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Texas Guide to Growing Trees

The Lone Star State is home to some of the most beautiful trees in the country. Whether you’re looking for a stately oak or a vibrant Texas Bluebonnet, there are many different options available. In this guide, we will explore different tree types and their properties to help you find the perfect tree for your yard!

Trees in Texas

The Best Flowering Trees to Grow in Texas

Tulip Poplar

You’re in luck if you want to grow a Tulip Poplar tree. Imagine leaving for work one morning during spring and noticing your tree is already covered in blooms. With a Tulip Poplar, you can anticipate both the dazzling production and rapid growth with summer fast approaching. For the most impressive shade tree in your neighborhood, your Tulip Poplar may be worth a look.

In springtime, this powerful flowering tree’s blooms will light up your lawn and in summer, when other trees start to lose their foliage and enter dormancy, this sturdy white-barked evergreen is just right for providing dense relief. With their tulip-shaped leaves, these evergreens are known for not only being long-lasting but also easy on the eyes and tough enough to withstand varying soil conditions and climates.

Planting & Care

To successfully grow a tree, you need to give it plenty of space for roots and sunlight. When planting the tree make twice as much soil available and plant your tree so that all the feet should be in contact with the earth. To preserve moisture we recommend watering anew after settling, then lay down mulch around the base to prevent evaporation.

Young Poplars should be watered during long, dry stretches. In the summer months you should water about once or twice per week; in the cooler months, water once or twice bi-weekly.

Drooping branches in young trees can indicate that the tree is either receiving too much or not enough water. Add slow-release fertilizer tablets to help nourish the young tree and prevent something called root rot which occurs when soil becomes saturated with moisture (adding fertilizer also helps prevent this). Fertilize twice a month when the tree is coming out of dormancy, then once a month during its active growth period. Stop fertilizing before the days become shorter again or these nutrients will stimulate new growth at an awkward time of year. To remove any branches that grow outside of the designated planting area, cut right next to the branch collar. To encourage the growth of branches, branch collars should be at ground level and competing leaders should be removed.

Bird of Paradise

The bird of paradise (Crane Flower) is a plant found in tropical climates such as California with blooms resembling the shape of a crane, hence its name. Bird of Paradise plants have canes and large, thick leaves that are much the same as banana leaves. Flowers sit among these green leaves and look as if cranes are perched in the foliage. The flowers sit on top of green canes with horizontal blue-grey bracts that sit horizontally. At the end of these bracts, orange petals shoot straight up, looking like a bird’s feather crown.

The Bird of Paradise is an excellent first tropical plant because it is not picky. It grows indoors or out, and easily in containers.

Planting & Care

Bird of paradise trees prefer soil with good drainage in full sunlight, and they like to stay near a sunny window during the cold months. Watering them should be a rare event because these plants do not need much water. You need not worry about the food supply. The bird of paradise will not require much fertilizer because it is a light feeder. If you grow Bird of Paradise outside, they should only be trimmed when their leaves start to become bothersome. These trees are self-sustaining and can cause the roots to damage buildings’ foundations.

The Best Shade Trees in Texas

American Red Maple Tree

The American Red Maple Tree is famous for its bright attractive color. Its vibrant red color and rich fall leaves can’t be missed. It produces showstopping autumn foliage in shades of red, orange, and gold under the right conditions.

The American Red Maple is one of the predominant trees in many eastern U.S. environments because it thrives in so many different soil types and climates. It can grow on sandy loam, clay, or heavy clay; has drought-resistant bark despite being able to adapt to a wet boggy environment; and tolerates pollution from an urban environment well enough to grow alongside other plants.

Planting & Care

American Red Buckeye can grow even in soggy soil, but well-drained soil is preferable. When planting a new tree, find a spot that has at least 4 to 8 hours of full or partial sun exposure. Dig a hole 2-3 times the width of your tree’s root ball and equal depth; plant the tree so its top is even with the ground. Fill in some dirt around the roots, water it well, then cover up all but about an inch of dirt over the hole and water again. To protect the tree’s roots and keep competing for plants away, add mulch around the area.

