Autumn is the perfect time to plant perennials and woody plants in Central Texas, and that includes trees. Our temperate autumn and early winter months allow trees and other woody plants ample time to establish roots before winter dormancy. These strong roots better prepare the trees for the spring flush of new growth and will support them throughout our long, hot summers. To give your trees the earliest start possible, we recommend planting in October right as the weather begins to cool off.
You may already have an ideal spot for a shade tree in mind – to provide relief in a scorching part of your yard that you avoided all summer long or to shade a south facing window that heats up the whole house. Temperatures beneath shade trees can be up to 9 degrees F cooler than unshaded areas – an investment in energy savings and comfort that will increase in value each and every year. Lower growing evergreens, such as Arizona cypress, Yaupon holly, and Texas mountain laurel can function as a privacy screen, a wind break from cold northerly winds in winter, structure for the winter garden when the landscape is at its barest, and habitat for a myriad of bird species that overwinter in our area.
Download the digital version of our beautifully illustrated Native Tree Growing Guide for Central Texas for information about species selection for our area, guidelines for planting the right tree in the right place around your home, and detailed instructions on how to plant and care for your trees. You can find even more in-depth information about specific species you’re considering for your garden at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center’s Native Plant Database.
If you don’t plan to plant a tree in your own yard this autumn (or even if you do), please come out and plant some trees with the finest tree planting volunteers in Texas! Volunteer opportunities are posted online at treefolks.org.