Start planning now

     With the 2011 drought a year behind us, its time to start thinking about replanting trees again. The fall is the best time to plant trees in Houston. The trees are starting to go dormant, but will spend the winter growing new roots. Over the next 4 or 5 months, a newly planted tree can grow a lot of new roots, which is all you really want it to do. Next spring, your tree can go into it’s blooming and growing cycle with a larger root system. An added bonus is that you won’t have to spend as much time watering them. A tree planted this fall will have a year and a half  jump on one you plant this coming spring. It sounds crazy, but is has to do with root growth vs. branch growth and how long it takes a spring planted tree to catch up on its root growth.

     Things to take into consideration are (make notes):

  1. The space you have, how wide, deep and high (look for overhead wires).
  2. How many trees are proper for the space?
  3. Which side of the house (south to west side…plant a deciduous tree, north side plant an evergreen).
  4. What do you want from the tree (shade, privacy, statement, accent, fall color, flowers, texture etc).
  5. How fast do you want it to grow. This one needs a frank discussion about your life expectancy and how long you plan to live in that particular house. Eventually, it could be someone elses problem.
  6. How much extra work are you willing to deal with? Fallen leaves need to be addressed. Will you mulch mows them into the lawn or rake them up?
  7. Some trees are susceptible to disease or insects, are you willing to spray for issues?
  8. Don’t plant something you’re allergic to…duh!
  9. Future costs of pruning.
  10. Your budget…the one thing we all hate to talk about.


     Now, you have taken everything into consideration and have a better idea of what you really need, great! Now, it’s time to start shopping. Unfortunately, there are plenty of “wrong” trees to plant. One local company is selling Ficus nitida as a fast growing, evergreen tree, which it is…only problem is that Ficus trees CAN FREEZE!!!! Other companies are selling Red Maples (good) that were crossed with Silver Maples (bad) and the children of this little science experiment…need well drained, alkaline soil (which we don’t have).   Then, there are the ads in magazines that promise a fast growing, purple flowering tree…….don’t do it!!!

Make a good decision

     That leaves you a couple of hundred types of trees to decide from, that will do well in Houston. I know, it hardly seems like  you  narrowed down your choices, yet it did. You can start Googling like mad or you come in to the nursery and bring your notes. From your notes, we can quickly narrow down the list of the best trees for your situation. See, wasn’t that easy?