Rachel Lutts' Blog
Your xeriscape plan now includes ornamental grasses for volume, flowering plants for color through the seasons and succulents for intense greenery, texture and ground-coverage. What about height? And shade! Shade trees are typically not tolerant of drought conditions, but there are a few different options, depending on your climate. So, what trees can you plant in your yard to continue your eco-conscious gardening quest? Here are a few ideas to add shade and stature to your yard.
Oak — There are many varieties of oak trees. Most are drought tolerant, enjoy full sun and provide great shade for your yard. The oak that's best for you depends mostly on your climate zone and size of the yard. The following are three beautiful oak trees to consider.
Live Oak — Enjoy a sizeable shade-heavy tree with this oak species native to America. Live Oak grows to about sixty feet, and its branches can expand up to 120 feet in width. Give your oak care while it establishes itself. Help it develop a branch structure with pruning during its first three years and enjoy your tree through mature growth and beyond. Establish this tree in your garden now and share with those who come after you for centuries.
Bur Oak — The Bur Oak can withstand extreme heat and drought and still grows up to eighty feet tall, and eighty feet wide. This oak does have a slow growth rate, increasing in size just up to twelve inches each year. The shade created by Bur Oak is dense, and its bark adds unique texture to your yard.
Red Oak — An incredibly stately tree, the Northern Red Oak is a fantastic choice for your yard. Growing slightly shorter in stature to the Live and Bur Oak, the Red Oak fits a smaller yard size with just a sixty to a seventy-foot height at maturity and a forty-foot width. Red oaks are particularly useful if you want fast growth in your yard. This tree gains up to two feet each year.
Hackberry — Known by experts as one of the most robust trees capable of surviving in a variety of soils and conditions, the Hackberry should be on your list as a possible addition to your xeriscape. The Hackberry grows at a medium pace, around twelve to twenty-four inches per year and up to sixty feet tall and wide at maturity. Beautiful leaves and red berry-like fruit make this tree great for shade coverage and color.
Sugar Maple — For an enormous burst of color in the fall add a Sugar Maple to your yard. Leaves change from deep green to red to orange to yellow creating a rainbow of interest. This moderately drought tolerant tree can grow in many climate zones and reaches up to seventy-five feet and fifty feet wide at its mature size. With a medium growth-rate, the Sugar Maple sees twelve to twenty-four inches of grown per year.
Trees are a more expensive part of your landscaping investment so be sure to research and select the best species and variety for your area. With proper selection and careful establishing these additions will provide color and shade to your xeriscape yard. Pair with your ornamental grasses, flowering plants, and succulents for the perfect drought-tolerant yard design.
If a xeriscape home is essential to you, tell your realtor now. They can help you find the yard design you want before you buy the property and save you the cost of an overhaul. Or, they can find a better deal for you on a home lacking in landscaping to keep room in your budget to create your dream xeriscape.