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Cascara (Rhamnus purshiana)


Cascara foliage turns yellow to orange-red in fall.

Description:
This small native tree boasts small flowers and purple fruit that feed many native birds. While it's frequently overlooked, it's a highly adaptable tree that will work well under power lines or in a smaller yard. Its foliage turns brilliant yellow in autumn.

Power Line Approved: Yes

Min. street tree planting width: 5 feet

Photo credit: USFWS

Mature Height: 25 feet

Mature Spread: 20 feet

Tree Shape: Upright oval

Where to Plant:
A perfect tree for smaller planting strips under power lines. Can also be used for small yard spaces.

Leaves:
Dark green oval shaped leaves turning yellow to orange-red in the fall.

Flowers:
Small and insignificant greenish-white flowers favored by butterflies.

Fruit:
Small purple-black beads that attract many native birds.

Preferred Site Conditions:
Works in a wide variety of conditions from wet to dry, sun to shade. Cascara will grow best in a partly sunny location with well-drained soils.

Potential Problems:
Very few pest and disease problems, however aphids can be a nuisance.

Cascara berries attract many native birds.

Minimum Planting Distances:

  • 15 feet from house or building
  • 3 ½ feet back from the face of the curb
  • 5 feet from underground utility lines
  • 10 feet from power poles
  • 7 ½ feet from driveways (10 feet recommended)
  • 20 feet from street lights and other existing trees
  • 30 feet from street intersections

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