Top Twenty Shade Trees for San Antonio! Landscape Nursery & Florist- Helotes, Texas
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# 13—Texas Ash (Fraxinus albicans; Buckley; also called Fraxinus texensis)
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 Texas Ash 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, Texas Ash makes our “Top Twenty List.” But perhaps, it will become your number #1 choice.
Strength: An Undiscovered Gem: “The Mountain Ash”
Did you know that there are many kinds of Ash trees. We should not think that all Ash trees are the same just as we realize that not all Oak trees are the same. Did you know that there is an undiscovered hidden gem of an Ash tree growing in our Texas Hill Country? Because it grows in the hills, Texas Ash is also called the “Mountain Ash.” And yet few people seem to know about it.
Strength: A Hill Country Native
This tree grows in pristine environments beside our Hill Country creeks and rivers and in areas where there are springs. It even grows along hill side cliffs cut out by the highway where there is water seepage. I have noticed them in the high hills along Highway 337 heading toward Lost Maples State Natural Area nearing Vanderpool. But most of the time you will see them near a Hill Country water source in lower lying areas.
Strength: Attractive Leaves
Texas Ash has happy plump rounded leaves. These are a bright to medium green color and usually about 2 to 5 inches inches long in our area. It has a visual cooling effect on the landscape. Mountain Ash leaves are rounder and prettier than the formerly used Arizona Ash.
Strength: Brightens Up a Dark Spot
Those pretty leaves really brighten up a dark space. Texas Ash is such a compliment to the existing Live Oaks and other native trees like Cedar Elms and Cedar Trees (Ash juniper) which have their dark trunks and dark green leaves.
Strength: Great Fall Foliage
Texas Ash is one of our best fall foliage trees! It is more dependable than Bigtooth Maple for yearly color. It shows off colors from yellow to orange to purple to red and brown. Its leaves are also very iridescent and translucent allowing sunlight to pass through and bounce off which offers brighter fall foliage than Texas Red Oak. Respected author and landscaper Sally Wasowski in her book “Native Texas Plants, Landscaping Region by Region” decribes the fall color in this way: “With redder shades on the outside and yellows on the inside, the whole tree looks like a candle flame.”
Strength: Moderate Growth Rate
Texas Ash is a moderately fast grower. The tree will grow two to three feet all the way around the crown and perhaps more with good rainfall and/or occasional watering.
Strength: Moderate Size Shade Tree
Texas Ash trees can grow up to about 45 feet tall and 30 feet wide in our area. This is a good size for smaller residential yards.
You will get some looks on your Texas Ash. Your neighbors will certainly notice. You will be providing interesting diversity to your area by planting this tree.
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!
Weaknesses: Not Long Lived
Texas Ash is not long lived like an Oak. But you can expect your tree to still look good at 50 years old.
Weakness: Needs Occasional Watering
Texas Ash may need supplemental water in order to survive significant droughts when it is young. It is not the best tree for totally neglected areas. It may be able to fend for itself in other regions of Texas but San Antonio's climate is too “feast or famine.”
More About Texas Ash
Different From Arizona Ash (Fraxinus velutina also called Fraxinus berlandieriana)
Around the San Antonio area, any tree called Ash seems to be discounted these days. This is because of the once over planted Arizona Ash-*/ which has fallen out of favor even though it is also a Texas native. In Texas, Arizona Ash is native mainly west of the Pecos. It has also naturalized in the San Antonio area along some of our waterways and roadsides. From west of the Pecos, Arizona Ash continues native through southern New Mexico, Arizona, south-central Utah and southern California. In some of those areas Arizona Ash is still a very popular tree.
Problems With Arizona Ash
During the 60's Arizona Ash was the most popular tree planted in the San Antonio area because it was believed to be a fast growing quality tree, not only beautiful but drought tolerant. Residential streets were literally lined with them so that sometimes they tunneled over road ways. It wasn't all bad. And the Arizona Ash did indeed provide beauty and shade. For the right person, Arizona Ash could be a majestic tree. I remember one customer who watered and manicured his yard for 40 years. He had an Arizona Ash in his backyard that was awesome. It was trimmed properly and well-watered along with his Saint Augustine grass. Most people, however, did not take as good of care of their Arizona Ash trees. The Arizona Ash trees of the 60's are almost gone now, although you can still see quite a few growing in more established areas of town as they continued to be planted although in fewer numbers than at first. The Arizona Ash was not without its problems but it has gotten a bad rap. It was a good looking tree in its early years but not in its older age. A few people still ask for Arizona Ash but not many. There is, however, an improved Arizona Ash called the 'Fan-Tex' Ash. This was developed by the late Eddie Fanick Sr. who began Fanicks Garden Center on the Southeast side of San Antonio. 'Fan-Tex Ash is a pretty, seedless Arizona Ash and is still available today, worthy of being planted. But the point is, “The Arizona Ash ain't no Texas Ash!” The Texas Ash is a different tree and should be given a chance to show that it is a great choice though overlooked.
Texas Ash Closely Related to White Ash
The Texas Ash, on the other hand, is native further east beginning in the Hill Country. Texas Ash is very much related to the White Ash (Fraxinus americana) which is a common tree from East Texas to eastern and central North America. Texas Ash trees, east of I35 and especially in eastTexas are considered to be this different species called White Ash, although the two trees are very similar.
Texas Ash For Sale At Wilson's
Each year we usually have a good supply of Texas Ash. Typically these 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)
If you are interested in buying or browsing Texas Ash 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 Texas Ash 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!
Other Top 20 Trees
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