Ehretia anacua

Anacua, Knockaway, Sandpaper Tree, Sugarberry, Bird-berry, Manzanita

About This Plant

Sun or shade. A subtropical evergreen, usually deciduous in central Texas. In downtown San Antonio, anaqua can be easily mistaken for live oak, but the knotty, twisting trunks and rough, sandpapery leaves are distinctive. It is a charming specimen in all sizes but grows especially large in the alluvial soils of southeast Texas. White flowers appear in warm weather, followed by tiny fruits with a pumpkin-like flavor. Anaqua provides plentiful food for fruit-eating birds, who plant it freely along alleys and fencelines. German settlers in the Texas Hill Country called it Vogelbeerenbaum (bird-berry tree).

Origins: South Texas and northeastern Mexico


Pruning is optional. Make cuts only at a bud or branch, removing no more than 25% of the canopy during any five-year cycle. Maintain a healthy specimen by leaving the upper 2/3 of the tree’s crown uncut (on a 12-foot tree, stick to the lowest 4 feet.)

The Sandpaper Tree: a South Texas specialty.

Min. Height: 30'

Max Height: 40 feet'

Min. Width: 30'

Max Width: 35 feet'

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