Live Oaks are native to Texas and grow throughout central Texas from Oklahoma to the Gulf Coast. Live Oak are beautiful trees with wide spreading canopies that have horizontal arching branches that tend to dip to the ground. Some of the most unique Live Oak in Texas have branches that spread outward and rest on the ground. Live Oak have dense canopies with dark green and waxy elliptical shaped leaves, 2 to 5 inches long, that are stiff and leathery and have a lighter grayish green color underneath. Live Oak trees shed their leaves every year in the spring which are quickly followed by new leaves giving them an evergreen appearance. Younger Live Oak trees light gray bark that is smooth and as they mature their bark becomes dark gray to black with ridges and furrows. Live Oak trees are amazingly adapted to drought and grow best on clay loams.
Common Names: Live Oak, Coastal Live Oak, Virginia Live Oak, Southern Live Oak
Eastern Red Cedar are attractive evergreens that are grown as a large shrubs or small trees with a dense pyramidal form. The Eastern Red Cedar is often used for windbreaks, screens and for median strip plantings in the highway. The Eastern Red Cedar will grow in a variety of soil types including clay and is very drought tolerant. The new foliage on an Eastern Red Cedar appears needle like with an attractive dark blue-green color. As the foliage on an Eastern Red Cedar matures they turn to a dark green color and appear scale like. The Eastern Red Cedar also has reddish-brown exfoliating bark that peels of in long vertical strips. In late fall the female Eastern Red Cedar produces an abundance of dark blue fruit.
Common Names: Virginia Juniper, Red Juniper, Pencil Cedar, Carolina Cedar
The Chinese Pistachio is highly recommended by horticultural experts at Texas A&M, Oklahoma State and Kansas State Universities. The Chinese Pistachio is a medium sized ornamental tree from China and Taiwan that is extremely winter hardy and has a superior level of drought, heat and wind tolerance. The Chinese Pistachio is the first shade tree to receive the coveted “Earth-Kind” designation from the Texas Agricultural Extension Service for its high levels of genetic resistance to insect and disease problems. The Chinese Pistachio has extremely hard, durable wood which helps protect the tree from wind, ice and decay. Chinese Pistachio trees have a medium to fine textured foliage that remains an attractive deep green color during the growing season and a spectacular fall color in shades of orange, red, and crimson. In the summer the female Chinese Pistachio produces panicles of inconspicuous red dish flowers that are followed by small green berries that turn red to reddish-purple in the fall, which are relished by birds.
This brilliantly colored Best Red, Black Diamond Crape Myrtle features dark burgundy-blackish plum foliage which contrasts against the boldly colored red blooms, easily making it a focal piece in any landscape. The deep red and black colors are perfect for those looking to break up that “too much green” effect seen in typical flowerbeds. This medium sized shrub will bloom all summer until fall’s first hard frost. For best results, grow in full sun with well amended soil. Black Diamond Crape Myrtles have also showed improved tolerance to drought as well as fungal diseases like powdery mildew, and leaf spot.
Common Names: Black Diamond Crape Myrtle, Black Diamond, Best, Crimson Red
In 1985 Oklahoma State University developed the Centennial Spirit Crape Myrtle, which is a prolific producer of wine red flowers. Each cluster within the Centennial Spirit Crape Myrtle has hundreds of red flowers and each cluster can range from 8” to 16” long. The Centennial Spirit Crape Myrtle has an upright growing habit with small alternate leaves that are rounded at the base and are 2” to 3” long. The Centennial Spirit Crape Myrtle has leaves that are glossy green in the summer and in the fall they turn orange and red. Each summer the Centennial Spirit Crape Myrtle exfoliates its gray colored bark in thin strips to expose a smooth and cream colored bark. The Centennial Spirit Crape Myrtle is adaptable to a wide range of soil types, very drought tolerant and has a good resistance to powdery mildew.
