Urban growth in north Texas often takes its toll on native tree species as they are cut down to make room for residential sprawl. Many native tree varieties are replaced by landscape trees from other regions. Landscaping using trees native to the area is becoming more popular and is being encouraged.
Native tree species can be purchased from local nurseries and offer the ability to thrive in north Texas soil and weather conditions, which makes them ideal yard choices for ease of maintenance.
The hackberry tree (Celtis occidentalis) is found throughout the northern panhandle of Texas. The tree produces elm like foliage that is pleasing to the eye. It is an ideal medium to large size shade tree that grows approximately 30 feet in height in Texas. In other areas of the United States the trees have been known to top a 100 feet in height. The tree prefers to be grown in full sun locations. It is exceptionally drought tolerant and will thrive on minimal water once established.
In the summer and fall the tree produces small black berries. The berries are edible and considered to be sweet according to the Virginia Tech Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation.
The swamp privet tree (Forestiera acuminata) can be found in northeastern Texas along riverbeds and in swampy locations where it thrives. The tree is either male or female. Both sexes produce yellow flowers in the spring but only the female tree produces purple colored drupe. Waterfowl adore the fruit. The tree can be a wonderful addition to water-logged areas where other trees fail to flourish. It is commonly planted along creeks or ponds.
The tree can attain 20 feet in height and often resembles a large shrub in appearance. It prefers to be grown in full to partial sun.
Soap Tree Yucca
The soap tree yucca (Yucca elata) can easily live 250 to 300 years in barren regions of north Texas. It requires very little water to thrive. Once established, the tree is difficult to ever transplant because of the long taproot. It is an evergreen that can easily attain a height of 30 feet.
In the spring and summer the tree produces large spikes of white to cream flowers. The soap tree yucca derived its name from the production of soap from its root system and trunk. The tree can easily withstand temperatures in the triple digits with no ill effect. It prefers to be planted in full sun but its exceptionally adaptable to various soil situations.
The Texas ash tree (Fraxinus texensis) is a small tree that only grows to 30 to 45 feet with a large green foliage canopy. It is widely grown throughout Texas and a favorite landscape tree. It prefers areas to grow in the northern region of the state because of the milder humidity. Texas ash can withstand drought condtions once established. The tree does best in partial shade. Each fall the tree sports lovely fall colors. Borers can often plague young trees.