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 Top Ten Best Shade Trees For San Antonio 

2017

This list is based upon decades of planting, observing, appreciating, growing, researching, maintaining, selling and loving shade trees. 

There is no tree authority that demands planting these trees only; however, these trees do meet municipal ordinances for acceptable varieties and SAWS rebate programs. As long as a tree grows well in our area,  and is recommended by knowledgeable professionals, then your choice from a list like this depends upon what seems good to you. After you have done your own personal research, then trust your own gut feeling about what looks good to you. Like choosing from several attractive and mechanically sound automobiles, choosing a tree should be a happy time, based upon your own personal taste.  If you choose any of these ten,  they will provide decades of enjoyment. Each tree on this list has its own strengths and weaknesses. See the individual plant information sheets for more detailed information on each individual tree. Other lists may be of interest to you as well, such as, “2017 Top Ten Small Ornamental Trees for the San Antonio Area.” 


​Keep in mind that this ranking depends upon how well a particular tree blends into your own landscape. For example, many might rank the Live Oak tree as their number #1 choice;  however, if you already have ten Live Oak trees in your yard,  and your whole neighborhood is covered in Live Oak Trees, then a Live Oak Tree may be number #10 on your list or may not make your top ten list at all. The Live Oak tree will always be king of the San Antonio forest; yet.  This list is based generally upon what the existing San Antonio area needs now to provide the best tree diversity and beauty.   This top ten list is also based upon what trees are popular in landscaping now (2017). Trees become popular as people discover their beauty. This tends to snowball, usually for good reason.   For the last ten years or so, the Monterrey Oak has been the most widely planted tree in the San Antonio area. For the last few years,   the Mexican Sycamore has been gaining popularity.

Drought tolerance is another factor that might change your own personal ranking. Though most all of the trees listed here may be considered “drought tolerant”,  there is certainly a difference in their degree of drought tolerance.  See the list on the “2017 Top Ten Shade Trees According to Drought Tolerance for the San Antonio Area”. If you are looking for large leaves to brighten up an area, then Mexican Sycamore should rank high on your list.  The Bigtooth Maple ranks number #1 on my personal list for overall beauty.  The problem with Bigtooth Maple is its lack of availability and price. How unfortunate that such a great tree is still under-used and under-produced.    This list, for the most part, offers trees affordable and available.

currently only the most popular plants have information sheet write-ups. Many more will be coming shortly, thank you.