The Crape Myrtle was introduced to the US over 150 years ago from China, Japan and Southeast Asia. In 1998 Dr. Carl Whitcomb developed the Dynamite Crape Myrtle, which is a prolific producer of long lasting clusters of deep red flowers. Each cluster within the Dynamite Crape Myrtle has hundreds of red flowers and each cluster can range from 8” to 16” long. The Dynamite Crape Myrtle has a very broad and upright growing habit with small alternate leaves that are rounded at the base and are 1” to 2” long. The Dynamite Crape Myrtle has leaves that are bright red in the spring, bright green in the summer and in the fall they turn a vibrant orange-red. Each summer the Dynamite Crape Myrtle exfoliates its gray-brown colored bark in thin strips to expose a smooth and light brown colored bark. The Dynamite Crape Myrtle is adaptable to a wide range of soil types, very drought tolerant and has a good resistance to powdery mildew.
The Brodie Eastern Red Cedar (often referred to as Brodie Juniper) is one of the most popular cultivars of Juniperus virginiana because of its narrow pyramidal growth habit. Traditionally Eastern Red Cedar (parent plant of the Brodie Juniper) have not has as much popularity in smaller landscapes due to their mature width of 25’. Brodie Junipers will reach a mature width of 12’ which gives them more versatility in smaller landscapes and they are often used as privacy screens in narrower landscapes. Brodie Junipers have naturally dense canopies with dark green foliage that have a very smooth feel which differs from it’s parent needle like foliage. Another plus to the Brodie Juniper is the uniformity of their canopies since they are all taken from cuttings; its parent, the Eastern Red Cedar, has been known to have a lot of variance in the shape and size of their canopies. Brodie Junipers have proven to be extremely drought tolerant, disease resistant and able to handle a wide variety of soil conditions. In late fall they will produce an abundance of dark blue berries.
Common Names: Eastern Red Cedar ‘Brodie’, Brodie Juniper, Brodie Cedar, Virginia Juniper, Red Juniper, Pencil Cedar, Carolina Cedar
The Bald Cypress is native to central and east Texas and is one of only two species in the ancient Taxodium genus that now survives and the other species is Montezuma Bald Cypress found in south Texas. Bald Cypress trees grow in swamps and rivers and are excellent shade trees for areas with poor drainage or standing water. Bald Cypress trees maintain a straight trunk and layered branches giving it a pyramidal and moderately dense canopy. Bald Cypress trees have fine fern-like leaves giving it a graceful fine textured appearance. In autumn Bald Cypress leaves turn from deep green to a coppery-red color. Bald Cypress trees have cinnamon-brown colored bark with a thin and fairly smooth texture that exfoliates in long strips. Bald Cypress trees also produce small round cones that are blue-green and contain triangular seeds. Bald Cypress trees are fast growing, extremely long lived and relatively maintenance free.
Common Names: Bald Cypress, Southern Cypress, Swamp Cypress, Red Cypress, White Cypress, Gulf Cypress
Bur Oak are native to the Blackland Prairies of central and north Texas. Bur Oak are large stately trees with symmetrical and densely rounded crowns. Bur Oak trees have large leathery leaves that are 8 to 12 inches long and 4 to 5 inches wide with a dark green surface and lighter grayish green color underneath. Bur Oak leaves are highly variable in their shapes which contain 5 to 9 lobes of different size. The lower lobes on a Bur Oak are very small and the upper lobes are large resembling a crown. Bur Oak trees are extremely drought tolerate due to their long taproot which is why they are the dominant tree of north central Texas. Bur Oak trees produce the largest acorn of any oak species that are 1 1/2 inches long and are almost completely covered with a furry cap. Mature bark on a Bur Oak appears light brown to gray which is highly ridged and deeply furrowed. Bur Oak trees are one of the longest lived oaks in Texas.
