What kind of tree is this?

We have three of these trees that we are planning on removing. Due to their placement away from the sun. They have actually bent themselves (45 degrees) to a position to catch the sun, rendering them out of place and visually unappealing in terms of landscaping.

We hate removing/cutting trees down, but after a lengthy discussion, we agree it's time to replace them after 30 years.

The issue now is, WHAT to replace them with. The spot these trees are in, is a spot rarely seen by the sun due to the position of our home. Leaving the spots empty is also undesirable.

Any recommendations would be welcomed.

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  • Are you thinking of planting another evergreen, or are you open to a deciduous tree? What are the maximum width and height you'd consider for the new trees? Do you want something that has showy blooms, like a redbud, or are you looking for a tree that's just a basic green year-round? Also - where are you in the world?
    – Jurp
    Nov 30, 2019 at 21:53
  • I see you're in California - North or South? Mountain or Coast?
    – Jurp
    Nov 30, 2019 at 21:58
  • Mountain/Southern. I'm open to anything that may not require much sun. But not an evergreen, they are pretty ugly and attract a lot of spiderwebs. These are directly next to the front door. Dec 1, 2019 at 5:52
  • How windy is it in that area? The usual reason for plants bending at such an angle is persistent wind from the same direction most of the time.
    – Bamboo
    Dec 1, 2019 at 18:52
  • not windy at all. The reason these trees are bent is because they are trying to catch the sun. When we bought the place, the trees were straight. Regardless, they are getting removed. Dec 1, 2019 at 22:19

1 Answer 1


Your tree/shrub clearly has tightly clustered scale like leaves, which is typical of Cupressus species, but there are many of these and which one is hard to say.

Most of the recommended species for shade are low-growing such as perennials which presumably would not be suitable for your location. Shaded areas are often used to hide such necessary features as oil or propane tanks; this is good use of that space since the lack of light, while necessary and essential for trees, de-emphasises the static parts of the landscape.

Very few taller species can grow in full shade. One that you might consider could be Rhododendron, but this requires very specific acidic soil conditions so get some advice on that suitability from your local garden centre.

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