Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Best Tree Choices for the Houston Area

The Houston area is rather unique in the requirements that this environment places upon its landscaping to grow well. This is true for trees, because the healthy ones must be able to thrive in this setting. The soil here is acidic and dark brown or black clay. With a subtropical climate that brings occasional freezes during the winter, the Houston area has an average yearly rainfall of over 40 inches. However, some years bring drought conditions with much less rain! Trees need to be able to survive in drenched soil mixed with periods of drought, which is a tough requirement. Also, trees must be resistant to fungus and mildew common to the high humidity that Houston is famous for.

So what are some trees that are able to thrive even with these difficult requirements? Here is a list of the best options for trees that will be successful around Houston.

Live Oak
A large spreading tree with very strong branches, live oaks typically grow to be 35 to 50 feet tall. Their spread can be as wide as 75 feet. Live oaks grow very slowly, not being considered a mature tree until age 50. Healthy live oaks can live for 400 years! It is an evergreen whose leaves drop in February, but the tree quickly begins forming new growth.

Shumard Oak
Shumard oaks are most known for stunning Fall color, adding yellow and red leaves to your Houston landscape. Shumards are low maintenance trees that grow to be 75 feet tall with a spread of 45 feet.

Bald Cypress
These tall trees can reach 100 feet in height and 30 feet wide. Tolerant of both wet and dry soils, the foliage turns to a beautiful burnt orange color in the Fall. Sometimes bald cypress trees product knobby growths from their roots that may impede lawn equipment, but other than that the bald cypress is a great landscape choice for the Houston area.

Southern Magnolia
Known for producing great big fragrant white blooms in the late Spring, magnolia trees are drought tolerant but also grow well in moist acidic soil. These trees can reach 90 feet tall with a spread as wide as 50 feet. It is an evergreen tree with broad dark green leaves. Magnolia trees can grow a lovely thick canopy with their large leaves and branches.

The smallest of the trees discussed here, dogwoods reach 30 feet tall and 15 feet wide. They are known for their beautiful white bracts resembling flowers that appear in early Spring prior to the foliage on the tree. Dogwoods grow most successfully when planted beneath other shade trees or areas that are protected from the hottest sunlight.

Shaped like a pyramid, the sweetgum tree grows up to 100 feet tall and 25 feet wide. With broad leaves that provide outstanding color in the Houston area, they glow in shades of red, yellow, and orange during the Fall. The downfall of sweetgum trees is that they produce spiny balls that may be frowned upon as messy in your yard.

Contact C4 Landscape & Design today for all your landscaping needs.

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