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 Post subject: Tree Selection Help!
PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2015 2:46 pm 
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I'm not originally from Texas so I'm still learning what grows here and how. I live about 30 miles from Galveston so I'm in Zone 9a. I have a small front yard that is in need of a decent shade tree as it faces the west. I don't want something that has invasive roots; the neighborhood has several gorgeous mature live oaks but the sidewalks are a mess. I'd also like something that doesn't have multiple leaf or seed drops.
I'm from the north and desperately miss the fall colors (which I may have to give up on) but any tree that won't destroy my driveway and sidewalk takes precedence. Will a Texas Ash survive this far south?
Any recommendations? I would really appreciate it!


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 Post subject: Re: Tree Selection Help!
PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2015 3:51 pm 
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Location: Fort Worth,TEXAS
It looks like Texas Ash has the seal of approval as far as Howard is concerned - the linked information should help you decide. Your drainage in the yard is very important, and be sure not to plant it too deep in the ground. It does have the small semaras (seeds) that are plentiful in the fall.

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I'm from the north as well, and miss the evergreens of the Pacific Northwest so have planted a few evergreens in the yard to get me through the winters down here. I chose Italian stone pine because they are well adapted to the Texas climate. They have cones, eventually, but I think they need to be about 40 years old before they produce cones (they are the source of pine nuts that are $15 a pound in the grocery store).

They are one of the recommended trees, and are easy to find because they're sold as live xmas trees by places like Home Depot every year. If you plant it correctly (not too deep, good drainage) they grow quickly after a couple of years of getting the roots established. You have the usual buildup of pine needles (one reason I wanted pines - less lawn!).

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For color, I like sweet gum, but they do have the issue of those hard balls they drop every year. Some people don't like those (I don't mind them), but the colors are glorious. If you're picking any tree for color, you should go to the nursery when they start changing color so you can see what your particular tree looks like at that stage. Soon, in other words!

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You should check with a local reputable nursery (not a big box store) when you choose a tree, and ask about your type of soil when making the selection.

Finally, here is a list of the worst trees to plant in Texas - trees to steer clear of.

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