West Texas is known for its scorching summers, subfreezing winters, and low annual rainfall. This high desert climate poses a challenge to homeowners looking to add trees to their property.
The best west Texas trees, therefore, would be those that are naturally adapted to dry conditions. They should also be sturdy enough to provide shelter from winds. We have listed eight that perfectly meet these requirements to help you add life to your property.
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Top 8 West Texas Trees For Residential And Commercial Landscapes
While planting trees in an arid area can be an uphill task, if you choose the right species, you can eventually achieve the healthy, vibrant greenery you seek. So, “What can you grow in West Texas”, you may ask? Well, here are some ideas:
1. Eldarica Pine
Also known as the Afghanistan pine, this species is one of the best trees for West Texas. It thrives in hot, dry climates and also tolerates colder ones. This tree can grow up to 60 feet tall and spread up to 40 feet wide at maturity.
Eldarica pine is an evergreen tree, and will keep its foliage all year round. It prefers full sunlight, meaning, it will flourish in an area where it receives at least seven hours of direct sunlight daily. The tree is an excellent windbreak, making it a valuable cover, breeding, and nesting area for birds and upland game.
2. Arizona Cypress
Arizona cypress is a Texas native that has also been found to do well in arid climates. Under the right conditions, that is, alkaline soils and direct sunlight, this tree can grow up to 50 feet tall.
Like Eldarica pine, Arizona cypress will also keep its foliage year-round. It is a great choice for windbreaks, landscape ornaments, Christmas trees, and erosion control. Arizona cypress is, however prone to sunscald. Give your tree proper care and maintenance to prevent sunscald. Any professional tree service Texas company can help you with this.
3. Bur Oak
Native to the Midwest, bur oak has been grown as shade tree in Texas for years. If you have a spacious yard in your property, this tree would be perfect because it produces a canopy large enough to cool your home and keep it safe from strong winds.
Bur oaks can tolerate dry sites and drought conditions, which makes them some of the best trees for west Texas. They produce dark green foliage that turns yellow-brown in the autumn. Mature bur oaks can reach up to 80 feet tall and 70 feet wide.
4. Cedar Elm
Cedar elm is a favorite of west Texans for two reasons; it provides nice shade and tolerates drought and dry conditions. Due to its ability to thrive in difficult soils conditions, cedar elm is often used to grace the streets in west Texas.
The tree grows to a height of between 60 and 80 feet and spreads out up to 50 feet at maturity. It produces clusters of light-green blossoms toward the end of summer, which later yield a tiny, round fruit. Unfortunately, this tough beauty is one of the targets of Dutch elm disease and other common tree diseases in Texas.
5. Desert Willow
The attributes of this tree are in the name – it prefers full sun and can withstand extreme drought conditions. The tree produces multiple trucks with well-defined branches, which makes it suitable for tall hedges and wide screen.
Desert willow is also one of the best flowering trees in Texas. It adds color to your yard with showy pink blossoms that attract bees and butterflies. If you have a smaller yard, this tree would be perfect because it doesn’t exceed 25 feet in height or 10 feet in width at maturity.
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6. Chinese Pistache
Looking for good fall color? Try Chinese pistache. This tree that grows to a height of 35 feet and a width of 25 feet features radiant dark green leaves that turn into beautiful shades of red and orange in fall. Come April, it produces panicles of green flowers, though not as showy as desert willow’s.
Chinese pistache prefers full sun and will endure the dry conditions, drought, and heat of west Texas extremely well. Plant it in a spot where it will receive at least six hours of direct sunlight daily.
7. Eastern Red Cedar
The evergreen eastern red cedar is yet another tree species that will offer west Texas homes beauty and shade all year round. Mature trees produce a bluish-green cone that resembles a berry, which attracts birds and other wildlife.
Red cedars love full sun, and will grow best in open spaces. They have excellent drought and heat tolerance and in the right conditions, these trees can grow up to 50 feet tall and extend up to 20 feet wide.
8. Live Oak
Live oaks are magnificent evergreen trees that thrive in almost any soil. They grow fast and may live to be hundreds of years old. Live oaks love open spaces with enough sunlight. They have been found to tolerate drought and dry conditions pretty well, which is why they rank among the best west Texas trees.
Mature live oaks can reach a height of 90 feet, with a 90 feet spread, but in extremely dry sites, the trees will not grow past 50 feet. They are excellent for shade and produce beautiful green acorns that turn brown at maturity.
The Local Tree Experts Overview
When it comes to selecting trees for your west Texas property, you need to pick those that can withstand drought, heat, and dry conditions. With our list of the best west Texas trees, you will find out which trees are suitable not only for this region but also for your specific yard size.
However, you may still want to enlist the services of a professional arborist to test your soil just to be sure it does support your tree of choice. And once you have planted your trees, give them the care they need to grow healthy and check them regularly for pests and diseases.