Summer Tree Planting: Choosing the Right Species for the Season in the Texas Hill Country

Summer Tree Planting: Choosing the Right Species for the Season in the Texas Hill Country

June 27, 2023

Summer is the ideal time for tree planting in the Texas Hill Country, as the warm weather and increased rainfall provide favorable conditions for growth and establishment. However, selecting the right tree species is crucial to ensure their survival and long-term health, which is why our team at Ben & Annie’s Trees for Tomorrow has come up with some key considerations you should think about when choosing which tree species you want to plant this summer throughout the Texas Hill Country. 

Climate considerations

The Texas Hill Country experiences hot summers and relatively mild winters, so when selecting tree species for summer planting, it’s important to consider their heat and drought tolerance. Look for species that can withstand the scorching temperatures and occasional droughts that are common in this region. Additionally, select trees that can adapt to the clay-rich, alkaline soil found in many parts of the Hill Country. 

Native species

Native trees have adapted to the local climate, soil conditions and pests, making them more likely to thrive in the Texas Hill Country. They also provide habitat and food sources for native wildlife, contributing to the ecological balance of the region. Some popular native tree species suitable for summer planting include: 

  1. Texas Red Oak: A handsome, medium-sized tree with beautiful red foliage in the fall. It is drought tolerant and well-suited to the Hill Country’s climate.
  2. Texas Ash: A fast-growing tree that provides ample shade. It thrives in well-drained soil and is well-adapted to the Hill Country’s hot summers. 
  3. Mexican Buckeye: A small to medium-sized tree known for its pink spring flowers and showy red seeds. It is drought tolerant and can withstand the Hill Country’s challenging conditions. 

Water requirements

During the initial stages of planting, trees require more watering than normal to establish their root systems. However, once established, it is essential to choose a species that can tolerate the Hill Country's periodic water scarcity. Look for trees that are moderately drought-tolerant and have efficient water-use strategies, such as:

  1. Texas Mountain Laurel: An evergreen tree with aromatic purple flowers in the spring. It’s drought-tolerant and requires minimal watering once established. 
  2. Mexican Plum: A small to medium-sized tree that produces fragrant white flowers in early spring. It is well-adapted to the Hill Country’s water availability. 

Site considerations

Consider the specific characteristics of your planting site, such as available sunlight, soil drainage and space requirements as some tree species may prefer full sun, while others can tolerate partial shade. Assess the soil’s drainage capabilities to avoid species that require well-drained soil if your site tends to retain water, and consider the available space for the tree to grow and choose a species that fits well within those limitations. 

The perfect season for planting

Summer tree planting in the Texas Hill Country can be a rewarding experience, but it requires careful consideration of the tree species. By choosing native species that are heat and drought tolerant, you can create a thriving ecosystem that enhances the beauty of the region. Remember to provide sufficient water during the establishment phase and select species that can adapt to the unique soil conditions and available sunlight in your planting site. With proper care, your summer planted trees will flourish and provide shade, beauty and environmental benefits for years to come. At Ben & Annie’s Trees for Tomorrow, sharing tree care tips with the community is one way our team is able to make a difference. If you’d like to donate to our cause or partner with us as we continue to do our work throughout the Texas Hill Country, give us a call at (210) 670-5297 or fill out our online form today.