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Tree Search for McKinney, Texas
As I have mentioned before, one of the things that I enjoy about McKinney, Texas is the plethora of trees. While I was driving around today I noticed several varieties that I recognized such as Bradford Pear, Pecan, and Oak trees. And then I became curious about which specific trees were most suited for McKinney, Texas.
I was surprised that this search took some digging and some sifting. But after a while I came across a website that is associated with the Texas A&M University System. This Texas Forest Service website had fantastic illustrations of about a hundred different trees that were included in there Texas Tree Planting Guide. On this website I found that there were two different tree selectors: one was called the express tree selector and then there was a custom tree selector. In both of these search tools, I could define my geographic location by selecting my county. In my case, I chose Collin to represent McKinney.
First I tried out the Express Tree Selector on the website. Here there are two parameters: County, and size of tree. So I cycled through each of the sizes (small, medium, and large) and I found that the following trees are a recommended for Collin County:
Small Trees: (20 feet tall or less) Mexican Plum, Mexican-Buckeye, Rusty Blackhaw, and Desert-Willow. Out of these four choices that were listed on the website, the Desert Willow, Chilopsis linearis, seemed the most ideal to me for a small tree to plant in McKinney, Texas. This species is highly drought resistant and it also tolerates acidic soils. This tree also exhibits pink flowers but does not drop messy fruit. Actually, this website explained that overwatering this tree is actually one of its main problems! This would be a great tree for a landscaping area in McKinney, Texas that I did not want to have to commit lots of maintenance to.
Medium Trees: (20 to 40 feet tall) Texas Red Oak, Lacebark Elm, Texas Walnut, and Goldenraintree. Well, here in McKinney, Texas you can’t go wrong with the good old Texas Red Oak tree. Also, Quercus buckleyi is referred to as the Spanish Oak. The Spanish Oak is drought resistant and has beautiful red fall colors. However, this website said that oak wilt is a very bad disease that can really destroy these trees. So those facts lead me on another website search: What’s oak wilt? I found some information on this tree disease on a US Department of Agriculture Forest Service website. On this website page, I found that oak wilt is a fungus that affects all oak trees, but Red Oaks are particularly susceptible. Interestingly, this disease is spread mostly via root grafts which naturally occur between neighboring trees. While this fungus is more prominent in the Midwest, it does occur in central and north Texas. This website said that there’s no prevention. The only thing to do is to dig up and destroy the infected trees help prevent the spread.
Large Trees: (40 feet or more in height) Pecan, Bur Oak, Chinkapin Oak, and Cedar Elm. I found on this website that pecan trees are super easy targets for insect pests. My friends had some pecan trees and they were extremely nasty with bugs. But I am not sure that they invested in any kind of care for their pecan trees. So out of these, I think I might plant a Chinquapin Oak for my McKinney landscape because they have the smallest acorns of these four. But I don’t want more acorns! I guess I better do some more research.
Well it’s a really good place to start getting some knowledge about tree species that will do well in McKinney, Texas. As I continued my search for good trees to plant in McKinney, I found a huge soil conditions database that is extremely interesting. Also I found another chart that gave a quick reference guide for planning trees in different regions of Texas.