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Tuesday - February 08, 2011

From: Houston, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Nuttall oak to replace ornamental pears in Houston, TX?
Answered by: Joe Marcus


We recently bought a house in the heart of Houston that has 2 huge flaming pear trees that were planted too close to the house and just engulf the house. Our landscaper suggested taking them out and plant a Nuttall oak tree. Do you agree or have any other suggestions? Thanks!


Though we're not familiar with the term, flaming pear, we are guessing you're referring to one of the ornamental pears or Asian origin.  Among the most common and potentially costliest landscaping mistakes is the planting of trees too close to structures.  When siting a new tree, its ultimate height and spread should always be primary considerations.

Quercus texana (Nuttall oak) would be a good choice for your area - it's native to Houston and much of the southeastern US - if the size of your yard and other factors allow for it.  Like most red oaks, it is fairly fast-growing and provides excellent shade and attractive late-fall leaf color.  Large deciduous trees, like Nutall oak, are particular welcome additions to landscapes on the western side of homes where they provide cooling afternoon shade in summer.


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