sturdy and fast growing tree for Texas?

Discussion in 'Trees, Shrubs and Roses' started by ruthy, Aug 12, 2012.

  1. ruthy

    ruthy New Seed

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    Austin Texas area....looking to plant a tree in the south west area of the yard to provide some shade to the house. Area is well draining and gets full sun.

    I thought red oak is good for Texas and drought tolerant but it is a bit on the slow growing side. Husband wants to plant a cottonwood....the non pollinating kind...as they seem to grow extremely quickly and the broad leaves provide good shade.

    I have heard that the faster a tree grows, the less stable it is and more prone to cracking or instability. That concerns me about the cottonwood. Anyone know if that is a legitimate concern?

    And if so, then what would be a good compromise for us? Something that will provide some shade in a decent amount of time, but not be a strong risk of falling limbs or prone to damage?
     
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  3. marlingardener

    marlingardener Mighty Oak

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    Cottonwoods are prone to cracking, and are fairly short lived. They are nice down by the pond, but not near the house!
    Arizona Ash is a nice tree-fairly fast growing, but again it isn't a tree your great-grandchildren are going to enjoy.
    May I suggest you go to Zilker gardens and look at their trees. Ask one of the horticulturists there what tree would work in your situation. I recommend Zilker because they don't sell trees.
     
  4. toni

    toni Mistress of Garden Junque Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    A fast growing tree is usually a short lived tree and sometimes unstable in severe weather, more so than a sturdy Oak or Pecan. It also depends on what you consider fast growing..we have two 30-40 foot Pecans that reached that height in just under 20 years which to me sounds like fast growing ;)

    This Native Hill Country Trees link will give you an idea of what does great in your neck of the woods. You are not far from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center where the photos come from, you might wander around there to see what they look like in person get more information on them.
     
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  5. ruthy

    ruthy New Seed

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    Thank you for the great advice! :D

    We looked into some local arborist sites and the Texas Forest service and have settled on the Chinese Pistache which is supposed to have moderate growth but does well in our area and soil and has the benefit of being a great shade tree with lovely fall color.
     
  6. cherylad

    cherylad Countess of Cute-ification Plants Contributor

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    Wow... sure gonna be colorful in the Fall :stew2:
     

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