Gardening Tips with Neil Sperry: Choosing a Shade Tree

Hi, I’m Neil Sperry. I’m at your neighborhood Calloway’s, mine as well. I suggest you get there. It’s a lot of fun.

Choosing a Shade Tree

We’re going to talk today about choosing a shade tree, what goes into making the right decision. A lot of people ask me, “What’s the best fast-growing shade tree?” And what you may not think about is the fact that those terms are mutually self-exclusive. Fast growth usually translates to a bad tree. Let your Calloway’s sales rep help you choose the best tree. Let’s make a list of things you want in a shade tree.

Do you want a tree that’s attractive? Do you want a tree that is pest-resistant? Do you want a tree that is adapted to the soil that you have and that is beautiful all through the year? Are those things that matter? I think they do. Let’s put that on the list, all of those, and then let’s put in fast growth. You said that. Where does that fall in that list? I think it slides to the bottom.
Let’s choose a great tree. Let’s find a good-quality tree when you go shopping. Make your decision. Let your Calloway’s sales rep help you choose the tree that’s right for the place that you have.

Taking Your Shade Tree Home and Caring for It

And then, when you get that tree, take it home carefully. They’ll help you load it. Take it home. Get it planted right away. Water it by hand the first year that you have it. Don’t count on sprinkler irrigation to water it. It won’t be enough. Take a hose, take a water breaker. You do it yourself about every three or four days during that first growing season.

The Best Tree Types Offering Shade

Some of the best trees that we have for North Central Texas, where Calloway’s stores are located, there are four oaks that are outstanding: Live Oak, Shumard Red Oak, Chinkapin Oak, Bur Oak. Those are all native in or around our area, and they’re fabulous shade trees. They’re all large shade trees, and so are Pecans, Cedar Elms, and also Chinese Pistachios. The Chinese Pistachios are the one group of trees that are not native to our area. I’m really fond of Eastern Red Cedars. They’re native and they make a great big screening tree, but you have to have a lot of room for those. Southern Magnolias are fabulous, but they are decidedly slower-growing than the others that I’ve mentioned. So, those nine trees make up some of the best shade trees for North Texas.

You can also get Little Gem Southern Magnolia and Teddy Bear Magnolias for smaller trees. Mexican Plums are good. Golden Rain Trees are good. Lots of great trees. Let the folks at Calloway’s help you. I am very proud to have Calloway’s sponsoring both of my radio programs, KLIF on Saturday afternoons from 1:00 until 3:00, and WBAP, Sunday mornings from 8:00 until 10:00.

Again, I’m Neil Sperry. It’s been fun being with you. Thanks for watching.