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 Post subject: Tree Recomendations
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 8:03 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 7:30 am
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Location: Rowlett, TX
Our house, right before we bought it has a nice large Sugar Maple up front. It had looked like it was budding for spring but after we purchased the house it quickly became apparent the tree was sick and it died. So we had it removed.
Anyways... Now its getting into October/November which is when I hear its best to start planting trees so we are looking to put something else in the front yard to replace it.

I've gotten lots of suggestions for Red/Live Oaks because they are very hearty and last a long time. The problem is that they also grow really slowly. My plan is to live in this house for 5-10 years and then move to a bigger house (possibly 15 years if I'm pushing it). So I feel like I wouldn't get much return on my investment if I bought an Oak.

What other shade trees are good options. Something that strikes a balance between heartiness and growth speed (and also looks good in a front yard.

The yard faces south btw.


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 Post subject: Re: Tree Recomendations
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 12:22 pm 
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Don't you have a fairly large yard? Are you thinking of only one tree, or would you like several small ones? There are lots of ways to go.

Most trees have drawbacks, even the good species for the area. Acorns are a downside for oak owners, the balls are a problem on Sweetgum. If you had a pecan you could eat them. Most deciduous trees have leaves to rake (unless you're like my neighbors, who seem to have trees that send all of their leaves to my yard!)

A tree that I would love to plant if I remove the hackberry in the back of my yard is a lacebark elm. They're fairly fast growing and they're lovely. Metasequoia - dawn redwood - is a lovely deciduous tree, ancient like the ginkgo, and both of those are great trees. If you don't want the smelly fruit from the ginkgo get a male tree.

Evergreen versus deciduous is also a question. Holly can be very good in Texas, and are evergreen. Again, they come in male and female, so if you want berries, be sure to find the female. There are some good pines - I have Italian stone pine in my yard, a much better choice than Elderica (Afghan) pine, that are a true desert tree and usually suffer from too much water in this part of Texas. Before I knew about that problem I had planted several Elderica; I lost one this year when a neighbor's tree fell and pulled it down - it snapped off and was clearly not healthy.

Big tooth maples are native in Texas, and they're a lovely tree. For good fall color both maples and sweetgum are great.

So many good trees to choose from - drive around and see what looks healthiest in your area, and you might see if there is an arboretum nearby to look and compare and ask questions. If you're choosing a tree for fall color, now is the time to do it. Be sure to read the tree planting information to prepare the hole properly, remove the extra dirt, spread out the roots, and don't plant it too deep. My personal preference is to buy the smallest pot of the tree available because it will have had less time to be rootbound, and you'll find that if you plant a tree from a 1 gallon or 5 gallon pot properly it won't take much time at all (a couple of years) before it catches up with that expensive 10 to 50 gallon pot tree you might have been thinking of. Seriously - they do better and grow faster if you plant them small.

Good luck choosing and planting!

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 Post subject: Re: Tree Recomendations
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 12:29 pm 
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Location: Rowlett, TX
Here is the front yard. I liked the way the Sugar Maple looked but its clearly not a fit for our area, the one across the street is also nearly dead. The last couple summers had a serious effect on them.
I guess I'll look around the neighborhood and see whats good, and then try and figure out what type of trees they are.
I'll also look up those ones you mentioned as well.

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 Post subject: Re: Tree Recomendations
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:40 am 
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Location: Rowlett, TX
Thanks so much for the Lacebark Elm Suggestion! We bought one!!!

I have to say that Covington's Nursery in Rowlett is pretty awesome. Very helpful people. The tree was E X P E N S I V E!!! I would have gone with a cheaper Oak but allergy testing reveled that I am VERY allergic to oak and I just wasn't into the Ceder Elm. I fell in love with the lacebark elms they had there.

So, now we've got a 65 gallon (its like 10-12 feet high!) lacebark elm on its way here sometime later this week.

I am having them install the tree because its too huge for me to transport or dig.

Any tips? I know Howard has a whole series on planting trees but since I have to have someone else do it what should I fix? What types of "stuff" should I be pouring on to it (root stimulation? Garret Juice, etc).


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 Post subject: Re: Tree Recomendations
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 8:37 pm 
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I think you'll enjoy it! Be sure you plant it carefully. My next door neighbor killed one we bought for a common area between our houses when he put down weed and feed around the base of it - I don't know what he was thinking.

I heard last week that Howard is giving them mixed reviews - he isn't recommending them but still thinks they are pretty trees, is I think the gist of what I heard.

Here's an example in his root flare article of what a good lacebark elm rootflare should look like.

Image

Here is another site with information about them - color, growth habit, etc. And it says they are good for urban planting. http://www.choateusa.com/ElmLacebark.aspx

I couldn't find any photos online of the trees I've seen at a local hospital parking lot, but here is a lovely tree from Preston Road in Dallas.

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Tree Recomendations
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 7:15 am 
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Location: Rowlett, TX
I did a lot of reading on them before pulling the trigger, they are well suited to the clay soil here, mostly drought tolerant, resistant to dutch elm disease, and really pretty.

I really like that they grow wide and spread out a bit more than the Ceder Elm does, they are also a little bit faster growing as well.

I love the second picture you posted, that right there is exactly why I choose the Lacebark Elm.


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 Post subject: Re: Tree Recomendations
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 7:36 am 
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Yes - they have an elegant appearance, and the bark is really beautiful.

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