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A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Friday - June 06, 2008

From: Bruceville, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Native trees to replace dying Arizona ash (Fraxinus velutina)
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have two 25-30 year old Arizona Ash trees in my front yard, which I think are dying. They are the only shade my house gets, and I am dreading losing them. (They are massive and beautiful) What are my best options for fast-growing, AND long-living, replacements. I live between Waco and Temple (Bruceville, Tx) and if you dig you find rock, I believe I've heard it called caliche. Other than that, I don't know much about soil-types??? Please help!!!

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants is very sorry about your Arizona Ash trees. Here are six trees that are reasonably fast-growing and long-lived that would be good replacements.

Fraxinus texensis (Texas ash) is a small to medium tree (30-45 feet) and is fast-growing and long-lived.

Fraxinus pennsylvanica (green ash) is a larger tree (50-75 feet) and is fast-growing and hardy.

Ulmus americana (American elm) is large (60-80 feet) and fast-growing.

Ulmus crassifolia (cedar elm) is large (50 to 70 feet) and fast to moderate growth rate.

Quercus macrocarpa (bur oak) is a large tree (up to 100 feet) and is has a rapid growth rate.

Quercus muehlenbergii (chinkapin oak) is medium to large (40-60 feet) with a rapid to moderate growth rate.

These two oaks are resistant to oak wilt.

To see more options for trees, visit the Texas Forest Service's Texas Tree Planting Guide. To ensure that you are looking at trees native to Texas, select "Is a Texas native" under Option 4.

If you are interested in learning more about the soils in McLennan County Texas, it is possible to download a Soil Survey from the Natural Resources Conservation Service of the USDA.


Fraxinus texensis

Fraxinus pennsylvanica

Ulmus americana

Ulmus crassifolia

Quercus macrocarpa

Quercus muehlenbergii

 

 

 

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