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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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Saturday - February 14, 2015

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Planting, Soils, Trees
Title: Need fast growing deciduous trees for Austin, TX
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

We'd like to plant several fast growing deciduous trees in a full sun yard with a hard alkaline soil in the western edge of Travis Heights in South Austin. I've noted several locations in our neighborhood where Sycamores have grown very rapidly--Jo's Coffee on South Congress is one. Which Sycamore does best in our climate and soil? How wide/deep must the hole be? How must the soil be treated before planting? What is the range of planting season?

ANSWER:

Planting a tree is a good thing to do, and this link from TreeFolks  suggests that fall is the best time for planting in this part of the  country.

 Sycamore Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore) is a good choice but the Tree Selector from Texas A&M can provide you with other choices. Be sure to look at the "Tree planting tools" feature.

Here are two links about soil from Bachmans.com:

  understanding soil

  acidifying soil 

The next step is to plant your new tree, and here are three links that can give you some help:

   from our step by step guides, How to plant a tree 

   from mikesbacyardgardening.com   includes a video

   from treehelp.com 

These should provide sufficient guidance to get you on you way.

 

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