Planting Trees in North Texas


Texas A&M University horticulture divides Texas into six growing regions and makes tree variety recommendations based on each area's temperature range, soil and rainfall. Located in Region 4, North Central Texas includes the cities of Dallas, Fort Worth and Denton. Trees add beauty and focal points of interest in your landscape while providing shelter for birds and squirrels. Trees in North Texas also offer shade during the summer, which lowers home cooling costs.

Step 1

Decide on the purpose a tree fulfills in your landscape. Do you want shade, seasonal color, flowers, and year around foliage, or do you need a windbreak or visual divider? Choose tree varieties based on purpose, adaptability to North Texas, growth rate and mature size.

Step 2

Select a site to plant the tree. Most trees need full sun and good drainage. Trees for shade should be on the west side or southwest side of your property. Windbreaks are most useful on the west and northwest side. Your site should be away sewer lines and buried cables. Consider the mature size of the tree and choose a site that is away from power lines.

Step 3

Purchase your tree in early fall or late winter for planting. Tree roots grow when temperatures are above 40 degrees Fahrenheit, and North Texas winters rarely get cold enough to damage tree roots. Your goal is to help the tree establish before summer. If the tree is dormant, scratch the bark to make sure the underneath is green and healthy. If the tree has leaves, make sure they are free of damage and properly shaped.

Step 4

Dig a hole that is twice as wide as and no deeper than the tree in its container. Do not amend the soil in the area where the tree is to be planted.

Step 5

Remove the tree from its container by tapping the container to loosen and then gently pulling the container away from the tree. Center the tree in its hole.

Step 6

Fill the hole half full with the soil that was dug out. Tap down or firm the soil to remove air pockets. Add water until the soil is moist.

Step 7

Fill the remainder of the hole until the soil is the same depth as the tree in its container. Tap down and water.

Step 8

Form a ridge or collar around the tree at the tree line. The ridge should be sufficiently high to hold two gallons of water, usually about 4 inches tall. Fill the area with mulch to retain moisture.

Step 9

Protect the base of the tree with a plastic shield to limit damage from weed whackers or animals. Stake the tree on two or three sides with guide wires to keep it growing upright unless the trunk is thick enough not to need staking. Cover the wire with fabric or old hose where it touches the tree.

Step 10

Prune 30 to 40 percent of the top and side growth to compensate for root loss in transplanting.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not carry the tree by its trunk. Instead, carry the tree's container.

Things You'll Need

  • List of North Texas adapted trees
  • Tree
  • Shovel
  • Water
  • Mulch
  • Pruning shears
  • Stakes
  • Fabric or section of old hose
  • Wire


  • Texas A&M horticulture: Outstanding Trees for Texas
  • Texas Forest Service: Trees of Texas
  • Texas A&M Aggie Horticulture: Planting a Tree
Keywords: planting North Texas, types of trees, how to plant

About this Author

Barbara Brown has been a freelance writer since 2006. She worked 10 years in health care, testing children and training parents before moving into information research. She has been certified as a psychological associate and professional counselor in Texas. She is studying to be a master gardener and has a master's in psychology from Southern Methodist University.