North Texas has a range of climate and soil types. Trees native to this region of plains and forest must be able to endure freezing temperatures, air that varies from dry to humid and subtropical and soil that can be acidic and sandy or neutral. Three trees common to this part of Texas include pecan trees, the-fruit producing persimmon and black walnut, which is decorative even in winter.
Pecan trees are the state tree of Texas and native to 150 counties throughout the state, according Texas A&M University Extension. Pecans do double duty, serving as attractive components of a yard and producing a crop of useful nuts. The varietal options are almost endless because each seedling is a distinct variety, unlike either parent.
Trees grown from seed--versus grafted trees--require less maintenance, but pecans generally need good drainage, deep soil, zinc supplements and owners who are aware of the pests that trouble the trees. Seedling trees also have the advantage of growing quickly and having a better appearance than grafts or improved trees. They may take longer to yield a nut crop and the crop may vary.
If you plan to plant pecans for their nuts, remember that they require a companion with which to cross-pollinate. Caddo is an early pollen-producing option. Shoshoni and Mohawk release their pollen late in the season. Shoshoni bears crops and ripens early, while Mohawk can beat frost.
Persimmon trees are native to nearly all parts of Texas. Texas persimmon is a good choice for a decorative tree, as its bark peels to reveal layers in delicate shades of white, pink and gray. Because of the preference for the larger fruits of the Japanese persimmon, these are the more commonly chosen persimmon to plant.
The fruits of the tree attract birds and act as forage for wildlife. Persimmon trees have a wide spread but a height suitable for city landscaping. The trees have little trouble with pests or disease, don’t need pruning and don’t create much litter.
Black walnut is generally native to Texas, but some species are far better acclimated than others. According to the Texas A&M University Extension, it is the acid and neutral pH soils of North Texas that make the land a good place for carpathian walnuts. The Texas black walnut, also known as Juglans microcarpa, serves as root stock for some carpathian varieties in other regions of Texas.
Pests can be a problem for walnut trees, but they generally require little to no pruning. The blight that affects these walnuts is less a problem in locations distant from the coast or regions of high humidity. Homeowners should be aware that the tree roots release juglone, a chemical that inhibits the growth of competing plants. This chemical is also present in other portions of the tree but in a lower concentration.