Compendium of Rancho Yolo Trees






Originated in China and cultivated in the Mediterranean before its introduction to North America by Spanish missionaries.  California leads the nation for this crop – about 95% of U.S. production.

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Modesto Ash


Modesto Ash reaches 30-45 feet or more.  Dark green, 3-6-inch-long leaves that are divided into multiple leaflets (compound leaves).  Female trees drop a winged fruit that resembles a maple seed.  Native to CA, TX, AZ and Mexico.

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Sweet Bay


Sweet Bay is an aromatic evergreen tree or large shrub with smooth, green leaves.  It is native to the Mediterranean region and is used as bay leaf for seasoning in cooking.  In ancient Rome it was the symbol of victory.



Widespread in the Northern Hemisphere, particularly in areas of cold climates.  Birch bark can be white, grey, yellow, silver or black.  Young trees have very smooth bark, roughening with age.  Bark peels off in long horizontal strips.

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Bottlebrush plants get their name from the spikes of thin, red flowers that bloom at the ends of the stems, bearing a strong resemblance to a bottle brush.  Can be landscaped as shrubs or small trees that grow up to 15 feet.


California Buckeye


Widely found in California, growing along the central coast and in the lower elevations of the Sierra Nevada and Cascade Range.  Grows in the wet-late winter and spring.  Dormant in the dry summer months.


Deodar Cedar


Has gained popularity as a landscape tree. Stunning at first sight, the green-silver, two-inch needles give the tree a softer look.  This specimen has branches that swoop or weep towards the ground.

Incense Cedar


Native to western North America, with the bulk of the range in the United States ranging from central western Oregon through most of California.  Fine-grained wood, aromatic, generally resistant to decay.

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Commercial cherries come from a limited number of species such as the sweet cherry and the sour cherry.  Cherries introduced to Europe from Greece, and later to the east coast of the U.S.


Crepe Myrtle


Offers brilliant color in late summer through autumn, at a time when many flowering plants have completed blooming.  Flowers are white, pink, purple, etc. and are crepe-papery in texture. Mature trees shed bark.

Italian Cypress


Conifer that grows in tall, dark green columns 40 to 60 feet – less than 3-6 feet wide.  Commonly planted as a privacy barrier and windbreak.  Often used as an accent around large buildings.

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Introduced from Australia in the 1770s.  Most are evergreen; leaves are covered with oil glands.  Uses include, cleaning solvent, cough drops, toothpaste, decongestants, insect repellents, and of course, eucalyptus oil.

Mission Fig


Fig trees bear an abundant crop starting mid-August into fall.  Used in both sweet and savory dishes, fresh, dried or preserved.  The common fig that we eat comes from the female tree.



Distinctive, deeply lobed light green leaves reach.  These fan-shaped leaves invoke ancient Chinese landscapes.  In late fall, the leaves turn a bright golden yellow.  Recently planted at Rancho Yolo on Arbor Day 2019.

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A subtropical citrus tree known for its relatively large, sour to semi-sweet, and somewhat bitter fruit.  The grape part of the name alludes to clusters of fruit on the tree that often appear similar to grape clusters.


Silver Dollar Gum


An evergreen, ornamental tree related to Eucalyptus.  Named for the appearance of its juvenile leaves; round and silvery-white underneath.  Adult leaves are ovate with a pointed tip. Produces gummy resin.

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Chinese Hackberry


The Chinese hackberry is mainly found in the foothills of the northern Sierra Nevada, the northern Central Valley and the South Coast.  Hardy and drought tolerant.  Matures at 40-60 feet.

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The 'Eureka' is the common supermarket lemon.  The ‘Meyer’, a sweet winter citrus is thought to be a cross between a regular lemon and a mandarin orange.  Distinct white flowers.

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Limes are a rich source of vitamin C, sour and are often used to accent the flavors of foods and beverages.  A hybrid citrus fruit, which is typically round, green in color, 2-3 inches in diameter.


Black Locust


Upright tree with straight trunk and narrow crown - grows scraggly with age.  The dark blue-green compound leaves with a contrasting lighter underside give this tree a beautiful appearance in the wind and contribute to its grace.


Southern Magnolia


Attractive, shiny green leaves and fragrant flowers, it has a long history in the southern United States.  Flowers are very large and are commonly white.  On the West Coast, it grows as far north as Seattle.

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Japanese Maple


Deciduous shrub or small tree reaching heights of 6-35 feet.  Many different cultivars of this maple have been selected for their large variety of attractive forms, leaf structures and spectacular colors.

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Silver Maple


Features 3–6 inch leaves with 5 lobes separated by notably deep, narrow sinuses.  A light breeze can produce a striking affect as the silvery undersides are exposed. Inconspicuous flower color and fragrance

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Money Tree


Prosperous life-style where the cost of care is no object.  Rectangular leaves with “green backs”, roots with deep pockets, opulent flowers and affluent branching. A most valuable tree.


White Mulberry


Very common in Rancho Yolo. Provides deep shade with rapid growth.  Multiple branches can shoot out from the top of the main trunk.  Silk moth caterpillars can devour leaves. Root often visible on ground surface.

Holly Oak


Commonly planted in California and Arizona as a street and shade tree.  Plants are well adapted to conditions in the desert southwest US.  Leaves can be holly-like appearance. Inconspicuous flowers.

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Silk Oak


Hardy, slightly susceptible to high winds and drought tolerant.  Can live for up to 100 years.  Native to Australia.  It is a fast-growing tall evergreen. Flowers arranged in one-sided, "toothbrush"-like groups.


