and overall appeal. Today, I want to invite you to explore these arboreal wonders in our very own backyard.

In our city, Burbank, known for its scenic vistas, we have the privilege of living amongst a rich variety of native trees. Certainly, our skyline has its unique charms thanks to trees like the Jacaranda, but it’s important to remember that this beauty originates from Southern America. Today, let’s embark on a journey to understand the local heroes of our arboreal community—the native trees that encapsulate Burbank’s extraordinary green heritage.

1. Coast Live Oak (Quercus agrifolia)

The California Live Oak, fondly known as the Coast Live Oak, graces Burbank with its evergreen splendor. These magnificent trees, with a lifespan of up to a thousand years, reach heights of about 25 meters. In their youth, they boast a full crown adorned with dense foliage which gradually thins out over the years. The acorns they produce were a vital food source for the native Americans, highlighting their historical significance.

Interesting fact about Coast Live Oak (Quercus agrifolia): The Coast Live Oak is known as a “keystone species” because of its crucial role in the ecosystem. Numerous species of birds, mammals, and insects rely on it for food and shelter.

2. Blue Elderberry (Sambucus cerulea)

Blue Elder, a deciduous shrub, paints a vibrant picture from May to June with its white or cream-colored flowers. While they might not be the best choice for a home garden due to their unpleasant odor, they are a key component of Burbank’s natural landscape. Their distinguishing feature is the powder coating on their bluish-black berries, which can cause nausea if consumed raw.

Interesting fact about Blue Elderberry (Sambucus cerulea): Native Americans traditionally used the Blue Elderberry’s stems to make flutes and whistles.

3. Big Leaf Maple (Acer macrophyllum)

The Big Leaf Maple, native to the western area of North America, stands out with its leaves, the largest among maple trees, turning a brilliant yellow and gold during autumn. This tree, growing to an average height of 20 meters, lends a dash of color to Burbank’s landscape.

Interesting fact about Big Leaf Maple (Acer macrophyllum): The sap of Big Leaf Maple can be used to make maple syrup, similar to its eastern relatives.

4. Western Sycamore (Platanus racemosa)

Also known as the California Plane tree, the Western Sycamore is a common sight along Burbank’s floodplains, streams, springs, and rivers. Its large trunk and unique color palette of pinkish-gray, beige, and pale brown make it an easily recognizable part of Burbank’s green heritage.

Interesting fact about Western Sycamore (Platanus racemosa): The Western Sycamore is known for its ability to withstand wildfires due to its thick bark, making it a key species in fire-prone Californian ecosystems.

5. White Alder (Alnus rhombifolia)

The adaptable White Alder is a deciduous tree that thrives in a range of habitats, including areas with poor soil. Its ability to enrich the soil by fixing nitrogen makes it a vital part of Burbank’s ecosystem.

Interesting fact about White Alder (Alnus rhombifolia): White Alders are sometimes referred to as “nurse trees” because they improve soil fertility, enabling other plant species to grow.

6. Valley Oak (Quercus lobata)

The Valley Oak, commonly found in the valleys and foothills of San Diego and Siskiyou counties, is a native gem in Burbank. Known for its adaptability to cold winters and hot summers, this tree requires a generous amount of groundwater, making it a symbol of California’s diverse climate.

Interesting fact about Valley Oak (Quercus lobata): The Valley Oak has one of the heaviest acorns of any oak, with each one weighing about 10 grams.

7. Red Osier Dogwood (Cornus sericea)

Also known as red brush, American dogwood, or creek dogwood, the Red Osier Dogwood is a deciduous shrub that forms a dense thicket when exposed to direct sunlight. This medium-tall shrub, with its dark green leaves that turn red or purple in fall, adds a splash of color to Burbank’s landscape.

Interesting fact about Red Osier Dogwood (Cornus sericea): The Red Osier Dogwood has been used for centuries by Native Americans for making baskets due to the strength and flexibility of its stems.

8. Engelmann Oak (Quercus engelmannii)

The Engelmann oak, native to Southern California, is a small evergreen tree that adds a unique touch to Burbank’s landscape. It’s known for its rounded canopy and leathery green leaves, making it a hardy addition to the region’s green heritage.

Interesting fact about Engelmann Oak (Quercus engelmannii): The Engelmann Oak is one of the most drought-tolerant oaks, able to survive on as little as 10 inches of rain a year.

9. Hollyleaf Cherry (Prunus ilicifolia)

The Hollyleaf Cherry, an evergreen shrub tree, is known for its edible fruits and resilience to drought. Its hard, dark green leaves and the sweet cherries it produces make it not only a charming addition to Burbank’s green heritage but also a practical choice for home gardens.

Interesting fact about Hollyleaf Cherry (Prunus ilicifolia): The Hollyleaf Cherry has a unique adaptation for fire-prone environments: its seeds often require fire to germinate, meaning it can rapidly re-establish after wildfires.

10. Arroyo Willow (Salix lasiolepis)

The Arroyo Willow, found throughout California, thrives in valleys, canyons, wetlands, and pond shores. This deciduous shrub grows as tall as 10 meters and is characterized by its long, broad, lanceolate leaves. They bloom their yellow flowers during early spring, adding a touch of color from February to May.

Interesting fact about Arroyo Willow (Salix lasiolepis): The Arroyo Willow has been used by indigenous people for medicinal purposes, including pain relief and anti-inflammatory treatments.

Final Thoughts

Burbank’s valleys are adorned with these native trees, a mix of deciduous and evergreen species. These trees not only enhance the aesthetic appeal of the region but also offer edible fruits and bright blooms at certain times of the year.

Maintaining these trees requires specialized care, which is where our team of professionals comes in. We offer a variety of tree services, from planting to removal, ensuring your trees are always in optimal health. Our expert arborists in Burbank are always ready to help you with any issues you may have with the trees on your property.

Our wide service area coverage allows us to provide comprehensive tree services in Los Angeles and other areas around Burbank such as:

For more information about tree care, feel free to check out our other articles offering helpful tips and advice.

Remember, our native trees are not just an integral part of Burbank’s green heritage but also contribute significantly to our local ecosystem. Let’s work together to preserve and appreciate these living testament to Burbank’s natural beauty.

If you have a palm tree that you’d like to prune yourself, check out our detailed guide on how to safely prune palm trees.