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Mr. Smarty Plants - Native trees for revegetation project

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Friday - October 05, 2007

From: Round Rock, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Native trees for revegetation project
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We live in a MUD just outside of Round Rock Texas. There is a developer building apartments behind about 20 houses. Last year, we got the developer to agree to leave 20' of native vegetation in the easement behind our fences. In June their contractor mistakenly cut down this 20' easement behind 3 houses. We have been in discussions since then and the developer has come up with a plan. One of the trees they are recommending is a Leyland Cypress. We have found notations on the internet regarding this evergreen some good, some bad. Other trees recommended were liveoaks, red oaks and cedar elm. Since the ultimate goal is for a tree based privacy barrier that grows as quickly as possible we are wondering which trees would be the best choice. Our soil is alkaline and rocky. The developer has offered to put in a 3' berm which would help with both soil conditions and starting height of the trees. We have a meeting to finalize this with them soon. Would it be possible for you to give us a recommendation for this type of landscaping? The developer is offering 6" caliper trees which they say is the largest they can put in. Our MUD Horticulturist says to put in 2" trees as 6" would be more stressed. Thank You for your assistance.

ANSWER:

Here are recommendations concerning your developer's revegetation plan:

1. We do NOT recommend Leyland Cypress. It is not a native. If you want evergreens, we suggest:

a. Juniperus virginiana (eastern redcedar)
b. Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain-laurel)
c. Leucophyllum frutescens (cenizo)
d. Morella cerifera (wax myrtle)

2. Since liveoaks and red oaks are susceptible to oak wilt disease, we recommend that you substitute, or at least include, some oaks that are resistant to oak wilt disease. Here are a couple of suggestions:

a. Quercus macrocarpa (bur oak)
b. Quercus muehlenbergii (chinkapin oak)

3. Ulmus crassifolia (cedar elm) is a good choice.

4. We agree with your horticulturist that the smaller diameter trees are better.


Juniperus virginiana

Sophora secundiflora

Leucophyllum frutescens

Morella cerifera

Quercus macrocarpa

Quercus muehlenbergii

Ulmus crassifolia

 

 

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