​Top 20 Shade Trees for San Antonio!
Custom Plant Information by Wilson Landscape Nursery & Florist- Helotes, Texas

Welcome to Wilson's—We are glad you came our way.

"Top Twenty" #11
Anacua (Ehretia anacua)

“Sandpaper Tree”; “Sugarberry”

You have come to a great tree in your search! We at Wilson's hope that you find this plant information to be helpful and interesting. Let us know if we can help you further as you search for that special tree. Our information is based upon decades of loving trees, learning about trees, growing trees, maintaining trees, talking about trees, selling trees. planting trees, watching trees grow, enjoying the beauty of trees and being grateful to God for creating trees!

“The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food.” “And God saw that it was good.” (Genesis 2:9; 1:12)

Strengths and Weaknesses Listed
All of our plant information sheets will eventually include a section on weaknesses instead of just strengths. All trees have weaknesses and strengths. In order to thoroughly evaluate a tree, you should consider both. Let me begin by offering some strengths of Anacua and then I will describe some weaknesses. You will be happy to discover that this trees strengths overcome its weaknesses! In fact, from our viewpoint, Anacua makes the “Top-Twenty” list coming in at #11. But perhaps, it will become your number #1 choice.

Meaning of the Name: Anacua
The name “Anacua” is from the Nahuatl language of the Aztecs. It can be translated “paper tree” probably because of its peeling bark.

Strength: A Great Unusual Native
Anacua is a great native tree that not many people know about. This is one of those trees that grows very well here but is seldom used. If you would appreciate a tree that adds unusual beauty to your yard and that enhances the tree diversity of our area, Anacua is a great choice.

Strength: Flowers, Leaves and Berries
This tree has beautiful dark green leaves that are rough to the touch and so it is sometimes called “Sandpaper tree.” It covers itself in clusters of star-like white flowers in spring. No other shade tree on our list has impressive of flowers as Anacua.  These flowers are very fragrant and the bloom is a real show-stopper. After that, come the berries. These are about the size of a pea and change from yellow to orange to red in color from late spring to early summer. They are edible and taste like pumpkins so the tree is also known as “Sugarberry.” Birds love the berries too.

Strength: A San Antonio Area Native
Anacua is native in the San Antonio area. You can see it growing along the River Walk and in the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park. There is a beautiful tree on the grounds of the Bexar County Courthouse Downtown. This particular tree is San Antonio City Forester, Michael Nentwich'es, favorite tree! Not only is it beautiful but it is claimed to lower the outside temperature by twelve degrees to those who sit under its deep shade. Other Anacuas are dotted in neighborhoods just north and south of Downtown. I have seen them in the Almos Basin and Alamo Heights. Birds love the berries and spread the seed here and there and the trees sprout up on their own. Although Anacua is not as widespread here, it is an important part of the lower Rio Grande forest down in deep South Texas. I have also noticed nice trees in the Corpus Christi area in West Guth Park. The Arboretum at Landa park in New Braunfels also has some nice Anacuas.

Strength: Attractive Twisting Trunk
One of the unusual attributes of Anacua is its interesting trunk. It usually produces multiple trunks when left alone. These trunks fuse and twist together into more of a singular trunk or to fewer trunks as the tree ages. This unique trunk is sure to catch your attention and your neighbors will be wondering where you got that tree!

Strength: Drought Tolerant
This is a very drought tolerant, tough tree. It is very adaptable and will appreciate some good soakings as well.

Strength: Deep Shade
Anacua trees cast a deep shade. As was mentioned, the tree might lower the temperature underneath by twelve degrees!

Strength: Can Create a Topiary or Bonsai
Anacua tends to grow dense foliage so it is possible to shape it into a rounded crown if you would like a perfectly rounded tree. Even if you shape the tree when it is within reach, you can always allow the tree to grow naturally as it gets larger. Anacua is also popular as a Bonsai tree.

Strength: Medium Sized
Sometimes you don't want a gigantic tree. Not that Anacua doesn't get moderately large, perhaps about 40' feet tall and 30' feet wide.

All trees have weaknesses and strengths. In order to thoroughly evaluate a tree, you should consider both. You will be happy to discover that this trees strengths overcome its weaknesses!

Weakness: Messy Birds and Berries
Since the birds love this trees berries, they can make quite a mess on sidewalks during berry season.

Weakness: Lack of Availability
More nurseries should carry this tree and more growers should grow it. It might be tough to find.

Weakness: Bushy Growth Habit
Before the Anacua develops its classic twisted trunk(s) it can go through a phase of multiple suckers and trunks that emerge from the base. Left to itself it can become like a big bush rather than a single trunked tree. It may take some selective thinning to produce a more single trunked tree.

Weakness: Shades Out Grass
All that great shade is not great for turf grass to grow under it.

Anacuas For Sale At Wilson's
We are currently growing Anacua trees and in the next few years we should have good availability. Typically trees are sold as 5 gallon, 15 gallon, 30 gallon and 45 gallon. Larger trees are occasionally available as well.

A Blessing For You
We hope that this plant information helps you as you search for that perfect tree. Whichever tree you choose, may it bring you many years of beauty and peace.

May you and your tree be “like a tree planted by streams of water which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither.” (Psalm 1:3)​


Buy Anacua Trees in Helotes at Wilson Landscape Nursery

Ehretia anacua

If you are interested in buying or browsing Anacua trees in Helotes or San Antonio, Wilson Landscape has an impressive stock of all sizes and shapes of trees. We grow all of our trees from acorns and seeds and only use the best fertilizers. We have beautiful Anacua trees to choose from. We specialize in tree growing, and we only grow native and well adapted Texas trees, so you can be sure they will flourish. Best of all, Glenn and Sherry are plant experts and would love to answer any and all questions and concerns  about your specific tree needs. Our knowledge is something that is hard to find.  Come on in or give us a call today! 
(210) 695-2703

Other Top 20 Trees