Common Names: Bur Oak, Mossycup Oak, Mossy Overcup Oak, Prairie Oak
The DD Blanchard Magnolia has distinguished itself from other Magnolia grandiflora cultivars with its ability to maintain a straight central trunk, which allows the DD Blanchard to be grown full to the ground or be pruned into tree form with a visible trunk. DD Blanchard Magnolias maintain an upright pyramidal-oval form with well spaced major branches that yield a more open canopy. The DD Blanchard has leathery textured 5 to 8 inch oblong leaves that have a glossy, dark green appearance on top which creates a vibrant contrast with the fuzzy orange-bronze underside. In the spring and sporadically throughout the summer the DD Blanchard produces large fragrant creamy white saucer shaped flowers that are 8 inches wide. These qualities allow the DD Blanchard to be planted as solitary specimens, tall screens or framing accents.
The Italian Cypress is native to the lands surrounding the Mediterranean Sea in its eastern region. The Italian Cypress is cultivated throughout the United States in areas with similar hot, dry summers and mild, rainy winters as the Mediterranean Basin. The Italian Cypress has erect branches forming a narrow columnar habit of growth and the Italian Cypress is less than a tenth as wide as the tree is tall. The Italian Cypress has an extremely unique form that provides a classic distinction for Mediterranean themed landscapes, tall screens and framing accents. Italian Cypress foliage grows in dense sprays that are rich green in color. The individual leaves on an Italian Cypress appear scale-like and are produced on rounded shoots. The Italian Cypress is grown with a straight trunk that appears gray-brown and is longitudinally furrowed.
Common Names: Italian Cypress, Mediterranean Cypress
The Lacebark Elm is native to China and is cultivated throughout the United States in areas with similar hot, dry summers and mild rainy winters. The Lacebark Elm is a medium sized tree that forms a graceful rounded canopy with long arching branches. The Lacebark Elm produces rich green and glossy foliage with serrated edges. The Lacebark Elm has exfoliating bark which is outstandingly attractive. The bark on a Lacebark Elm peels off in a puzzle like pattern and exposes rich shades of gray, green, brown and orange. The best quality of the Lacebark Elm is its ability to withstand the harshest growing conditions by growing well in a wide range of soil types. The Lacebark Elm is also resistant to Dutch Elm Disease.
Common Names: Lacebark Elm, Chinese Elm
The Little Gem Magnolia has an upright and oval rounded canopy. The Little Gem Magnolia is recognized for its prolific flowering that lasts 6 months of the year, which lasts from May through October. The Little Gem Magnolia produces large fragrant creamy white saucer shaped flowers that are 8 inches wide. The Little Gem Magnolia has beautiful shaped oblong leaves that are 5 to 7 inches long and 2 to 3 inches wide. Little Gem Magnolias have leaves that are stiff and leathery with a deep glossy green color on top and a bronze-brown fuzzy underside. The Little Gem Magnolia differs from the Teddy Bear Magnolia in the following characteristics: Little Gem Magnolias have more open and rounded canopies, they produce a heavier volume of flowers, their leaves are narrower, and they grow faster than Teddy Bear Magnolias.
The Monterrey Oak has been spotted growing in small groves along the Mexico border near Del Rio, Texas. The Monterrey Oak grows more extensively in Mexico stretching from Monterrey to Ciudad Victoria along the Sierra Madre Oriental mountain range. Being from south Texas and Mexico Monterrey Oaks are extremely drought tolerant and they can adapt to many soil types from sand to well drained clay soils. In south Texas where the winters are less severe Monterrey Oaks will retain their leaves almost all year long but in the Dallas – Fort Worth area they will start to drop their leaves in December like other deciduous trees. In early spring Monterrey Oaks produce peach and red colored leaves that mature into a dark green color. The leaves on a Monterrey Oak are 4 – 5 inches long with smooth edges and the surface has a very leathery texture. Younger Monterrey Oak trees have a narrow and upright habit and as Monterrey Oaks mature their canopies start to spread and become more rounded. Younger Monterrey Oak trees have a light gray bark that is smooth and as Monterrey Oaks mature their bark turns dark gray to black with deep fissures.
