The Q&A Archives: Jacaranda Tree not doing so well

Question: I have a ten-year-old Jacaranda tree that I transplanted four years ago to the front sidewalk area in front of the house. It is windy there and his branches are angled in the winderly direction. He doesn't have leaves most of the year until about July/August where he'll spurt beautiful leaves. Otherwise, he doesn't do much most of the year. He's never flowered. I've got him in a 3x3 space and he gets watered twice a week. Soil is sandy/loam. He gets fertilized about once a month. Because he is a street tree, he needs to be 10-14 feet head clearance and he's at about six feet where he angles off. I've been told that Jaekarenda trees are a gamble in San Francisco. In Lax, they're all over the place and just beautiful which is what I was hoping would happen here. He's been a really slow growing tree and I'm wondering if I should replace him and put him back in the back yard. And if I do replace him, with what that won't damage the sidewalk but still not be a messy tree and has a straight angling root system. Too, I'm not sure what I may be doing wrong. He's not dying. Otherwise, he's planted firmly in the ground and rooted well, no shaking. No diseases on him. So I'm not sure what I should do at this point.

Answer: It might be a little too cool in San Francisco for a Jacaranda tree to thrive. I don't think yours will ever be a beautiful specimen so having it in the front yard probably isn't the best place. I'd wait until this fall or winter and move the Jacaranda back into the back yard.

Good street trees for your area include:
Cercis canadensis (Eastern Redbud)
Lagerstroemia indica x L. fauriei (Crape Myrtle)
Prunus cerasifera ?Thundercloud? (Purple Leaf Plum)
Pyrus kawakamii (Evergreen Pear)

All flower in the springtime.

Best wishes with your trees!

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