Live Oak Tree in Sunny Backyard

The 10 Best Trees That Grow in Texas

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There are lots of benefits to consider if you decide to include trees on your property. The most important aspect is probably the improvement in terms of curb appeal. Trees contribute to the style of your yard and can form a beautiful pairing with your home while adding some much-needed shade. If you choose the right types of trees according to the climate conditions of your region, you will be able to enjoy the organic appeal of a tree with minimal maintenance work.

Lots of trees show proper adaptations for the warm climate of Texas. Considering the extreme heat and extended periods of drought that may affect this state, it’s recommended to pick a tree species that’s capable of thriving in such conditions. A shade tree that grows fast might be an excellent choice to counteract the harsh Texas sun and maintain a cooler yard. Whether you prefer a tree for its aesthetics, shade, fruit production, or some other quality, it’s highly recommended to focus on a suitable species that grows well in Texas.

Check out our selection of the best trees that you can grow in the state of Texas.

1. Cedar Elm

Cedar Elm Tree

Extremely popular in Texas, cedar elm trees are known for their great tolerance to different soil conditions. This tree species is found throughout all of Texas, but it’s more commonly found in the east and south regions of the state. As opposed to other elm trees, the cedar type boasts superior drought resistance thanks to the leaves with thicker cuticles.

Cedar elms are capable of withstanding the intense heat in Texas and can reach a lifespan of more than 100 years. In terms of height, the mature trees grow up to 80-90 feet in ideal conditions. If they’re faced with a lot of urban pollution and poor soil drainage, they might struggle to reach over 50-60 feet. The cedar elm tree is recommended for a Texas yard because it’s very low maintenance. Keep in mind that it has drooping branches that may accidentally fall.

2. Black Cherry

Black Cherry Tree

If you’re searching for a beautiful tree that’s easy to grow in Texas, the black cherry could fit the bill. It’s native to eastern North America and can attract lots of birds and beneficial insects. Although black cherry trees are renowned for their high-quality wood, they’re also recommended as low-maintenance trees to beautify the yard.

Considering that black cherries rarely reach more than 50 feet, they could be suitable for many different property sizes. Thanks to its gorgeous flowers with a delicate fragrance, this tree can put up a great show when in bloom. It’s also attractive during the fall when its leaves change to a stylish golden color. Although the black cherry prefers limestone soil with good drainage, it has no problems growing well even under less-than-ideal conditions.

3. Live Oak

Live Oak Tree

With an impressive canopy and a very sturdy wood, the live oak is an excellent choice for Texas homeowners. This tree has a strong presence when it comes to the landscape of the region. It’s considered one of the most popular native trees in Texas. While the live oak doesn’t usually reach taller heights than 40 feet, it tends to show off a greater width that can sometimes go over 70 feet.

If you’re worried about drought tolerance, the escarpment live oak is the best live oak subspecies to choose from. It’s also a smaller tree that works better for a home landscape. Assuming you take good care of them, live oaks have a fairly long lifespan, with many specimens that can live for hundreds of years.

4. Texas Ash

Texas Ash Tree

Although it’s not a particularly large tree, the Texas ash is a great option for homeowners who prefer a densely branched canopy. As the name suggests, the tree is a native of Texas and isn’t found anywhere else, except for a small extension into Oklahoma. Compared to other ash trees, this species seems to perform better in very warm and dry climates.

The Texas ash doesn’t have a long lifespan because it rarely lives for more than 20 years. However, it could be an attractive addition to your yard, especially when you take into account the stunning fall foliage. If you wish to make it thrive on your property, consider planting the Texas ash in a deep soil and providing a decent supply of fertilizer.

5. Pecan

Pecan Tree

A highly versatile tree, the pecan is worth considering for any Texas yard. It’s the state tree known for its delicious nuts and durable wood that offers some uses in the furniture industry. Pecan trees take a long time to produce nuts, but you shouldn’t let that discourage you. If you’re patient enough, this tree will reward you with a bountiful crop of nuts and deep shade to alleviate the impact of southern summers.

