Lovely As A Tree

To me, there’s nothing more picturesque and peaceful than being amongst leafy giants, basking in their lovely shade and bearing witness to the wildlife they host.

Planting a tree is an honorable task that when done correctly provides benefits for decades to come. But do you know which trees grow best here?

Your tree’s longevity not only depends on site conditions but probably more importantly on the type of tree. Silver maples, Arizona ash and many pines are destined for short, unhealthy lives in the San Antonio area.

These shade-bearing Texas natives are far better choices.

  • Mexican oak — Growing up to 40 feet tall, they’re only native to Val Verde County but are widely available in the nursery trade. This variety of oak tends to maintain some of its dark-green, leathery leaves during the winter.
  • Cedar elm — Our only native fall-flowering elm can handle a wide variety of soil types, making it ideal for planting here.
  • Chinquapin oak — Our own Mark Peterson, who is also an arborist and Texas forester, claims this one as a personal favorite because of its low maintenance, adaptability to all soil types and ability to withstand long periods of drought.

Start creating some long-lived beauty of your own. Plant one of these trees and help create some magnificent shade in San Antonio!

Picture of Mark Peterson
Mark Peterson
Mark A. Peterson was a conservation project coordinator for San Antonio Water System before retiring. With over 30 years of experience as an urban forester and arborist, Mark is probably the only person you know who actually prunes trees for fun. When not expounding on the benefits of trees and limited lawns, you're likely to find him hiking San Antonio's wilderness parks or expounding on the virtues of geography and history to his friends.
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