Anacua, Knockaway, Sandpaper Tree, Sugarberry, Bird-berry, Manzanita
South Texas and northeastern Mexico
- Central Texas
- Full Shade
- Full Sun
- Part Sun/Shade
- Attracts Pollinators
About This Plant
Sun or shade. A subtropical evergreen, partly deciduous in central Texas. White flower clusters appear in warm weather, followed by tiny sweet fruits with a pumpkin-like flavor. With knotty, twisting trunks, a full grown anaqua may resemble live oak, but the furrowed bark and rough, sandpapery leaves are distinctive. It is a charming specimen in all sizes, and reseeds freely in alleys and along fencelines. Anaqua provides plentiful food for fruit-eating birds; German settlers in the Texas Hill Country called it Vogelbeerenbaum (bird-berry tree). It grows especially large in the alluvial soils of south and southeast Texas; in downtown San Antonio, it can be easily mistaken for live oak.
Pruning is always optional. Cuts should only be made at a bud or branch; in general, it’s good to focus on minimizing dead, damaged, or rubbing branches. As with any tree, remove no more than 25% of the canopy during any five-year cycle. Leave the upper 2/3 of any tree’s crown uncut to maintain a healthy specimen, never removing more than the lowest third of the tree in a single pruning period. Mulch with about 2” of woodchips or pine bark wherever possible. In general, a tree’s mulched area should be six feet at minimum.
30-40' H, 30-35' W
Full Shade, Full Sun, Part Sun/Shade
Bees, Birds, Pollinators