I decided I wanted to add some more trees to our property some months back. I talked to our landscapers, JMA Living Landscapes, for ideas. I wanted trees that would do well in this climate and on our land specifically. I only wanted trees that are or would be spectacular. They could all be spectacular in different ways, of course, and probably should be. Spectacular blooms in the spring, perhaps, or spectacular leaves in the summer. Wonderful color in the fall would be great or fabulous shape and/or size. Any of those would be acceptable.
Matt and Amie, owners of JMA, are wonderful sources for all information plant related. Both of them learned their horticulture at Texas A&M and have worked in this part of the state for years now. They are always ready for a challenge.
We started off with "How many live oaks do you want?" Live oaks do really well here and we have a spectacular example of one in our backyard. And then there are other oaks that are pretty wonderful too - Chinkapin oaks and Red oaks do really well here, too. How about a Cedar Elm? They are large and beautiful.
OK. Now we have the backbone of our new planting. Two Live Oaks, a Chinkapin Oak, a Red Oak and a Cedar Elm. Now what about smaller flowering trees?
This is where I would love to talk about Lilac trees. It's one of my all time favorites but does not grow this far south. It needs a good solid freezing winter to be happy. <Penny makes a frowny face>
Redbuds are always good here. They have bright spectacular crimson blossoms in the spring although they are sort of boring trees the rest of the year. Or a Japanese Fringe Tree - also positively aglow with bright white flowers in the spring. What about a Fantasy Crepe Myrtle? It has a brilliant cinnamon bark and grows to 50' tall. Yikes!
We had talked about a Mexican Olive tree but somehow ended up with a Mexican Plum. Neither of these trees give fruit and the Plum has a more significant spring bloom so I'm OK with the change.
The one tree that my husband really wanted was another Magnolia. There was a Southern Magnolia, the kind that grows to be huge, here when we moved in. It was small and we added a water line. It grew to be big and round and lovely. We added three Little Gem Magnolias which are smaller and less dense. Ron wanted another Magnolia along the drive and the one we got was a third variant. I don't know what it's called but it's wonderful. It's a bit taller than the Little Gems but much thicker.
Step #1 - pick your trees. Check! 2 Live Oaks, 1 Chinkapin Oak, 1 Red Oak, 1 Cedar Elm, 1 Redbud, 1 Japanese Fringe, 1 Mexican Plum, 1 Fantasy Crepe Myrtle and 1 Magnolia.
Step #2 - do the plumbing work so that each tree gets water. Check! Brian Psensik was here with his trencher to dig all the water lines into the ground.
Step #3 - plant the trees. Check! This took a great tree spade to plant the Live Oaks and lots of work to get all the other trees into the ground.
Step #4 - Enjoy! Check!