Valley Oak


Grows into the largest of North American oaks.  Endemic to CA and found in its hot interior foothill woodlands and valleys.  Mature specimens may reach 600 years and approach 100 feet tall.


European Olive


Two of these trees are located on each side of the Rancho Yolo, South Diameter entrance.  Can reach 2-30 feet tall.  Oval green olives (up to about 1.5 inches) give way to a black color when ripened.




Sweet oranges were brought to Italy, Spain and Portugal from India.  The "Valencia" is one of the most important "commercial" oranges.  The Mother Orange Tree is the oldest living orange tree in Northern California.

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Mexican Fan Palm


Leaves resemble a pleated fan and are quite large, growing up to five feet.  The full frond (leaf and stalk) are large - up to 5 feet long.  Leaf/frond unit tends to remain attached to trunk after they die.

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Queen Palm


Tall, feather palm with leaflets that come off the main stem.  Stem is solitary, gray, smooth with widely spaced leaf scars, often swollen at variable points.  Bright orange seeds that grow in clusters.

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Grows in the warm regions of both the northern and southern hemispheres.  First came from China and the peach symbolizes many virtues in various cultures such as immortality, truth and purity.

Bradford Pear


Grown for its ornamental features.  The showy and abundant white flowers appear in the spring, often before the leaves.  Fallen flowers give a snow-like appearance.  Flowers have an unpleasant odor.



Fruit is sweet when left to ripen, and is similar in taste to an apricot.  When they are less than perfectly ripe, they are terribly bitter.  Ripe fruit ranges from glossy light yellow-orange to dark red-orange


Japanese Black Pine


The most prominent specimen in Rancho Yolo located along median closest to clubhouse.  Drought tolerant, require ample space to grow, life span of more than 150 years.  Attracts birds and squirrels.

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Norfolk Island Pine


Not a true pine but shares a resemblance.  Branches are arranged in whorls, and the trunks are characteristically straight.  The leaves of mature trees are scale-like and densely overlapping.

Scots Pine


Located at the main entrance to the RY Clubhouse.  Upright pyramidal growth habit in youth that becomes irregular with age; especially in North America, it has a contorted stem.  Popular Christmas tree


Stone Pine


One of only a few pines with a canopy that resembles an umbrella in shape.  These are the very large and tall pines in Rancho Yolo.  Often seen dipping towards ground as if trying to lie down.

Chinese Pistache


Desirable ornamental tree with an attractive umbrella-like shape. In the fall it is bright with multiple shades of reds, oranges and yellows.  These vivid trees are the “talk of the neighborhood”.

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Grow as a small shrub, large shrub or small tree.  Clusters of fragrant, scented white flowers.  Small round fruit follows the bloom.  These versatile plants are amenable to being sheared, clipped and shaped.


London Plane (Sycamore)


Common in Rancho Yolo. A hybrid between the native sycamore and the non-native Asian planetree. Large tree with pretty, peeling bark. Distinct seed balls that break apart into hundreds of tiny seeds.

Purple Leaf Plum


Planted for both its visual interest and profusion of spring flowers.  With deep-purple leaves, it is one of the first trees to flower in the spring.  Blossoms appearing even before the leaves are fully formed.



Planted for both its visual interest and profusion of spring flowers.  With deep-purple leaves, it is one of the first trees to flower in the spring.  Blossoms appearing even before the leaves are fully formed.


Lombardy Poplar


Lombardy poplar loses leaves in fall.  Forms a slender column of many short, upward-pointing branches that grow parallel to the trunk.  They can reach 40 to 60 feet in height with a spread of only 10 to 12 feet.




Takes the form of a small/large bush or small tree.  Eight-inch long clusters of fragrant white flowers attract butterflies.  Known for its large clusters of small blue-black fruits.  Common in Rancho Yolo.

Western Redbud


Small tree or shrub.  Found across the American Southwest, from CA to UT and AZ.  Masses of brilliant rose-purple blossoms in early spring are followed by conspicuous long seed pods that age to purple-brown.


Coastal Redwood


Found from southern Oregon to central California and as far inland as the coastal climate has its influence.  Among the oldest living organisms in the world.  Redwood cones are only about an inch long.

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Silk Tree (Mimosa)


The Silk tree is most recognizable by its fan-like cluster of white or pink flowers with a white base. Each cluster has many thin , single flowers.  Leaves present as fan-like structures.  Double compound leaves.


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Strawberry Tree


Striking reddish bark, evergreen leaves, pendulous clusters of whitish-pink blossoms and its fruits that resemble round strawberries.  Reaches 40 feet, but a slow grower.  Bark exfoliates in late summer.

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African Sumac


African sumac is usually a single-stemmed, low branching tree with a dense, soft, round canopy.  Starts blooming in late-winter and produces many tiny flowers.  Bunches of small yellow-green flattish fruits.

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American Sweetgum


Recognizable by the combination of its five-pointed star-shaped leaves and its hard, spiked fruits.  Leaves generally turn brilliant orange, red, and purple colors in the autumn.  Can be 50-70 feet in cultivation.

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Perennial shrub, native throughout the western part of California and the Sierra foothills. In early summer it produces small white flowers in dense bunches. The fruit is small, bright red and berry-like.

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Xylosma (Brush Holly)


The leaves are shiny, yellowish green and oval with pointed tips.  New leaves are bronze colored maturing to green.  Flowers are inconspicuous.  Can be found as a shrub or small tree.