Some tree species require more frequent watering than others. You should water your new maple every week while it’s still small, and keep on top of watering during the summer months as well to ensure it doesn’t suffer from either under-or over-watering. Use slow-release fertilizer tablets in your new American Red Maple during the first season of growth. Make sure they are 10-10-10 rated and use them once a month during the summer months.

The best time to prune a maple is in late summer when leaves have matured. This reduces the amount of damaging sap before cutting new branches and minimizes your need for clean-up after you’re done with the task. Cleaning up before cutting will make it easier to choose which branches to cut first since these larger limbs tend to sprout fresh green needles during winter as they are dormant.

Weeping Willow

The Weeping Willow is a tree well-loved for its dramatic appearance and style. It’s perfect for adding character to property value and offers visitors shade from the sun during hot days.

Weeping willows grow quickly, in just a year they can reach a height of 10 feet. Although the weeping canopy may not be their most distinguishing feature at first glance, after just one year these trees form strong branches that arch outward and droop to the ground with smaller leaves.

Planting & Care

Plant weeping willow trees in full sun to partial shade (large open areas with between 4-8 hours of sunlight daily). Most weeping willows can thrive in well-drained soil but are not usually near septic systems. When you’re planting, dig a hole 3 times as wide and deep as the root ball on your tree. Carefully place the young tree into the hole and fill it back up with dirt. Water thoroughly until the earth around it is moist again before moving onto the next step. Covering the soil around your tree with a mulch that’s three inches thick will help it retain moisture and keep weeds from growing.

When you are watering it for the first year, water your Weeping Willow approximately once or twice a week. After that, only give it water if there is little rainfall and no wetter conditions than what’s not good for most plants. The thing about weeping willows is they can adapt to anything!

For the best results, make sure your fertilizer of choice has equal parts of each chemical component. The most common ratios are 10-10-10 or 20-20-20 for optimum results, but any similar product will do. Fertilizing in early spring accelerates growth and produces greener plants with longer lives.

Pruning the tree’s crown helps increase airflow, which prevents disease. This can be accomplished by cutting away 2 inches of branch mass at the top of the trunk during early spring before new growth emerges. It is also important to trim any branches that are dragging on the ground. Similarly, pinch or cut back any branches from the trunk as they grow so it will maintain a classic weeping shape. Damaged branches, dead limbs, and diseased wood should be trimmed during any season of the year.

The Best Fruit Trees in Texas

Bosc Pear

If you are looking for a pear tree that will provide fruit long after the other varieties have gone to sleep, then Bosc Pear is your best choice. The fruit of this luscious tree is ready for harvest after the autumn equinox, giving it the nickname ‘winter pear’. It has a long-lasting harvest time and can produce up to 100 years.

The Bosc Pear stands out for many reasons. It has a long, slender neck and relatively large fruit, a shape that sets it apart from other pear varieties because they’re more oblong. The Bosc Pear’s skin is covered with golden brown russet overlaying a subtle cinnamon color.

Your Bosc Pear blooms in mid-April with lovely white blossoms and a delicate fragrance. The fruit can often be harvested in late September. The Bosc Pear ‘sweetens’ early, which means that you can enjoy it right off the tree. Bosc pears offer a different flavor profile that is slightly acidic with a light spice. The white flesh is firm but juicy, crunchy, and yet tender; perfect for eating fresh or maybe even cooking up an omelet in the morning with some bacon too! 

Planting & Care

Grow your pear tree in full sunlight and well-drained soil. Give it a bright, sheltered location with southern exposure. Plant the tree by spreading the roots in a hole that is three times as wide and deep as the root ball. Be careful not to make it too shallow so that the trunk doesn’t bend severely. Gently loosen any roots, if necessary, then fill up with dirt around and over them. Water well after planting is complete.

When planting in a pot, find a container with adequate drainage holes and use at least 2 times the size of the plant’s growing container. Try not to damage the root system when removing it from its original positioning. Fill halfway with soil before placing it into your new one. First, fill the planting hole with potting soil before placing the tree inside. Once in place, water it to settle the soil and make sure it will receive at least 6 hours of direct sunlight every day.