Although the pecan tree is highly regarded in the state of Texas, it’s not always practical to grow. You may not have enough space to grow this tree because mature specimens tend to reach 130 feet with a spreading canopy. Multiple trees are also required to achieve pollination. The pecan tree develops a long taproot and a massive trunk. Keep it in full sun and well-drained soils if you wish to grow it.

6. Eastern Red Cedar

Eastern Red Cedar Tree

Anyone interested in a great evergreen tree to grow in Texas should consider the eastern red cedar. This type of conifer promises exceptional resilience when it comes to facing high temperatures and drought. The eastern red cedar can be very attractive to wildlife thanks to the production of cone-shaped berries. Birds, in particular, will visit your yard more often if you plant this tree.

In terms of aesthetics, this tree is prized mainly for its evergreen foliage and fairly dense pyramid shape. Mature eastern red cedars can reach a maximum height of 50 feet. They grow pretty fast while also providing a lot of shade for your Texas home. The tree thrives when fully exposed to sunlight while it lacks any fussy soil requirements.

7. Magnolia

Magnolia Tree

If you like the idea of having a flowering tree in your Texas yard, there’s hardly a better option than a magnolia tree. It will decorate your property with its white flowers while also spreading a lovely fragrance around it. The glossy foliage also contributes to the characteristic visual appeal of a magnolia tree. Compared to other flowering trees, the blossoms of magnolia are quite persistent.

Growing a magnolia tree in Texas is a breeze considering how you mainly need to provide it with full sunlight exposure and good soil drainage. That being said, you’ll have better chances to grow this tree successfully in the more Eastern parts of Texas. Thanks to being able to reach heights of 70-80 feet, magnolia trees are impressive additions to any property.

8. Bald Cypress

Bald Cypress Tree

This tree is a native of Texas and offers a pyramidal shape and aesthetically-pleasing leaves. Bald cypress trees are reasonably sturdy when it comes to facing the dry conditions of the state despite being able to thrive in wetter environments. It’s a common sight in the swamps of the southern areas of the US. Surprisingly, the tree can also be planted successfully on dry Texas hills.

If you’re looking for an attractive shade tree, the bald cypress will easily meet your needs. It features a spreading canopy that can protect your home from the harsh summer sun. Mature specimens grow up to a maximum height of 70 feet. Keep it in full sun and acidic well-drained soil to ensure it thrives as expected. The triangular seeds produced by the bald cypress can be appealing to wildlife.

9. Yaupon

Yaupon Tree

Yaupon holly trees are ideal for smaller yards in Texas. They rarely grow over 25 feet while being able to tolerate a large variety of conditions, particularly poor soil drainage. However, the yaupon tree has to be pruned regularly if you wish to maintain its attractive look. This type of holly produces some tasty red berries for wild animals.

If you don’t need a tall tree, the yaupon might be a better solution than others. It can be shaped very effectively through trimming. Instead of a shrub or small tree form, you can also make the yaupon become a natural hedge. In terms of visual appeal, the yaupon holly won’t disappoint. Mature trees feature a picturesque look with lots of bright red berries contrasting with its dark green foliage.

10. Shumard Oak

Shumard Oak Tree

The Shumard oak is a hardy tree that offers stunning fall foliage and attractive bark showing off a smooth and thick texture. This type of oak tree isn’t particularly fussy when it comes to its growth requirements. Make sure you provide it with deep soil to extend its roots properly and take advantage of its natural drought resistance.

Shumard oaks are relatively fast growers and can reach up to 90 feet in height. Although it appears to have a compact shape when young, the tree starts to spread its branches more openly as it reaches maturity. This adaptable tree could be a welcomed addition to your Texas property. However, it’s worth mentioning that it’s vulnerable to the deadly oak wilt disease.


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