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Janet Laminack: Tree-planting time in North Texas is now

Fall is the perfect time for planting trees in North Texas.

Planting in the fall allows a tree to establish itself in the cooler temperatures of fall and spring.

When choosing trees, people often want a quick-growing tree. Quick growing sometimes means quick-dying, so it’s best to be patient and pick a quality tree. Some good choices for our area include oaks — burr, chinkapin, red oak and live oak. Lacebark elm, cedar elm and pecans also make nice shade trees. Smaller trees are a good option, especially on urban lots, and include redbud, crape myrtle, desert willow and wax myrtle.

When deciding where to plant a tree, consider the mature size of the tree. Consider how big this tree will be in 10, 20 or 30 years. Make sure you don’t plant a tree too close to power lines, buildings or other trees.

You also need to check that the tree isn’t too close to anything underground as well. Before you dig, call 811 to have the underground utilities in your lawn marked for free. Planting trees or shrubs might seem like minor digging, but not knowing where underground lines are could put you in danger or disrupt service in your neighborhood. For more information, visit

Trees can increase a home’s resale value. Properly placed trees can also help with heating and cooling expenses of the home. A deciduous tree (one that loses its leaves in the winter) placed on the south or west side of a home provides shade and cooling in the summer and allows for warming up in the winter.

Avoid putting a tree in the ground too deep. Keep the same soil line on the trunk when it’s in the ground as it was in the container. If this kind of exactness makes you nervous, place the tree slightly higher. Some settling may occur and it is very important to make sure the tree is not too deep.

Once the tree is planted, don’t forget about it. For the first three years, while it gets established, it will need more care such as supplemental water and reducing the competition of weeds and grass. For specific details on proper tree planting and more tree choices for our area, check out, e-mail us at or call 940-349-2892.

This time of year is also a great time to get in the water and participate in the Advanced Stream Restoration Design Workshop, Nov. 27-29. This class is being conducted by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and Upper Trinity Regional Water District, with topics including stream processes, impacts of urbanization, assessment methodology, restoration design procedures, case studies in stream restoration, permitting and legal issues. Cost is $150. For more information or to register, visit (keyword search: restoration) or call 979-845-2604.


JANET LAMINACK is the horticulture county extension agent with Texas AgriLife Extension. She can be reached at 940-349-2883. Her e-mail address is