The Muskogee Crape Myrtle is a hybrid between the Japanese Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia faurei) and the common Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica), which was developed by the US National Arboretum in 1978. The Muskogee Crape Myrtle produces long lasting clusters of light lavender flowers. Each cluster within the Muskogee Crape Myrtle has hundreds of lavender flowers and each cluster can range from 8” to 16” long. The Muskogee Crape Myrtle also has one of the longest flowering periods of any Crape Myrtle, 120 days. The Muskogee Crape Myrtle has a very tall and vigorous growing habit with small alternate leaves that are rounded at the base and are 1” to 3” long. The Muskogee Crape Myrtle has leaves that are glossy green in the summer and in the fall they turn yellow and red. Each summer the Muskogee Crape Myrtle exfoliates its cinnamon colored bark in thin strips to expose a smooth and light gray colored bark. The Muskogee Crape Myrtle is adaptable to a wide range of soil types, very drought tolerant and has a very good resistance to powdery mildew.
The Natchez Crape Myrtle is a hybrid between the Japanese Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia faurei) and the common Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica), which was developed by the US National Arboretum in 1978. The Natchez Crape Myrtle was one of the first hybrids released and is certainly the most popular. The Natchez Crape Myrtle produces long lasting clusters of white flowers. Each cluster within the Natchez Crape Myrtle has hundreds of white flowers and each cluster can range from 8” to 16” long. The Natchez Crape Myrtle also has one of the longest flowering periods of any Crape Myrtle, 110 days. The Natchez Crape Myrtle has a tall and arching growing habit with small alternate leaves that are rounded at the base and are 2” to 3” long. The Natchez Crape Myrtle has leaves that are glossy dark green in the summer and in the fall they turn a vibrant orange-red. Each summer the Natchez Crape Myrtle exfoliates its dark cinnamon-brown colored bark in thin strips to expose a smooth and cream colored bark. The Natchez Crape Myrtle is adaptable to a wide range of soil types, very drought tolerant and has a very good resistance to powdery mildew.
The Nellie R Stevens Holly is a cross between the English Holly and Chinese Holly. The Nellie R Stevens Holly has a naturally dense broad pyramidal shape. The leaves on a Nellie R Stevens Holly are glossy with a dark green color and are among the darkest of any plant. The Nellie R Stevens Holly produces inconspicuous white flowers in the spring. The flowers allow the Nellie R Stevens Holly to pollinate and produce an abundant amount of vivid red berries that are very attractive. The Nellie R Stevens Holly is adapted to many environmental conditions with its superior level of shade and drought tolerance.
The October Glory Maple is one of the most popular cultivars of Red Maple due to its densely oval to rounded canopy, heat tolerance and dependable fall color. The October Glory Maple produces small red flowers and samaras (helicopter seeds) in the spring before the buds appear. When the star shaped leaves emerge on an October Glory Maple they are tinged with red and then develop into a medium green color. In the fall October Glory Maples produce a deep orange to red fall color that persists well into November. Throughout the growing season October Glory Maples maintain a very dense canopy despite their vigorous growth rates due to the short spacing between the branch points. October Glory Maple trees are adaptable to dry or wet soil conditions and are better adapted to the warmer Texas climate than most other Red Maple cultivar. The October Glory Maple also has winter interest because the new branch growth retains a red color after the leaves drop.
Red Oak are native to Texas and grow east of Ft. Worth to Texas’ border with Louisiana and Arkansas. Red Oak are large stately and majestic trees with wide spreading canopies that become more rounded as they mature and when younger Red Oaks have a narrow and open habit. Red Oak are fast growing and high quality trees that are easy to maintain and require moderate amounts of fertilizer and moisture when established. Red Oak leaves are 4 to 8 inchs long, display 5 to 7 deep lobes and have bristles on the tips of each lobe. The leaves are glossy dark green with a lighter green underside and in the fall the leaves turn a brilliant red to red-orange color. Younger Red Oaks have a smooth light gray bark which turns dark gray to black with ridges and furrows as they mature.
