Large Trees

Large trees for the Houston Area (NOT recommended for planting near or under power lines).

Common Name Scientific Name Benefits Comments
Red maple Acer rubrum Spring & fall color Rapid growth; Drummond is an excellent variety
River birch Beula nigra Showy, salmon colored bark; fall color Rapid growth; prefers moist soils
Pecan Carya illinoensis Edible fruit; wildlife; long-lived Texas state tree; native is best shade tree, while varieties produce larger pecans
Green ash Fraxinus pennsylvanica Fall color Tolerates a wide range of conditions; rapid growth
Chinese pistache Pistacia chinensis Fall color Tolerates a wide range of conditions; drought tolerant
American holly Illex opaca Females with red berries; wildlife Evergreen; prefers moist, acidic soils; several varieties & hybrids available
Sweetgum Liuidambar styraciflua Fall color Rapid, upright growth; prefers moist soils
Loblolly pine Pinus taeda Wildlife Evergreen; rapid, upright growth, prefers acidic soils
Live oak Quercus virginiana Wildlife, long-lived Semi-evergreen; spreading branch habit; dense shade; drought tolerant
Bur oak Quercus macrocarpa Wildlife, long-lived Drought tolerant; prefers well-drained soils; unusually large acorns
White oak Quercus alba Fall color; wildlife; long-lived Prefers well-drained soils
Shumard oak Quercus shumardii Fall color, wildlife Prefers acidic to mildly alkaline, well-drained soils
Water oak Quercus nigra Wildlife Rapid growth; tolerates poor drainage
Overcup oak Quercus lyrata Wildlife Tolerates poor drainage
Bald Cypress Taxodium distichum Fall color, long-lived Tolerates a wide range of conditions, including poor drainage
Cedar elm Ulmus crassifolia Fall color Tolerates a wide range of conditions; drought tolerant
Chinese elm Ulmus parvifolia Fall color, unique bark Rapid growth
American elm Ulmus americana Fall color Rapid growth; distinctive vase shape; tolerates a wide range of conditions
Black walnut Juglans nigra Edible fruit; wildlife Requires well-drained soils
Eastern redcedar Juniperus virginiana Good screen/windbreak; wildlife Evergreen; drought tolerant
Southern magnolia Magnolia grandiflora Showy, fragrant flowers Evergreen; dense shade; varieties available; avoid hot dry locations