Helotes Trusted Tree Source For 30 Years!       Helotes TX #1 Florist For 30 Years!

beautiful full grown blueish green san antonio bald cypress for sale at wilsons tree nursery in helotes
beautiful san antonio american "jefferson" elm tree growing in a pot for sale at wilsons tree nursery south central texas

Commonly asked questions about

the Mexican sycamore for San Antonio / South Texas

Q: What zone does the Mexican sycamore grow in?
A: Zone 7 – 10
Q: Can the Mexican sycamore survive in south east Texas?
A: Yes! These trees grow all over Texas
Q: Can the Mexican Sycamore survive hard south texas freezes? Like the big Texas freeze?
A: The Mexican sycamore is a tough tree and can survive hard freezes including the big freeze.
Q: is the Mexican sycamore native to south Texas?
A: The American sycamore is native to south Texas, the Mexican

sycamore is closely related

At Wilson Tree Nursery and Garden Center we grow and sell all of these fast growing tree types and many more! We serve fast growing trees, drought resistant trees, tall shade trees, small flowering trees, evergreen trees, fall foliage trees and every other type of tree that does well in the south central texas / San Antonio / Austin / Helotes hill country area. If you are ever near us, come on by! We would love to chat and help you with all your questions!

#2 Cottonwood

Believe it or not, the cotton wood tree is even faster than the Mexican sycamore tree by a tiny bit. You can expect 6 to 8 feet of growth per year! The cotton wood refuses to slow down and will grow vigorously between 60ft to 100ft with a spread of 30ft to 50ft with a horizontal branch growth style. the cottonwood makes a medium sized circular leaf with a glossy shine.

The cottonwood is fairly drought resistant. Although it will look better with more water, it can survive on much less. Cottonwoods are vigorous growers making them a good option for any soil type south Texas can throw at them.

One downside of the cottonwood is that it can also be messy. The cottonwood makes cotton on its branches which can fall and need cleanup. This tree also has a strong root system which is best kept at least 10 feet from anything important.

60 to 100FT Tall x 30 to 50FT Wide

PROS: 6 to 8FT of growth per year, glossy/showy leaves

CONS: Can be messy, Roots can be destructive

  Top 4

#1 Mexican Sycamore

  For San Antonio, Austin and South Texas 

small small crooked green san antonio cottonwood tree in pot

If you are looking for a fast shade tree with a unique look, the bald cypress is a great option. These tall shade trees can grow 3 to 4ft per year! The bald cypress typically grows to the 60 to 70ft hight range, but can grow up to 120 feet tall.

The bald cypress is one of the oldest trees in all of America, and a healthy bald cypress can easily be a tree your great grand children can enjoy with proper care. The bald cypress grows very small, needle like leaves. Although younger bald cypress can look sparse, a healthy, older bald cypress can become very full and provide a good amount of shade.

The bald cypress is another tree that needs a good amount of water to look its best. It is more drought resistant than its reputation, especially once established, but expect to give this tree double the water of your typical oak to look its best. For this reason, Bald cypress make good trees to plant next to pods or sources of water.

60 to 70FT+ Tall x 50 to 60FT Wide

PROS: 3 to 4 Feet of growth per year

CONS: Needs lots of water, Can make "Knees"

#4 Bald Cypress

San antonio american jefferson elm leaf up close for sale at wilsons tree nursery in helotes south central texas

The king of fast growing shade trees in south Texas is the Mexican sycamore. This beast can grow 7 feet a year with proper watering and plenty of good soil and area to spread into. The Mexican sycamore will grow between 50 and 70ft tall and 30 to 40ft wide with a pyramidal branch growth style.

The Mexican sycamore has one of the largest leaves of the tall shade trees, easily growing a foot wide. Although some claim the Mexican sycamore is not drought resistant, this is not true! While the Mexican sycamore does need extra water during its establishment period, it grows to be extremely drought resistant rivaling the live oak tree. The Mexican sycamore is deciduous and will lose its leaves in the fall and put then back on in the spring. The Mexican variety is also much more disease resistant than its brother the American sycamore, making it a better choice for clay soils.

One downside of the Mexican sycamore is the mess it makes in the fall. With its large leaves, seed balls and even (at times) dead wood, this tree can be messier than other evergreen varieties. Additionally, with powerful roots can come damage to anything too close. While roots will generally go for the path of least resistance, it’s a good idea to plant your tree 10 feet or further from anything important. 

50 to 70Ft Tall x 30 to 40FT Wide

PROS: 6 to 7FT of growth per year, Large leaves

CONS: Messy Tree, Needs extra water while establishing

up close green san antonio cottonwood leaf fast growing tree

 Best Fast Growing Shade Trees 

lush, full, beautiful san antonio bald cypress tree for sale at wilsons tree nursery north west SA, TX

The Jefferson elm was once the most popular tree in America, and for good reason. This beauty grows straight up at lighting fast speeds of 4 to 6ft per year. As the elm gets closer to its mature height it falls into a V shape. The Jefferson elm grows to about 50ft tall by 40ft wide. Thanks to its large leaves, the Jefferson elm creates an abundance of shade and beauty.

The Jefferson elm is also quite drought resistant once established and can handle our south Texas/ San Antonio/ Austin climate with no problems. Jefferson elms have gotten a bad wrap by some who fear the dutch elm disease that took out the american elm variety. Luckily, the Jefferson elm variety is a disease resistant cultivar that should live centuries with proper care and a little love.

The Jefferson elm is just starting to rise in popularity as homeowners and tree lovers re-discover what made this tree the most popular in America in the early 1900s.

50FT Tall x 40FT Wide

PROS: 4 to 6ft of growth per year , Beautiful V shape branches

​CONS: Relatively Unknown Tree

The south central Texas area of San Antonio, Austin, and the Hill Country harbors a vast array of beautiful and hardy shade trees. Of the dozens of excellent varieties, a handful of trees out-preform all others in speed. Your typical san Antonio oak tree will grow about 2 to 3 feet per year. This is a respectable speed, but nothing compared to the top 5 fast growing tall shade trees on our list. On the low end of our top 5 fast growing shade trees you can expect 4 to 5 feet of growth per year. The absolute fastest growing trees on our list can reach speeds of 6 or ever 7 feet of growth per year!

While there are other shade trees for the san Antonio and Austin area that can match these high speeds, we have selected the hardiest and most drought resistant varieties for San Antonio. You can rest assured that any tree on our list will live for a lifetime with good watering practices.

#3 Jefferson Elm

large green san antonio mexican sycamore leaf fast tree
giant beautiful San Antonio mexican sycamore tree silver white leaves fast growing