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Austin, Texas is a wonderful place to make one’s home. The climatic conditions of this city are balanced enough to let you enjoy the best of all or most seasons. And if you are many among the blessed people who have a big lawn space, you can very well add more aesthetics to your home. Greenery in Austin is always amazing to behold. And if you are wondering about a shade tree for your home, maybe you should get one!

There are many fast growing shade trees in Austin that thrive in the city’s soil and climatic conditions. Here we have the 7 Best Shade Trees in Austin to help you decided on which one would win your heart (and lawn space!).

  1. Texas Ashtexas-ash-value-tree-service-austin

To uplift your lawn or garden scenario you can think of the beloved Texas Ash. It is one among the favorite trees of Texas and it will very well suit your lawn in Austin with all the good properties that it holds. Texas Ash is one among the best shades trees in Austin, due to its well adaptable nature

Texas Ash is also known as Mountain Ash. Its botanical name is Fraxinus texensis and it belongs to the Olive family.

Height and Width

The tree grows to a height of 45 feet and with a width of 2 feet. It is fairly fast growing

Color

The color of Texas Ash leaves is dark green on top of the foliage and lighter shades of green at the lower side. The fall foliage color is a wonderful shade of red and yellow, like a candle flame. The blossom is violet.

Bark

Texas Ash has a smooth gray bark which later gets furrowed and cracked.

Soil

It is quite a tolerant tree and thus is not demanding on soil properties. The pH value of the soil requirements ranges from acidic to alkaline.

Sun Exposure

It requires direct sunlight and partly shady areas for growth.

Other Features

The best qualities of Texas Ash is that it is drought tolerant, once well established. Also, it is endemic to limestone areas of southern Oklahoma down through North Central Texas and across the Edwards Plateau, including Kendall County. It is fairly fast growing, hardy, long-lived, fairly resistant to pests and diseases and is adapted to well-drained calcareous soils.

Common Diseases

You may have to closely watch out for Cankers, Hairy Root, Powdery Mildew, Wood Rots, Rust, Leaf Spots and other common diseases that readily affect an ash tree in Texas area.

  1. Bur Oakbur-oak-value-tree-service-austin

If your lawn is a big space, we mean a really wide space and you are ready to welcome a massive shade tree in Austin, then you may settle for Bur Oak. It is a large shade tree that is a great sight to behold. Bur Oak can be spotted commonly in the open woods, prairies, and even on sandy ridges. This is because this is one among the most tolerant of the oaks. Bur Oak can withstand harsh conditions and still continue growing. It has a wide, open and large crown and this is why it makes it a great choice for shade tree in Austin, Texas.

Bur Oak is also known as Mossy-cup oak, Prairie oak, and by other names as well. Quercus macrocarpa is the botanical name of this tree and it belongs to the Beech family.

Height and Width

The tall ones can exceed 100 feet as well. Whereas the average measurement is 36 to 72 feet. The trunk is also massive depending on the height of the tree. Owing to the massive size that it grows into, it is a slow growing tree.

Color

The leaves are dark green on top of the crown and vary down to greenish-gray below. It does have fall foliage and turns to yellow, red and even exhibits some brown. The bloom of Bur Oak is yellow, green and brown.

Bark

Bur Oak has dark gray bark. It turns rough and deeply ridged as the tree ages.

Soil

Bur Oak is the most adaptable type among Oak trees. It is quite tolerant and can handle various types of soil nature like Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay, Caliche type, Limestone-based. It is also cold tolerant but prefers acidic soils more than alkaline soils. However, it does tolerate high pH soils.

Sun Exposure

Bur Oak requires 6 hours of direct unfiltered sunlight. It appreciates shade as well, however, direct sunlight exposure is preferable.

Other Features

Bur Oak is highly tolerant deciduous oak variety that is best suited for open spaces. However, if your home can accommodate one, you can go ahead. The large crown is massive and attracts various species of butterflies, birds, and insects. The fruit (Acorn) has to be watched out for. It contains low toxic levels and thus not suitable for ingestion. However, after processing the fruit can be used. It was commonly used by Native Americans as a medication for heart diseases and other ailments. The wood is also used for flooring and construction purposes.

Common Diseases

Bur Oak Blight or BOB is one of the most common diseases that affect this tree.

  1. Cedar Elmcedar-elm-value-tree-service-austin

If you are looking for a dual purpose tree, to serve as an ornamental tree and also to provide shade for your home and lawn, you can consider the Cedar Elm. This is a great choice because of its hardiness. This tree variety grows in adverse conditions of soil and climate and can sustain itself pretty well with minimal care. Cedar Elm in Austin is popular for the visual interest that it spikes and it is notable fact that is also chosen as a street tree. One can spot Cedar Elm in the desert areas of the southwest.

Cedar Elm also has many other common names. Few to mention is Scrub Elm, Texas Elm, Fall Elm, etc. Ulmus crassifolia is the botanical name of this tree.

Height and Width

Cedar Elm at maturity grows to a height of 50 to 70 feet and 40 to 60 feet in width. The rate of growth is medium.

Color

The leaves are dark green and they change to their fall foliage which is bright yellow to dark green. The bloom is green.

Bark

The bark is light brownish to gray in color. It has flattened ridges and breaks into thin and loose flaky scales.

Soil

As mentioned earlier, Cedar Elm is an extremely adaptable tree. Thus it is capable of withstanding acidic and alkaline conditions as well. It can also grow in loamy, moist, sandy, well-drained, wet and clay soils, and limestone-based soil. Cedar Elm is also tolerant of cold and high temperatures.

Sun Exposure

The ideal amount of 6 hours of direct unfiltered sunlight is preferred for proper growth.

Other Features

The wonderful Cedar Elm is also a common attraction for butterflies and other small birds and animals for nesting. The rounded vase shape of the foliage and crown is a great sight to behold. It is tolerant of adverse climatic conditions and can sustain well with minimal care. The light-green blossoms are an addition to the visual interest that Cedar Elm instills. The wood from Cedar Elm is most often used in making furniture, wheel hubs and fencing.

Common Diseases

The common diseases that Cedar Elm faces are Dutch Elm Disease, Wetwood, Blackspot and Anthracnose.

  1. Lacebark Elmlacebark-elm-value-tree-service-austin

Quite similar to the Cedar Elm, Lacebark Elm is also a tolerant and resistant tree. This also can be planted to add beauty to the landscape and also as a good shade tree for an Austin lawn. The Lacebark Elm is one among the most disease resistant trees against the common problems that elm trees face. The wide rounded crown of the Lacebark Elm may become the attraction and the best shade tree in Austin, Texas that your lawn is looking for.

Lacebark Elm belongs to the Elm family is also known by the common name Chinese elm and few other names too. The botanical name of this tree is Ulmus parvifolia.

Height and Width

The tree grows to a height of 40to 50 feet and spread of 35 to 45 feet in diameter at maturity. It is fairly fast growing tree compared to other large sized shade trees.

Color

Lacebark Elm is filled with lustrous dark green leaves that change to yellow and reddish purple in fall.

Bark

The bark is thinner and has a mottled appearance, with pieces of bark peeling away and thus the tree receives its name, Lacebark Elm.

Soil

Lacebark Elm is also a tolerant and resistant variety of tree that can sustain with little maintenance. It can grow even in acidic, alkaline, loamy, moist, sandy, well-drained and clay soils. Moreover, it is also found to have an extent of flood tolerance and drought tolerance.

Sun Exposure

This tree is capable of growth under partial shade and full sun exposure. This means it requires 4 hours of direct unfiltered sunlight in a day.

Other Features

This tree from the Elm family is indeed a treat to the eyes because its glossy and luscious green leaves are simply beautiful. The fall color that changes from yellow to purple is the best among the Elm trees. Even the bark, which is a distinct feature of the Lacebark Elm, has shades of brown, gray, green and orange. This tree is also the home to nesting birds and small animals. It attracts mourning cloak, eastern comma and question mark butterfly larvae and many more species with its seeds and small fruit.

Common Diseases

The tree does encounter few pest problems. However, you can rest assured that it is resistant to the elm leaf beetle, Dutch elm disease and elm yellows (phloem necrosis) which are the common tree diseases that affect Elm trees in Austin.

  1. Monterey OakMonterrey-Oak-value-tree-service-austin

Another wonderful oak to the list of the best shade trees in Austin is the Monterrey Oak. It is quite a commoner in Mexico and is also known as the Mexican Oak for the same reason. It naturally occurs in only one known area of U.S population and that is near the Devil’s River in Val Verde County. Lately Monterrey Oak is gaining popularity as a landscape tree because of its ability to withstand common diseases and drought conditions. This almost-evergreen tree can become your favorite shade tree in Austin too!

Quercus polymorpha is the botanical name of the Monterrey Oak. It also is known as the Netleaf White Oak or Mexican Oak. This large shade tree belongs to the Beech family.

Height and Width

At maturity, this tree is found to grow to a height of 50 to 80 feet with a spread of 50 to 80 feet. It is quite a fast growing oak, growing at an eager speed to give you beautiful results.

Bark

The bark is dark to light gray in color. Trunks have scales and flaky plates, which then turn into shallow fissures on older trunks.

Color

Monterrey Oak makes a wonderful ornamental tree because of the beautiful shades of colors that it exhibits. The color transition before early spring moves from bronze to pinkish bronze colored leaves which later changes to a vibrant green color.

Soil

The soil conditions that Monterrey Oak prefers require close attention. The tree prefers slightly acidic to neutral, deep, moist, well-drained soil. Although it is adaptable to other soil textures, it is intolerant of alkaline, shallow or abused urban soils. However, it is found to be tolerating of moderate drought and occasional wet soil conditions too.

Sun Exposure

Monterrey Oak requires partial sun exposure which means it needs full unfiltered direct sunlight for at least 4 hours.

Other Features

The rounded or oval large canopy of this tree makes it a great choice as a shade tree for Austin, Texas lawn. The brilliant fall colors of red or burgundy are also a beautiful sight to behold as an ornamental tree. The Monterrey Oak is a long-living tree, with a lifespan extending to centuries too. The yellowish-green catkins that droop down in clusters during spring are a beautiful sight. Like many other Oak varieties, the White Oak is also an expert at attracting insects, small mammals and birds for nesting purpose and for food with their ample acorn produce.

Common Diseases

The Monterrey Oak is one of the healthiest trees in the Oak family. It is resistant to Oak Wilt which affects Oak trees commonly. The common issues that this tree is found to face are powdery mildew and spring oak worms.

  1. Japanese Red Maplejapanese-red-maple-value-tree-service-austin

If you are looking for a compact tree that will fit your yard to provide sufficient amount of shade and still look dashingly beautiful, the Japanese Red Maple is a perfect choice. A beautiful shade tree in Austin, Texas, the Japanese Red Maple is an attractive and welcoming tree in a garden. The distinct shape of the leaves, which are palm-shaped and the bright red color makes it a wonderful tree for your Texas garden.

The botanical name of Japanese Red Maple is Acer palmatum.

Height and Width

At maturity, the tree reaches a height of 15 to 25 feet with a  spread of 20 feet. The growth rate is slow to medium.

Color

The summer leaf color of Japanese Red Maple is green most often. The fall color is reddish purple foliage which is a fabulous sight.

Bark

The tree has a gray and smooth bark.

Soil

The Japanese Red Maple grows in acidic, loamy, moist, rich, sandy, silty loam, well-drained and clay soils. However, it prefers moist, well-drained soil conditions but has some drought tolerance.

Sun Exposure

This tree can grow sufficiently well in part sun and part shade. It requires 4 hours of full, direct and unfiltered sun.

Other Features

This tree will demand some amount of care during seasons of high winds and late spring frosts. The young leaves will need some protection, being the small tree that it is. The soil will also have to be watered to be kept it consistently moist during dry periods. The seeds of Japanese Red Maple are a popular attraction for squirrels and chipmunks.

Common Diseases

Apart from powdery mildew, root rot, and other common diseases, Verticillium Wilt is a disease that has to be watched out for in Japanese Red Maple.

  1. Chinese PistacheChinese-Pistache-value-tree-service-austin

Another pretty shade tree in Texas region that is common in many yards and parks is the Chinese Pistache. This is an invasive species and hence many hesitate or do not recommend planting it. Nevertheless, many public spaces and yards have given this beautiful shade tree a home. The bright fall colors and foliage serve as an ornamental tree and also for shade. Chinese Pistache is a native of China and East Asia and was introduced into North America.

Pistacia chinensis is the botanical name of the tree.

Height and Width

It grows to a height of 30 to 40 feet with a spread of 30 feet at maturity. It is a long living species and grows in a medium to fast rate.

Color

The fall color and bloom is a bright red with pale green summer foliage colors.

Bark

Chinese Pistache has an interesting bark, where it is grayish brown color on the outside and when peeled from the tree, it opens to show a bright salmon pink interior within.

Soil

Chinese Pistache prefers mildly acidic and mildly alkaline soils.

Sun Exposure

This tree requires full sun for growth, which is 6 hours of unfiltered direct sunlight.

Other Features

The tree comes with an extremely hard, durable wood. You will be surprised that the wood of this tree is characterized to protect the tree from wind, ice and vandal injury, also making it decay resistant. It is also a tough tree, (quite hardy for an invasive species naturally), being tolerant of both urban and rural conditions.

Common Diseases

Chinese Pistache is also susceptible to Verticillium Wilt.

That is the end of the list of our 7 Best Shade Trees in Austin, Texas. We hope you found each of the tree characteristics helpful and interesting. If you require any assistance with settling on the best shade tree for your lawn or yard or garden space, or anything to do with the greenery, be sure to contact us at Value Tree Service, the best tree experts in Austin Texas area.

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