Mountain laurels are probably one of the most hardy and versatile ornamental trees. They offer beautiful, fragrant flowers, evergreen foliage and thrive in a variety of environments. They are quite pricy if you try to buy one from your local nursery, however mountain laurels are super easy to grow from seed if you have the patience. Continue reading Mountain Laurel Tree – Sophora secundiflora
Arizona cypress (Cupressus arizonica) could possibly be the perfect evergreen conifer for central Texas. It’s silvery blue-green foliage is striking. Arizona cypress is very hardy to the area, and it grows at a very fast rate. And to top it off, there are no common pests. If you are looking for a hardy tree with a striking aesthetic, look no further! Continue reading All About Arizona Cypress
Eve’s necklace is one of my favorite ornamental trees. Unlike it’s close relative, mt. laurel, eve’s necklace is very under utilized in modern landscapes in my opinion. Being a fully native plant, it thrives in Austin and most all of central Texas. Eve’s necklace provides year round interest: bright green new growth, flowers in the spring, beaded seed pods in the fall. Continue reading Eve’s Necklace – Styphnolobium affine
Anacacho orchid tree is one of my personal favorite small to mid size trees. It’s great for a focal point ornamental or for getting a tree into tight spaces. The tree is native to western central Texas; Austin is slightly outside of the tree’s natural range, but it does thrive here. The tree’s canopy tends to be thin naturally; it has a fine, delicate texture which allows light through for understory plants. Anacacho orchid is a good butterfly tree. Continue reading Anacacho Orchid Tree – Bauhinia congesta
Cypress trees are my personal favorite group of conifers. The five cypress trees I’ll discuss here are very different in appearance. I see a lot of amateur gardeners try to identify conifers based on leaf type, but this doesn’t work. It’s the seeds that give them away. There are two genera of the cypress family that do well in central Texas that I’ll be discussing in this article: Cupressus (Arizona, Italian and Leyland) and Taxodium (Bald and Montezuma). The two groups have very different foliage. Cupressus have scale like foliage much like most junipers and Taxodium have Continue reading Cypress Trees of Central Texas
The Mexican sycamore has been a popular planting choice for about 10 years. Like the moneterey oak, it seems to be emerging as a great tree for the area, but it has yet to stand the test of time.
Continue reading The Mexican Sycamore – Platanus mexicana
Arizona ash is referred to as “Arizona trash” by many people. Personally, I don’t really agree with this attitude. Don’t get me wrong, they aren’t perfect trees, but ash can grow into large trees quickly and provide significant shade from the hot summer sun that is much needed in Texas.
Bradford pear trees have become a popular addition to the urban landscape. Although the Bradford pear is a hardy tree consistently producing showy flowers in the spring and some fall color, the tree is not without its fair share of problems. The trees have a relatively short life span due to structural integrity issues, they are susceptible to a few disease issues and they can be overbearing on landscapes with limited space.