By Donna Kauffman
It seems only natural when considering to plant a tree to first look at what is native to Colleyville. One choice is the Red Oak, which has the longest lifespan and is the largest. The Red Oak grows to a height of 60 ft. and is known to live 200+ years. There are single and multi-trunk trees available. Red Oaks have gorgeous burgundy-red fall color; however, it needs good drainage and lots of space.
Another large tree of choice is the Pecan. You see them naturally in low lands, especially around Bear Creek. A Pecan grows tall and wide. For production, choose one of the Indian name variety such as Choctaw or Cheyenne. Plant a bare root tree now and prune it in half. It will give you an established, fast growing tree, growing 7 ft. a year!
Cedar Elm is a lot more slender in habit than a Pecan or Oak. It has pretty yellow fall color and doesn't have the diseases and pest problems other Elms do. Cedar Elm can be transplanted quite large. It is not uncommon to see 9-12" trees being moved by a crane at commercial properties.
Mexican Plum and Red Bud are smaller trees, they grow to a height of about 25 ft. Both are early spring bloomers, flowering before leaves appear. The Mexican Plum blooms white and has a black trunk. The Red Bud blooms a pink color and has heart shaped leaves. Its name is derived from the red color in the buds as they start to swell.
There are three other trees native to Colleyville that work well when planted in combination with the Red Bud or Mexican Plum. They are Eastern Red Cedar, Possum Haw Holly, and Sumac. The Eastern Red Cedar is an upright juniper that is ideal as a living Christmas tree. It grows to a height of 40 ft. and can spread to more than 20 ft. Its an evergreen, of course, and has contrasting blue berries in the fall. Possum Haw Holly is actually a Youpon Holly that loses its leaves for a brilliant show of orange or red berries all winter long. Sumac has a red flame color during the fall. It shoots up runners under ground to constantly rejuvenate its self. You must plant Sumac where it has room to spread. It also has a pretty triangle shaped seed head that can be used for all sorts of ornamentation.
The best thing about native plants, is that they have adapted to all our environmental extremes and survived through natural selection. Native plants can withstand periodic extreme cold or drought, unlike introduced plants that have to be replaced after an unusually harsh season.
As you drive through Colleyville look to uninhabited pastures and old fence rows to see what naturally occurs -- because when planning your landscape it is best to first consider what naturally occurs here in Colleyville.