The Best time to Plant a Tree in Austin

by Sylvia Crossland on January 27, 2011 · 7 comments

Bur OakThe best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The next best time is now. ~Chinese Proverb

I ran across this quote on Facebook about a week ago and it struck me how true this is! Especially now, in the cold of winter in Texas, it is time to plant your trees.

All my clients know that I constantly tell them “plant trees”. This is the least expensive way to add value to your home, but the pay off is several years, so do it now!

Trees add shade and beauty to your yard and when you sell, buyers will appreciate the care you took to plant these beauties.

For more information about earthwise landscaping, go to: www.growgreen.org. I recommend that you stay with native varieties that need less water and can survive in our 100+ degree months in the summer. Some examples are Bur Oak, Texas Ash and Pecan.

I also like the fast growing varieties like Cedar Elm and Chinquapin Oak. These are less prone to disease and live a long time.

For more information and to buy some good trees to go my favorite place, the Natural Gardener on Old Bee Cave Rd. in Oak Hill. The people there are very helpful in choosing the right variety and in providing information on how to plant, how much to water, etc.

Another good website for exploring different trees that do well in Central Texas is Texas Tree Planting.

If you have any other questions or recommendations, give us a call. Grab a shovel and happy planting!

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Tim January 28, 2011 at 8:09 am

Highly recommend the Mexican White Oak/Monterray Oak. We planted one that was about 1.5′ tall and it’s tripled in size in 2 years. Great fast-growing semi-evergreen.

2 Mark Pustka January 28, 2011 at 8:29 am

Sharing on my facebook business page. Great reminder!

3 Sara January 28, 2011 at 8:38 am

I second the vote for cedar elm. They have a beautiful form with fall color and a brilliant green in the spring–bonus is small leaves that are not a big chore in the fall. We have rocky limestone soil; and bur oak, live oak, cedar elm and the occasional red oak dominate the acreage lots (no one plants trees on 2+ acres but they do clear cedars and mesquites–because of the thorns). I am surprised you didn’t recommend live oaks. You don’t hear much about oak wilt anymore and it never was rampant.
Even a 1 gallon tree planted in the backyard TODAY is better than nothing. Think of it like your retirement account–you can start small as long as it is early because the compounding over time is what drives the value.
And dig a wide hole and after removing the tree from the container pull the roots out of the ball they have been forced to grow into as they need to spread out and get water/nutrients and anchor the tree.
Note: I just bought a REO with a 10k concession due to slab issues arisen at least in part from a huge ash planted too close to the foundation thirty years ago. So plant 20 feet out.

4 Sylvia January 28, 2011 at 10:29 am

Thank you Tim and Sara for the great suggestions. I also recommend adding some compost to the hole when planting. It gives the tree an extra boost to establish it’s roots. I didn’t recommend Live Oaks because they are so slow to grow. The Mexican White Oak is a good variety for a rapid growth tree. Also, regular water and extra compost can speed up the growth of any variety, even a live oak! The trees must be well placed too. 20ft away from the house is a good rule of thumb. You also need to plant the trees 20ft away from each other so they don’t compete for water and sunshine.

5 Tim January 28, 2011 at 10:35 am

Austin Energy also has some great suggestions if you happen to live near power lines:

http://www.austinenergy.com/Customer%20Care/Other%20Services/Tree%20Pruning/replacementTrees.htm

6 Michael @ The Stage Coach January 28, 2011 at 6:44 pm

hi, Sylvia:
It’s also the perfect time right now to Trim your trees! The bugs that can burrow into the cut spots are not around in the cold. Plus, trimming/thinning will actually help your tree grow faster! Every branch uses nutrients, so by thinning the branches, more energy goes to the branches that are left…
Michael

7 Sylvia January 29, 2011 at 7:33 am

Thank you Michael,
Trimming is helpful if done correctly or can seriously damage a tree and it’s beauty if not done well. Make sure you know what you are doing. I’ve seen some pretty horrible trimming jobs that can actually destroy a tree and it’s beauty.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: