Best Shade Trees For Houston, Texas

Texas is known for its hot summers, thus selecting trees that are suitable for this climate is usually the best thing you can do for your health. Shade trees for Houston gardens will protect you from sun exposure, but they are also able to stay healthy and tolerate pests and diseases during hot months. However, it is imperative that you know how to keep your shade trees healthy, so consulting with a Texas tree service is always a plus.
Keep reading to find out about different shade tree Houston species and why they are good for your garden! 

Related Post: Plant Trees In Houston

Shade Trees for Houston – Common and Beautiful Species 

1. Bur Oak

Bur oak is a native, drought-tolerant tree that can withstand life in the city. It is very tough, it grows up to 80 feet in height and can spread its limbs to approximately 50 feet. This tree produces huge acorns each year. They are about 2 inches in length and diameter and are help in basketlike, fringed cups. This is where the common nickname “mossy cup oak” originated from.

Well-draining, fertile soil and a lot of sun are a must. Arborists usually consider this tree to be a fast grower. There are a couple of examples of bur oak in Houston that are more than 50 feet tall.

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2. Drummond Red Maple

Drummond red maple is another native shade tree Houston loves! It is very popular and can be seen in a lot of backyards. It provides heavy shade and its leaves look beautiful in the fall. They are usually golden yellow, but sometimes they display broader splashes of red. However, some Houston areas never get to see these red colors, unfortunately. It prefers moist, acidic soil and partial sun for healthy growth. Usually, Houston tree services consider this tree to be a fast grower whether you plant it in clay, loam, or sandy soil. Carolina chickadees love this tree, but other birds visit it regularly too. 

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3. River Birch

River birch tolerates standing water and thrives in Houston’s black gumbo soil, making it one of the best shade trees for Houston area. It reaches more than 50 feet in height when fully mature and its spread can be up to 30 feet. In addition, it can live more than 30 years and is considered fast-growing by most arborists. It’s interesting that this is the only birch native to Texas. It prefers pine bark or pine needle mulch that will acidify the soil while breaking down. 

Part sun will do the job for this tree, but you have more chances of eliminating pests and diseases in full sun. The leaves turn yellow before the late fall when they drop. They are triangular but rounded on the bottom. 

4. Drake Elm

Drake elm is a deciduous, fast-growing tree that is sometimes considered evergreen in the area. This Chinese elm cultivar prefers moist, fertile loamy soil and full sun. It is drought-tolerant and likes good drainage. In addition, it has a very interesting bark texture and its fall color varies. Drake elm can grow up to 30 feet in height and 20 feet wide. Sometimes, its heavy canopy may require support, but it usually has no problems with diseases and insects.

Make sure you consult with an arborist when planting since it can fall if not planted properly. Girdling roots can be a big problem and can kill a tree after a couple of years after planting. This is a shade tree Houston loves, but be careful when buying it since it is sometimes mistaken for the less-desirable Siberian elm. 

5. Mexican Sycamore

Mexican sycamore is another deciduous native that grows quite fast in the right conditions. It has large blue-green leaves with white undersides that are very noticeable when it’s cold. Attractive bark adds to the aesthetics of Mexican sycamore. It is tolerant of wet and dry conditions, as well as of the most types of soils. Mexican sycamore prefers full sun, and it can grow more than 60 feet in height in an optimal environment. 

6. Green Ash

Green ash can grow up to 80 feet in height and spread its limbs to 40 feet wide. This native has a rather narrow spread and is a way better option for the Houston area than the more-popular Arizona ash. With its height, it provides a lot of shade, while staying healthy and having relatively no problems with pests and diseases. In addition, it is used to prevent erosion and is considered to be fast-growing. The foliage changes color in the fall, making this tree look beautiful throughout the whole year. It adapts to a variety of soils but prefers moist, organic soil. 

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7. Live Oak

Live oak can spread its crown up to twice its height, and it can grow to 50 feet in height. It is long-lived and tolerant of poor soils and drought. However, extremely well-drained deep sand and poorly drained soils may cause some problems in the development of live oak. In the Houston area, its leathery gray-green leaves are evergreen. Bear in mind that this tree is susceptible to oat wilt fungus. 

What are the best fast growing shade trees?


Usually, people consider live oaks, bur oaks, green ashes, and drake elms to be the best fast-growing shade trees. Still, it is up to you to choose the most suitable option. It all comes down to aesthetics and whether you have enough space for planting a certain type of tree. 

Tree Service Removal Overview

When it comes to shade trees for Houston area, the options are almost endless. Still, you want to make sure to pick just the right type for your garden or backyard. Don’t hesitate to consult with your local arborist to get the advice and guidance on how to care and maintain for a shade tree. If you do everything right, you will have a big shade for you to protect you from the sun during the hot summer months in Houston!

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