Northeast Texas is in USDA hardiness zone 6 where the average nighttime winter temperatures get to about -5 degrees, which is very different from South Texas where the temperature get to about 25 degrees. Some trees can be planted in all areas of Texas, but there are some that cannot survive the colder temperatures in the north.
Austrian pine (Pinus nigra) is an evergreen that grows from 50 to 70 feet tall and 20 to 40 feet wide. The tree produces dark army-green colored needles that grow from 4 to 6 inches long and stay on the tree for 3 to 4 years. The male flowers are yellow and grow in clusters and the female flowers, which produce 2 to 3 inch long and 2 inch wide pine cones that stay on the tree for two years, are a yellow-green.
Plant Austrian pine in full sun. The tree can grow in almost any kind of soil.
Golden Rain Tree
Golden rain tree (Koelreuteria paniculata) is also known as the varnish tree. The tree grows up to 30 feet tall with a round crown that has a spread as wide as the tree is tall. The plant produces green, lacy leaves that turn yellow in the fall and large clusters of yellow flowers that are followed by red-purple seed pods that grow up to 2 inches long. Plant the golden rain tree in full sun. The tree does well in different types of soil and is best used as a stand-alone specimen tree to show off the flowers.
Pecan (Carya illinoinensis) grows as tall as 180 feet with a trunk diameter of 7 feet. The tree produces leaves that grow from 12 to 20 inches long and both male and female flowers. The male flowers grow in hanging clusters and the female flowers grow in clusters at the end of the branches, giving way to the nut. The pecan is a slow growing tree, taking 15 to 20 years before it produces its first crop. Plant the pecan tree in full sun and a soil that is moist and well-drained. Give the pecan room to grow and it will make a great shade tree.
Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) is also known as the maidenhair tree. The tree grows from 40 to 80 feet tall with a spread from 30 to 40 feet. The tree produces bight-green, triangular leaves that grow from 2 to 3 inches long and turn yellow in the fall. The flowers are small an inconspicuous and may not appear until the tree is about 20 years old. Each tree will only have male of female flowers. The female trees produce light- orange or tan seeds. Plant the ginko in full sun and sandy, moist soil. Use the ginko as a stand-alone specimen tree or shade tree.
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