Winter temperatures in some areas of Texas can get as low as minus 10 degrees. In other areas, the temperatures do not go lower than 25 degrees, and there are areas where the winter temperatures fall in between. Texas has trees that grow well in all the temperature zones and trees that are recommended for just certain areas. Texas gardeners can grow a mix of trees and come up with a very pleasing effect.
Texas Red Oak
Texas red oak (Quercus texana Buckl) is also known as Texas oak, Spanish oak and rock oak. The tree grows from 15 to 50 feet tall and produces leaves that grow to about 5 ½ inches long that turn scarlet and orange in the fall, yellow flowers that bloom in March and April, and egg-shaped acorns that grow to 3/4 inch long. It likes partial shade and wet, clay soils. Deer, scrub jays, turkeys and squirrels will come for the acorns, and birds and butterflies will come for the flowers. Texas red oak is recommended for east, south, west and central Texas.
Pecan (Carya illinoinensis) grows up to 180 feet tall with a trunk diameter up to 7 feet. The tree produces leaves that grow from 12 to 20 inches and male and female flowers on the same tree. The nut in enclosed in a thick, green husk and appears when the flowers are done. The tree is slow to mature, taking up to 15 or 20 years to produce fruit. The tree needs full sun and moist soil. Pecan is recommended for all of Texas.
Austrian pine (Pinus nigra) is an evergreen tree that grows from 50 to 70 feet tall and 20 to 40 feet wide. It produces dark green needles that grow from 4 to 6 inches long and last on the tree for three to four years. The Austrian pine has yellow male flowers that grow in clusters and yellow-green female flowers. Its yellow-brown cones grow from 2 to 3 inches long, and 2 inches wide, and stay on the tree for two years. The tree needs full sun and can take most types of soil. Austrian pine is recommended for north Texas.
Japanese persimmon (Diospyros khaki) is also known as Oriental persimmon and kaki persimmon. It is a slow-growing tree that grows up to 30 feet tall. The tree produces bronze leaves that grow from 4 to 6 inches long and turn to gold or orange-red in the fall. The persimmon's small flowers give way to orange fruits about the size of a baseball. The tree prefers full sun and a well drained soil and is recommended for all of Texas.