It’s winter. The deciduous trees are bare— well, maybe not. Let’s face it. It’s Texas, and we have experienced a very warm start to winter, so there are still quite a few leaves up in the canopies.
But those leaves keep on falling, and there’s lots of time to plan for the spring while you are:
Since leaves are fresh on your mind, why not start planning which new trees you’d like to add to your landscape?
But Which Trees to Choose?
Before you start analyzing and researching, let’s narrow down your choices to trees that are native to North Texas. We recently posted a blog about Low Maintenance Trees To Consider For Your Yard, but we thought we’d widen the scope this time around so that you have more choices. After all, if you are going to be collecting all that leaf fall, it could be fun to have a variety of beautiful shapes and colors of leaves to gather.
Choosing native trees for your yard can:
- Reduce water bills
- Decrease time spent on maintenance
- Lower the risk of a tree losing its limbs due to stress or drought
Here we will cover a variety of trees, including the most common Texas trees, fast-growing shade trees, Texas evergreens, and Texas flowering trees. Here are the most commonly planted trees in North Texas!
Live Oak – Quercus Virginiana
The Live Oak is the most commonly planted native trees in Texas. There’s a possibility that one might already be growing in your front or back yard. Live Oaks are massive.
They can grow as tall as to 35 or 40 feet and span up to 75 feet wide! And under optimal conditions, Live Oaks can live for more than 100 years.
There are some documented cases of these trees surviving up to 500 years. The size and longevity of these giant trees should be considered by homeowners before adding one to your property.
Cedar Elm – Ulmus Crassifolia
These are the second most common tree planted in Texas. The cedar elm, unlike other species of elm, is recognized by its small leaves and thick cuticles. These two traits help these trees survive in hot, dry climates.
Cedar Elms are also large long-living trees, growing as tall as 50-90 feet high and living up to 100 years. Cedar Elms are so prevalent in North Texas because they can tolerate poor drainage, compacted soil, and urban air pollution.
They are low maintenance and are a popular choice for parking lots and other areas where shade is at a premium. The only downsides of this species are drooping branches their susceptibility to Dutch elm and powdery mildew and becoming infected with mistletoe.
Southern Red (Spanish) Oaks – Quercus Falcata and Quercus Buckleyi
Southern red oaks can live well over 100 years and can grow from 70-80 feet high. Unlike the southern reds’ counterparts, the live oak and cedar elm, these two species are typically found on rocky ridges and slopes and in areas where the trees have shaded root zones.
Southern red oaks are unable to retain large amounts of water, so the ideal spot to plant them is where few other plants or trees will grow. In the fall, not only do they have beautiful red and yellow leaves, but they drop acorns which many different types of wildlife enjoy.
Texas Ash – Fraxinus Texensis
Compared to the oaks and elms that we have already listed, the Texas ash is small in stature and has a short life. Texas Ashes only live for about 15-20 years or less and grow to a height of 35- 40 feet.
This tree prefers salty, loamy, well-drained soil. Planting it in deeper soils with irrigation and regular fertilization can extend the trees’ life.
Not only does this species have beautiful yellow, orange, and purple fall foliage, but it can also attract birds and butterflies. Texas Ash is prone to aphid infestations.
We have listed the Texas Ash last on our most common Texas Trees list because it is also one of the fastest-growing trees in Texas, which makes it the perfect transition into our next subject!
Fastest Growing Shade Trees in Texas List
There’s no doubt about why we have included this category. We live in Texas, where shade is at a premium during those long hot summer months.
Shumard Oak – Quercus Shumardii
The Shumard Oak is a hardy pyramid-shaped tree that grows 50-90 feet tall. It has thick, smooth, grayish bark, and its leaves turn brilliant orange to deep red in the fall. Although they prefer deeper soils, these oaks thrive in a variety of soil types, including sandy, clay, limestone-based, or caliche.
They are relatively drought-resistant and can tolerate short-term flooding. Sadly, in certain parts of Texas, the Shimarrd Oak can succumb to oak wilt.
