We get it...it's the middle of cedar season in San Antonio and people are wheezing and sniffling throughout the day. You may not be the slightest bit interested in MORE trees. But January is Central Texas is a great time to plant a tree, so we want you to know what works best in our tricky climate.
According to CPS Energy, who has a fantastic guide on trees for San Antonio, these are some of the best trees you can plant. A full list is found below.
Possumhaw is a small, deciduous tree or shrub that grows to 15-30 ft. tall. It has pale pale gray, twiggy, horizontal branches and glossy, oval, toothed leaves. The leaves remain dark green through autumn, finally turning yellow. The small flowers of the tree turn into bright red berries in the winter.
Texas Mountain Laurel
In the early spring, the gorgeous purple flowers of the Mountain Laurel give off a delicious grape Kool-Aid fragrance that permeates San Antonio. It is drought-tolerant, prefers rocky limestone soil, and like many woody plants native to rocky soils, it is slow growing. Make sure children understand to keep away from this one. The red seeds were valued by indigenous people and contain a substance widely cited as a narcotic and hallucinogen.
This multi-trunk tree is noted for its clusters of pinkish, orchidlike flowers in the spring and yellow foliage in the fall. It grows up to 30 feet in height with light bark and clusters of bright-pink, fragrant flowers
The Desert Willow reaches 15-40 feet with a twisting and open trunk. Leaves are similar in appearance to willows, and blossoms are dark pink or purple with a funnel shape. By early autumn, the violet-scented flowers, which appear after summer rains, are replaced by slender seedpods, 6-10 inches long, which remain dangling from the branches and serve to identify the tree after the flowers are gone.
Covered with showy blossoms in early spring, the Texas Redbud is identifiable by glossy, dark green, smooth-edged leaves. The Mexican variety has a wavy-edged leaf. Flowers are rose purple, in small clusters along the branches, appearing before the leaves, in March or early April. Texas redbud is drought-tolerant within its range, prefers dappled shade but is also found in full sun, and can do well even on relatively thin soils. Its glossy, rounded leaves bring welcome shade and its flowers attract pollinators.
Canopy Trees: Anaqua Ebony, Texas Cypress, Arizona Cypress, Montezuma Elm, Cedar Maple, Uvalde Bigtooth Mesquite Oak, Bur Oak, Chinkapin Oak, Lacey Oak, Live Oak, Mexican White Live Oak, Texas Red Palm, Texas Sabal Pecan Sycamore, Mexican Walnut
Understory Trees: Anacacho Orchid Tree Anacahuita/Wild Olive Buckeye, Mexican Condalia, Bluewood Crape/Crepe Myrtle Desert Willow Eve’s Necklace Holly, Possumhaw Holly, Yaupon Jerusalem Thorn/Retama Persimmon, Texas Plum, Mexican Redbud, Mexican or Texas Texas Mountain Laurel Viburnum, Rusty Blackhaw
And if you're really excited about getting your trees started, check out this free event from San Antonio Parks and Recreation! Their annual Jammin' Jams Tree Adoption event takes place this Saturday, January 28.
From their site: 1,300 fruit and nut trees will be available for adoption at the seventh annual Jammin’ Jams Fruit and Nut Tree Adoption on Saturday, Jan. 28, from 8 a.m. until supplies last. Meet us at The Pearl (parking lot between Avenue A and Hwy 281, just north of Pearl Parkway).The City of San Antonio’s Parks and Recreation Department, in collaboration with the Alamo Forest Partnership, is bringing this to you in an effort to promote food security, enhance canopy coverage, and diversify and beautify our community. Varieties include apple, fig, peach, pear, plum, pomegranate, Fuyu persimmon, and several citrus varieties including Improved Meyer-lemon, orange, and tangerine.