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Saturday - November 03, 2012

From: Georgetown, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Replacements for Ashe Junipers in Georgetown, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford


We have cut down several cedar trees on our property in Williamson County Texas. We would like to replace the cedar trees with another variety of tree. Do you have recommendations for what type of tree might work best? I have heard that the soil beneath a cedar tree, even one that has been cut, is not appropriate for planting anything.


The so-called cedar tree in Central Texas is actually not Thuja plicata (Western red cedar) nor Thuja occidentalis (Northern white cedar), neither of which is native to Texas, but most likely Juniperus ashei (Ashe juniper) which is native to Williamson County. All members of the same family, Cupressaceae; it is just more a question of where they are native.

In terms of soil beneath a "cedar" tree being inhospitable to other plants, have you not ever heard of Salvia roemeriana (Cedar sage)? In fact, if you follow this plant link Juniperus ashei (Ashe juniper) to our webpage on that plant, you will find this paragraph:

"The uniquely rich and well-draining soil that builds up as juniper leaves fall and decompose is ideal for several native plants, some of which tend to occur almost exclusively in association with it, including Cedar Sage (Salvia roemeriana) and Cedar Rosette Grass (Dichanthelium pedicillatum). The beautiful but notoriously difficult to propagate Texas Madrone (Arbutus xalapensis) also seems to germinate best in the soil beneath these trees. Other central Texas plants often seen under or near it are American Smoke Tree (Cotinus obovatus), White Limestone Honeysuckle (Lonicera albiflora), Lindheimers Garrya (Garrya ovata var. lindheimeri), and Orange Zexmenia (Wedelia texana)."

However, what you have requested is a replacement variety of trees. We will go to our Recommended Species for the Edwards Plateau and, using the list of characteristics on the right hand side of the page, look for Tree under Habit and Narrow Your Search. You can use the same technique to look for Herb (herbaceous blooming plants), Shrub, Grasses, etc. You can also select on sunlight available, soil moisture, even desired height on each habit. Since you are replacing trees, we will give you a list of suggested trees from this list; all are native in or around Williamson County:

Chilopsis linearis (Desert willow)

Diospyros texana (Texas persimmon)

Ilex vomitoria (Yaupon)

Leucaena retusa (Goldenball leadtree)


From the Image Gallery

Thuja occidentalis

Ashe juniper
Juniperus ashei

Eastern red cedar
Juniperus virginiana

Cedar sage
Salvia roemeriana

Texas madrone
Arbutus xalapensis

American smoke tree
Cotinus obovatus

Western white honeysuckle
Lonicera albiflora

Wedelia acapulcensis var. hispida

Desert willow
Chilopsis linearis

Texas persimmon
Diospyros texana

Ilex vomitoria

Goldenball leadtree
Leucaena retusa

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