American Sycamore – Plantus Occidentalis
The American Sycamore is a wide-canopied, deciduous tree that can grow to be 75-100 feet tall. It has an open crown and a large trunk.
The diameter of its trunk is larger than any other native hardwood. This species can tolerate moist, sandy loams or silty clays, but if you are looking for optimum growth, plant in moist soils.
American Elm – Ulmus Americana
American Elm, also known as the common elm and soft elm, typically grows from 60-80 feet high. Its vase-shaped trunk divides into several erect limbs.
This highly recognizable tree prefers full sun, well-drained soils, and can tolerate high heat. Sadly, however, this species is susceptible to Dutch elm disease.
Texas Evergreen Trees
Evergreen trees are an essential part of every landscape as they do not drop their leaves like deciduous trees. Evergreen trees lose their leaves gradually, which means that they maintain a consistent canopy year-round.
They are a valuable asset to your property, not just for the consistent color but because they provide year-round protection from the Texas heat.
Japanese Blueberry – Elaeocarpus Decipiens
The Japanese blueberry grows up to 60 feet tall, which provides an abundance of shade. Its dense, thick leaves offer privacy and are continually changing. Japanese Blueberries are not native to Texas but grow well here.
- Hardy trees
- Tolerant of the heat and cold
- Easily shapable into a tree, shrub, or in a columnar form
Upon planting, Japanese Blueberries require some extra maintenance, but after about three years, they only need low to moderate water.
Weeping Fig – Ficus Benjamina
The weeping fig has a dense, rounded canopy with drooping branches and thick, shiny green leaves. Like the Japanese Blueberry, the weeping fig is an excellent option if you want shade and privacy in your outdoor spaces. These trees can grow in a variety of conditions and grow quickly, whether in partial shade or full sun.
They can even grow indoors. Weeping figs require little maintenance; however, they do require cold protection when grown in the North Texas region. You may notice leaf drop when they are first planted, this is normal and will subside.
Yaupon – Ilex Vomitoria
Yaupon holly trees can grow anywhere from 10-25 feet tall and are perfect for residential hedges. They can thrive under a wide variety of conditions but prefer some shade.
They can thrive in poor drainage areas, have a high drought tolerance, and require pruning. Yaupon grows bright red berries which attract a variety of wildlife.
Texas Flowering Trees
Need some extra color? Think about adding some flowering trees to your yard.
Redbud – Cercis Canadensis Var. Texensis
Redbuds can grow up to 20 feet tall. This tree is perfect for North Texas because it can withstand drought and dry temperatures and easily adapts to varying soil conditions. If you love pink and purple blooms, then the Redbud is for you!
Crepe Myrtle – Lagerstroemia
Crepe Myrtles come in a variety of sizes and colors. They generally grow up to 25 feet tall. This sunlight lover blooms in both the summer and fall months. Because of its double flowering cycle and long blooms, it is called the “flowering tree of 100 days.”
Vitex – Vitex
Vitex can grow to be anywhere between 10 and 20 feet tall. It grows quickly in most climates and soil conditions. Vitex is also known as a chaste tree or monk’s pepper. During the summer and fall months, it produces a beautiful canopy of purple flowers.
Magnolia – Magnolia Grandiflora
Magnolias can grow up to 70 feet tall. Famous for their large white flowers, glossy leaves, and fragrant blooms, they are considered a gem of the American South. Magnolias can stay in bloom for up to six months.
Where to Start?
So many trees to choose from!
- Gather information about your landscape, such as light, soil, and moisture.
- Make decisions about aesthetics, shade, and maintenance.
- Research the right trees that will fit your requirements.
Don’t Have Time for All That? We Do!
Our team at Complete Landsculpture loves choosing trees for every type of landscape, we love them all.
- Residential or commercial
- High budget or modest budget
- Large or tiny landscapes
Call for a consultation today— we are ready for the challenge!