Weatherford Democrat

April 20, 2014

ASK A MASTER GARDENER: Blooming natives add color to Texas landscapes

Weatherford Democrat

I have 2 acres in Parker County with oak and fruit trees. I want to add some blooming trees. Can you recommend varieties that will be successful?

From the list of trees currently in your yard, it sounds like your soil condition is good for a wide variety of trees. The important issue for you, on a 2-acre lot, is to plan the location so that each of your trees has enough room to grow and thrive. It’s easy to look at young trees and think that you have plenty of room; but when you consider the mature size of the tree, the spacing often becomes tight.

Consider adding any or all of the following Texas native trees to your landscape:

• The Texas redbud is a spring flowering tree that grows 20-30 feet high by 15-25 feet wide. The redbud prefers full sun but will grow as an under-story tree, which means it will grow in the shade of taller trees. In the native landscape, you will often see redbud mixed with native oaks.

• The rusty blackhaw viburnum is an outstanding tree. It grows 25-30 feet high and 30-35 feet wide. It has 4-6 inch bloom clusters in the spring. Blooms are followed by bluish-black berries in the summer – a favorite of the birds. This tree has great fall color in shades of red, orange and burgundy. This vibunum prefers full sun, but will also thrive as an under-story tree.

• The vitex is one of our few summer blooming trees. It produces large spikes of blue or white blooms. This tree has multiple trunks and will require some pruning to maintain a good shape. It is a small tree, maxing out at 15-20 feet tall and 15-20 feet wide and requires full sun.

The advantage of these three trees is that they are all native to Texas, and once established will require very little, if any, supplemental water.

In terms of purchasing trees, I recommend that you visit one of the many tree nurseries in our area. There you will find knowledgeable growers who are familiar with Parker County and our unique growing conditions.

You will also find a wide variety of native and adapted trees that are homegrown right here in Texas.