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Mr. Smarty Plants - Native Shade Tree for Central Texas

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Saturday - February 26, 2011

From: Marble Falls, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Native Shade Tree for Central Texas
Answered by: Brigid & Larry Larson

QUESTION:

My parents are buried in Round Mountain Cemetery close to Marble Falls, TX. Can you recommend a tree or shrub we can plant to shade their graves? We need something that can survive and grow in the hot sun with very little water and very little care. Thank you.

ANSWER:

Mr Smarty Plants hopes that a beautiful native tree can provide shade and comfort for your family.  How about a Fraxinus pennsylvanica (Green ash)?  They are fairly fast growing, giving shade and food for the birds.  An issue you may find in Round Mountain is the deer.  Deer like to browse on Green ash, like they do on so many plants, so the young trees will need protection until they are established. Just remember that any tree you plant will need some care in general the first 2 years. You might want to consider a tree irrigation bag around the base to make sure it has good moisture in that critical growth period, especially if it's planted in the spring or summer.


Fraxinus pennsylvanica

 If the Green ash is not quite to your liking, here are a few more recommendations that should do well, although they will not be as large and have the spread of the Green Ash.  Two trees that are rated as “moderate deer resistance” are Ilex vomitoria (Yaupon) and Rhus lanceolata (Prairie flameleaf sumac).  In the “High Deer Resistance” category, I like the Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore) and the Ungnadia speciosa (Mexican buckeye)

              
Rhus lanceolata
           Ilex vomitoria             Ungnadia speciosa      Platanus occidentalis                            

All of these fine native trees will provide shade for the graves and will do fine in the hot Central Texas climate once you've given them a little help to start out!

 

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