Texas boasts of a wide variety of local trees, all native to the state, each contributing a different element to the landscape. Choose from tall trees to create shade on large properties, small trees that can grow in the shade of the larger ones or flowering ornamental trees to shade a patio and create a true Texas-style space.
Bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa Michx.) is also known as Savannah oak and overcup oak. The tree grows more than 100 feet tall. It produces green leaves that grow up to 9 inches long, yellow, green or brown flowers that bloom in April and large acorns the size of golf balls. The tree grows in full sun, partial shade or full shade and in any type of soil condition. The bur oak is a favorite of songbirds, ground birds, butterflies and mammals.
Prairie crabapple (Malus ioensis) is also known as Iowa crabapple. It grows to 35 feet tall and produces leaves that turn crimson in the fall, white or pink flowers that grow in clusters and bloom in May and June and a small, yellow-green berry that is a favorite food of birds and animals. The tree needs full sun and a moist, well-drained loam soil.
Texas palm (Sabal mexicana) is also known as Texas sabal palm, Mexican palmetto, Rio Grande palmetto, hat palm and Texas palmetto and is native to south Texas. The tree grows to 50 feet tall with a spread of 8 to 25 feet and produces stems that grow up to 15 feet long, 10 to 25 fan-shaped leaves and small white flowers that produce black fruit. Plant the tree in shade or partial shade and the leaves will be a deep emerald green. Plant it in full sun and the color will be a light green. Texas palms do their best in rich, moist, well-drained soils and high humidity.
Sweetbay magnolia (Magnolia virginiana) is also known as laurel magnolia and swamp magnolia. It is a small evergreen tree that grows from 40 to 60 feet tall and produces leaves that are bright green on the top, white on the bottom and 5 inches long. The white flowers appear in June and grow from 2 to 3 inches in diameter and give way to green fruits that change to red when ripe and grow to 2 feet long. The tree prefers full sun but will grow in partial shade, and will tolerate a soil that is wet.