Should also be kept widely spaced from one another and regularly maintained by thinning and pruning out ALL dead branches and twigs. When well maintained, most manzanita species are relatively fire resistant. Without proper maintenance, manzanita can contribute significantly to wildfires - based on this, it should be avoided in the defensible space zone of houses in Marin's WUI.
Acer (maple) species recommended for Marin:
Vine Maple does well in cooler climates, or in shaded locations which are relatively moist. It tolerates a wide variety of soils but prefers a fairly fertile, moist soil which is rich in humus. It is quite hardy but suffers in hot, dry conditions. A smaller alternative to Japanese Maple, as a patio or lawn specimen, but not as a shade tree per se. It usually develops multi-trunks, and makes a very attractive specimen with a low, broad, foliage canopy with an interesting habit. Good stream-side tree.
Native to California.
Japanese Maple is a commonly used accent tree in lawns or moderately moist settings, beneath an overstory of taller shade trees, and as a residential patio tree. It prefers a moist, well-drained loam with plenty of added humus. It is resistant to oak root fungus and green- leaf varieties can tolerate more sun. There are a multitude of hybrids, including variegated, laceleaf, miniature and purple-leaved varieties. Varieties 'Atropurpureum' and 'Bloodgood' may eventually require regularly scheduled light top-trimming (but not necessarily shearing) of vigorous top shoots to maintain heights below 25'.
Native to Japan and Korea.
Utility friendly tree.
Branches don't droop and resist breakage.