Common Names: Shumard Red Oak, Shumard Oak, Swamp Red Oak and Spotted Oak
The Teddy Bear Magnolia was discovered as a seedling by Robert and Lisa Head in 1985 at their farm in South Carolina (Head-Lee Nursery). At an age of 26 years old, the mother tree of the Teddy Bear Magnolia stands at 26’ tall and 14’ wide and it has a very dense and upright pyramidal crown. The dense growth habit of the Teddy Bear Magnolia is self perpetuated by its multiple branching breaks from each spent flower giving numerous shortened branches. The Teddy Bear Magnolia has beautiful oval shaped leaves that are 5 to 8 inches long and 3 to 4 inches wide. Teddy Bear Magnolias have leaves that are dark green and glossy on top and the underside is covered with bronze brown colored fuzz and like all other grandiflora cultivars their leaves are thick and leathery. Starting in May and lasting through October the Teddy Bear Magnolia produces large fragrant creamy white saucer shaped flowers that are 8 inches wide. The Teddy Bear Magnolia differs from the Little Gem Magnolia in the following characteristics: Teddy Bear Magnolias have more compact and narrower canopies, they have stronger and more upright lateral branches, they produce fewer flowers, their leaves are wider, and they grow slower than Little Gems.
The Tuscarora Crape Myrtle is a hybrid between the Japanese Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia faurei) and the common Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica), which was developed by the US National Arboretum in 1978. The Tuscarora Crape Myrtle produces long lasting clusters of dark pink flowers. Each cluster within the Tuscarora Crape Myrtle has hundreds of pink flowers and each cluster can range from 8” to 16” long. The Tuscarora Crape Myrtle has a very tall and vigorous growing habit with small alternate leaves that are rounded at the base and are 1” to 3” long. The Tuscarora Crape Myrtle has leaves that are glossy green in the summer and in the fall they turn red-orange. Each summer the Tuscarora Crape Myrtle exfoliates its light brown colored bark in thin strips to expose a smooth and light gray colored bark. The Tuscarora Crape Myrtle is adaptable to a wide range of soil types, very drought tolerant and has a very good resistance to powdery mildew.
The Vitex ‘Shoal Creek’ has earned a dominant status among the Vitex agnus-castus cultivars and it has several unique qualities that are responsible for this popularity. This cultivar of Vitex was selected for it vigorous growth habit, large flower spikes and it produces the best blue-purple flowers. Vitex are large multistemmed shrubs that maintain fairly dense, symmetrical and rounded canopies. Vitex also have some spring interest because the new branch growth has a showy purple color that turns red-brown and lastly a pale gray color as the branch matures. Vitex have medium to fine textured leaves that are 3 to 4 inches long with 5 to 7 leaves per stem. Vitex have a gray-green leaf with a lighter silver-gray color underside and in the fall the leaves develop a purple tint. In early summer Vitex begin producing silvery gray buds on the tips of each stem that open to a beautiful display of lavender blue flowers that are extremely fragrant. Each cluster of flowers that the Vitex produces has dense rings of lavender blue flowers and each cluster can range from 8 to 12 inches long. Vitex continue this process over several weeks until the clusters completely blanket the entire canopy which are relished by butterflies and hummingbirds. The Vitex can tolerate most soil conditions, provided they are well drained, and will flourish in full sun. The Vitex is designated as a Texas Superstar Shrub by Texas A&M University.
The Eagleston Holly is a natural hybrid of the Dahoon Holly and American Holly. The Eagleston Holly is a beautiful evergreen holly that is grown as a large shrub or small tree with a pyramidal growth habit. The Eagleston Holly can be used for a variety of landscape settings as either a tall screen or a solitary specimen when grown with a single trunk in tree form. The Eagleston Holly has a dense canopy with small slender branches which are smooth and light to medium gray in color. The Eagleston Holly can adapt to both sandy and clay soils with a moderate growth rate. The Eagleston Holly has shiny medium-green leaves with multiple soft spines that are accented in the fall with clusters of bright red berries which persist throughout the fall and winter. The berries on an Eagleston Holly are very attractive to wildlife, serving as an excellent food source. The roots of an Eagleston Holly are rarely invasive due to their great number and relatively small diameter.