The best way to care for pear trees is to supplement with plenty of water once the weather warms up in the summer. When the weather has cooled down and there’s been a frost, it’s best to simplify watering by just giving it an inch or two per week if necessary rather than taking a break entirely. Potted trees should be watered as soon as they have dried out the top layer of soil by sticking your index finger into it. Provide water until it is running out of the drainage holes and then stop. Pear trees can suffer root rot easily so be cautious about overwatering.

Because pear trees are generally tall and leggy, it’s important to prune them properly for shape. Remove competing branches, cut off dying limbs, and keep the natural shape of the branch by removing any large, out-of-place limbs that are not central enough or don’t produce fruit. Potted pear trees can be trimmed any time during the year. Before you do anything to a tree, it’s always a good idea to sterilize the cutting tool so you don’t introduce any unwanted bacteria into the system.

Pears are vulnerable to infestation by worms such as moths, scales, and aphids. Prevention can be demonstrated through the use of an insecticide in the early spring. The effects of attack may include patches of yellowing or brown leaves, rotted fruit, and nibbled leaves. Insecticides should be treated according to the label’s directions; if not, then sprays should be sprayed outside for a distance of 30 feet around any pear tree that is being attacked.

To harvest pears at the end of September, (watch for two to three weeks) fruit needs to harden. Fruits should reach full color and size and be firm when checking the tree daily. Picking fruit every two to three days will improve your harvest up until its end. Bartlett and D’Anjou pears are a perfect pollinator tree for your Bosc Pear.

Thornless Blackberry

The Thornless Blackberry plant is great for those who like picking berries but hate the nuisance of thorns. Thornless Blackberry Bushes produce large numbers of sweet, delicious berries that are excellent for eating off the bush or cooking into jams and jellies. Not only are they delicious and healthful, but these plants also boast a lack of plagues that typical blackberries face. 

Blackberries are easy to grow in Arizona. Blackberry bushes are susceptible to few insect pests, which means you can grow these fruits without pesticides. Blackberries also have the potential to grow in a variety of conditions, making them one of the easiest berries to cultivate!

Planting & Care

Plant your Thornless Blackberry Bush in an area that receives at least 6 hours of sunlight a day. Container-grown plants can survive with less sun, but you should plant the hedge portions of the bush at 3 feet apart for optimal coverage. Thornless Blackberries can tolerate a range of soil types, but they prefer acidic soils or ones with plentiful sand if the soil is heavier in clay.

The Thornless Blackberry can be fertilized with fertilizer containing formula 10-10-10 in early Spring to ensure they bore white blooms every year. They are ready for harvesting when their skin turns light purple, and then dark purple or black.

When is The Best Time to Plant Trees in Texas

The best season to plant trees in Texas is during the spring months, which include April and May.

Can You Plant All Season Long?

Planting all season long is possible if you live on an irrigated farm or own land with access to water. This makes keeping trees well-watered much easier than relying on rainfall alone (which isn’t uncommon in Texas). You’ll need a drip irrigation system for watering your new seedlings after they are planted until roots develop deeply enough into the ground from which they won’t get thirsty again so quickly when watered by rain showers or hand spraying. 

What are The Best Trees to Plant Each Season in Texas

Springtime

Best trees for spring include Cherry, Dogwood, and Redbud.

Summertime

The best trees for summer are One-Trunked Oak, Pecan Tree, and Live Oak.

Fall time

The best trees to plant in the fall season are Ginkgo Biloba or Japanese Maple Trees.

Wintertime

The best winter trees to grow in Texas are Nordmann Fir Trees or Blue Spruce Trees.

What Trees Have The Least Invasive Roots in Texas

The least invasive trees in Texas are the evergreen trees. The least invasive root systems in Texas are found on bald cypress, black locust, and chinaberry trees.

Evergreens have dense foliage that prevents light from reaching the ground beneath them which discourages weed growth. Evergreens also require little or no irrigation during periods of drought because they retain moisture for a long time between waterings 

Black Locust tree roots do not like soil with pH levels below seven so it’s best to plant these types of trees in acidic soils only. Black locust is one of the most resistant species to pests and diseases; however, their leaves can be toxic if ingested by small children or pets.