We are admonished all the time about the need to plant trees, due to urban development. In some cities as many as 4 trees die or are removed for every tree that is planted. According to the houstontx.gov website, the Houston-Galveston-Brazoria Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area (Houston CMSA) which consists of eight counties (Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery and Waller) is a network of urban sprawl that is 8,778 square miles, an area larger than the entire state of New Jersey. All this development has meant quite a bit of deforestation of the Piney Woods region of Southeast Texas, and anything we can do to raise the ratio of Texas native trees planted for Texas native trees cut down is not only good for the natural environment, but good for naturalizing and beautifying our urban and suburban homes.
Why Plant Texas Native Trees In Urban and Suburban Areas
Trees, through their shade and their transpiration (giving off water) provide a natural low-tech cooling process. This makes the typical “asphalt jungle” environment of the inner city not only more beautiful but cooler to boot. It saves everyone energy. They shield against wind. They provide shade. In fact, homes adorned with well-placed trees can reduce heating costs in winter and the cooling costs in summer because they shield the elements of all seasons. Furthermore, trees are terrific filters in that they absorb carbon dioxide and turn it into oxygen. Trees are Mother Nature’s perfect air purification system.
Ornamental Texas Flowering Trees and Best Fruit Trees
Trees add beauty and grace to any setting. They invite wildlife and add value to property. They provide privacy. But they can also be the main adornments to your landscape. Ornamental Texas native trees bloom and bear fruit, and are some of the most popular and highly recognized varieties. They are typically smaller trees, but some are large enough to be both functional for shade and aesthetically desired for blooms and beauty.
Many urban homes these days, having limited space and small yards, exclude the possibility for larger trees, the smaller Texas flowering trees and fruit trees may not only be more practical for size but also add beauty and delight. Some of the best Texas flowering trees are the Magnolia, Dogwood, Redbud tree, Crepe Myrtle, and the Texas Mountain Laurel. Of these trees only the Magnolia has varieties that grow above 30 feet.
Among the best fruit trees for Southeast Texas are the pecan tree (the State tree of Texas, by the way), fire blight-resistant varieties of pear tree, and fig trees can be trained as either trees or large bushes. Just be aware that fig trees can produce abundant fruit, so the harvesting season in early July can keep you busy. Also, Of these three, the pecan is the only one that grows over 30 feet - they can grow to a massive 150 feet tall!. Growing a pecan also means that your house will be the rally point for all the neighborhood squirrels, as they will steal your bounty every chance they get!