In 2017, Richardson was designated as a Platinum Scenic City, in part because of the quality of our trees. The Parks and Recreation Department has created this webpage to share some tips on selecting, planting and caring for trees, along with providing a short list of some of the trees that are best suited for our local climate.
Selecting a Tree
- Look for a tree with a strong trunk and well-shaped form.
- Leaves should have a good color and not appear blotchy.
- The trunk flare should be visible above the level of the soil in the container.
Not all trees are suited for all areas, so try to select “the right tree in the right place.” Know how large your tree will be at maturity and locate it to minimize future conflicts with other trees, sidewalks, foundations, fences, etc. A large shade tree may someday require that the turf underneath it be changed out to a more shade-tolerant variety to prevent bare areas underneath. Keep these tips in mind to plant with purpose for the future. The following list of native and well-adapted trees are good choices for the North Texas climate. For a full list of trees, visit www.cor.net/plantguide.
Desert Willow, Mexican Buckeye, Oklahoma Redbud, Texas Mountain Laurel, Vitex
Bald Cypress, Bur Oak, Cedar Elm, Chinese Pistache, Chinkapin Oak
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- Fall and spring are great times to plant trees.
- Place the root ball on firm soil and make sure that the top of the root ball is level with the surrounding grade.
- If necessary, stake the tree to protect it from the prevailing winds. The guy lines should not be too tight and the portion that contacts the tree trunk should be covered with a hose.
- If you’re replacing a tree, plant the new tree at least 6 feet away from the old tree’s location.
- Water your new tree deeply immediately after planting.
Trimming Your Trees
Start pruning your tree after it has been in the ground for a year. Always make cuts on the outside of the branch collar and use the three-cut method to prune back to another branch or node.
Water your tree deeply and infrequently to promote deep root growth.
In an urban landscape, an ideal tree is 65% crown and 35% trunk.
Newly planted trees may require staking for support. Periodically check that the wire/rope is not damaging the tree trunk and remove once no longer needed.
Don’t prune oak trees between April 1 and Oct. 1 to help prevent the spread of oak wilt.
Richardson Replants offers an opportunity for community members to replace trees lost in parks, greenbelts or medians due to storms. The Parks and Recreation Department will work with groups or individuals seeking to help support the replanting effort. The program also encourages and serves as an educational resource for residents seeking to replace storm-damaged trees on private property. Contact the City of Richardson at 972-744-4300 on how you can support the replanting of trees on public property or for more information on replanting on private property.
The following links provide additional information on the planting and care of trees:
- Tree Planting and Maintenance Resources from the Texas Trees Foundation
- Texas Smartscape Tree Care Guide
- Texas A&M Forest Service “After the Storm” Tree Planting Guide