The?Cedar Elm?is native to Texas and grows throughout the Gulf Coastal Plains. Cedar Elms are extremely drought tolerant and are adaptable to a wide range of soil types which includes: heavy clay, limestone, salty, fairly wet and limestone soils. This flexibility is why the Cedar Elm is the most prevalent species of Elm within Texas. Cedar Elms have an upright and rounded crown with dense and slightly weeping branching. Cedar Elms are filled with 1″ long glossy green leaves that have a thick sandpaper like texture and serrated edges, which will turn yellow in the fall. Younger Cedar Elms may have cork growths “wings” along the sides of the branches which give them the appearance of a Winged Elm. As Cedar Elms start to mature the rougher bark starts to form over the branches causing them to lose their wings. The bark on a mature Cedar Elm appears light brown to gray which is highly ridged and deeply furrowed.
Common Names: Cedar Elm, Texas Elm, Texas Cedar Elm, Scrub Elm, Basket El
The Taylor Eastern Red Cedar (often referred to as Taylor Juniper) gets its name from where it was discovered in 1978 out of Taylor, Nebraska. This cultivar of Eastern Red Cedar was selected because of its narrow and upright growth habit which resembles the look of an Italian Cypress. For years Italian Cypress have been thrust into landscapes throughout Dallas Metroplex because of their unique shape but they have a lot of issues which include: Phytophthora Root Rot, Seridium Canker, Spider Mites and they are susceptible to cold weather. With this introduction of the Taylor Juniper all of those issues are solved while keeping the desired look of an Italian Cypress. Eastern Red Cedar (parent plant of the Taylor Juniper) are native throughout Texas and are extremely drought tolerant, disease resistant and able to handle a wide variety of soil conditions and all of these traits can be seen in the Taylor Juniper. Most landscapes incorporate Taylor Junipers by planted them as hedges in narrow areas between a pool and fence or as accent pieces flanking doorways.
Throughout Texas people have been accustomed to seeing Red Tip Photinias planted as privacy screens because of their fast growth rates and attractive reddish colored foliage. The major drawback is that they are extremely susceptible to Entomosporium Leaf Spot which has no treatment options and that has led to the death of many Red Tip Photinias throughout Texas. An excellent option in lieu of the Red Tip is the Chinese Photinia which is one of the parents of the hybrid Red Tip. The great part of the Chinese Photinia is that it is resistant to Entomosporium Leaf Spot, extremely drought tolerant and can handle a wide variety of soil conditions. In the spring the Chinese Photinia will produce clusters of white flowers that are up to 8” wide and they persist for 2-4 weeks. They have dark green leaves with soft serrated edges that grow up to 8” long and 2” wide. After pollination of the flowers occurs in the spring Chinese Photinias will produce an abundant amount of red berries in the fall and winter. Most landscapes incorporate Photinias by planting them as hedges or as solitary specimens when the lower branches are pruned off giving them a tree like appearance.
The Texas Ash is native to the counties surrounding the Dallas – Ft. Worth Metroplex and south through central Texas. The Texas Ash is a very beautiful shade tree with a rounded crown that is reminiscent of a Chinese Pistachio. When established the Texas Ash is easy to maintain because of its superior level of drought tolerance and low fertilizer requirements. The Texas Ash has 2 to 4 inch long rounded leaves that have a medium to fine texture and retain a deep green color. In the fall the Texas Ash produces a spectacular range of pastel colors that include yellow, orange, red, purple and maroon. Younger Texas Ash trees produce a very smooth and light gray bark and as Texas Ash trees mature their bark appears medium to dark gray with shallow fissures.