Trees are one of the most important elements of a landscape plan and can add substantial value to a home or property. Not only do trees add beauty and structure to a landscape, they can also balance and compliment the architecture of a home. Homes with healthy, mature trees, appraise at a higher dollar value than homes without trees. Trees also function as a windbreak and can help reduce environmental noise in urban areas. In addition, carefully placed trees can lower the ambient air temperature by as much as 8º F. This translates to lower home utility bills during the hot summer months. Trees also provide habitats for birds and wildlife. Interest in re-establishing these habitats has evolved from the clear-cutting of wooded areas for real estate development. Planting new trees is at the top of the list.
Planning is essential for the health, success and longevity of trees. The upper Texas Gulf Coast is home to more than 100 native and adapted trees. Native and adapted species are better able to tolerate the extreme heat, soil drenching rains and periodic droughts that are common to the Upper Texas Gulf Coast. Within this geographic region, there is a broad range of soil and climatic conditions. It is important to know these conditions when selecting a tree.
Planting a Tree
- All trees and shrubs need more frequent watering from planting time until becoming well rooted, which may take two growing seasons. Once established, plants can then be weaned to tolerate less frequent watering.
- Water established trees, shrubs, and groundcovers infrequently, but thoroughly. In the absence of rain, most trees and shrubs benefit from a once-a-month thorough watering during the growing season.
- The feeding root system of a tree or shrub is located within the top 12 inches of the soil and at the “dripline” of the plant. The dripline is the area directly below the outermost reaches of the branches. Apply water and fertilizer just inside and a little beyond the dripline, not at the trunk. Saturate the area to a depth of 8 to 10 inches. For large trees, this may take several hours.
Chinese Tallow: Highly invasive, difficult to control, damaging to environment
Arizona Ash: Trashy, damages structures, susceptible to borers
Cottonwood: Fast growing but can damage structures