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Thursday - January 29, 2009

From: New Braunfels, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Fast-growing shade tree for New Braunfels, Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton


I would like to plant a tree in the back of my property which is located in the Hill Country just north of New Braunfels. Could you please suggest something that is fast growing and will grow in full sun and in limestone soil? The tree will be watered at first (for the first few weeks) but will not get any supplemental watering after that. Native trees nearby include ashe juniper, cedar elm, and live oak. Would Texas Sycamore work?


First of all, Platanus occidentalis (American or Texas sycamore) is not really a good choice for your situation since its native habitat tends to be moist bottomlands or sites with readily available water.  Since your site is dry, you would have to do considerable watering to get a sycamore established. I can suggest some other trees, both fast-growing and with moderate growth.  Any of the trees listed below will also require some watering at first to become established.


Fraxinus berlandieriana (Mexican ash) to 30 ft.

Fraxinus pennsylvanica (green ash) 50-75 ft.

Fraxinus texensis (Texas ash) 30-45 ft.

Chilopsis linearis (desert willow) 15-30 ft.

Ulmus americana (American elm) 72-100 ft.

Morella cerifera (wax myrtle) up to 20 ft. and evergreen.

Quercus macrocarpa (bur oak) to 100 ft.


Ilex vomitoria (yaupon) 12-25 ft. and evergreen.

Ulmus crassifolia (cedar elm) 50-70 ft.

Quercus muehlenbergii (chinkapin oak) 40-60 ft.

Acer grandidentatum (bigtooth maple) 10-15 ft.

Fraxinus berlandieriana

Fraxinus pennsylvanica

Fraxinus texensis

Chilopsis linearis

Ulmus americana

Morella cerifera

Quercus macrocarpa

Ilex vomitoria

Ulmus crassifolia

Quercus muehlenbergii

Acer grandidentatum



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