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Dallas Morning News - November 12, 2018

Time to Plant the Best Trees

Lacey oak

Yep – it’s the best time of the year to plant trees. Let’s cover this topic from a different viewpoint by reviewing the trees I have planted at my home and office property. You may be surprised of some of these, but they are all excellent.

Mexican buckeye

Shade Trees I Planted
  • Mexican white oak – this is a great evergreen tree that has few if any negatives. It is relatively fast growing and has distinctive, dark green leathery leaves.
  • Bigtooth maple – by far the best maple choice for north Texas. Crisp growth, no serious pest problems or cosmetics issues, long-lived and beautiful although varying fall color.
  • Caddo maple – good tree but weaker in all categories than Bigtooth.
  • Lacey oak – one of the very best trees for residential property. Smaller size than other oaks, few if any problems and nice spring and fall color.
  • Texas ash – terrific native that has gorgeous fall color and none of the typical problems of other ash trees.
  • Mexican sycamore – extremely fast growing shade tree that is much better than our American sycamore. Hate to have to say that - but it’s true.
  • Ginkgo – if you have decent soil, not solid rock, this is a fantastic tree with spectacular fall color.
  • Texas red oak – great shade tree with (usually) dramatic red fall color. But, this tree is close to being over-used
  • Thornless catclaw acacia – best of the acacias because of no thorns. Delicate, lacy foliage and creamy white spring flowers.

Mexican plum

Mexican white oak

Ornamental (Smaller) trees I planted
  • Mexican plum – great native ornamental tree with fragrant spring flowers and very nice orange fall color. Has thorns.
  • Mexican buckeye – bushy small tree with purple spring flowers, bright yellow fall color and decorative seedpods holding the marble-sized buckeyes.
  • Eve’s necklace – graceful small to medium-sized tree with lacy foliage, pink spring flowers, black seedpod strings and yellow fall color.
  • Persian ironwood – distinctive foliage, yellow or red fall color, impressive fall color and unusual red flowers in winter.
  • Japanese maple (Several species, varieties and cultivars) – beautiful trunk and bark, colorful buds and new growth, ranging and bright fall colors and distinctive branching in the winter.  

Persian Ironwood

Mexican sycamore

Existing Shade Trees on Property I Saved
  • Live oak – great tree but close to being overused.
  • American elm – largest tree on my property.
  • Eastern red cedar – excellent evergreen especially for screening purposes. Females are best due edible berries and no pollen.
  • Cedar elm – excellent small-leafed, native elm with so-so fall color.
  • Chinese pistachio – beautifully fall color and nice texture all growing season, but now is on the invasive species list because birds are spreading it far and wide.

Texas ash

I hope my list helps you with the tree shopping. Choose wisely, set your trees high and don’t overwater.  

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