Autumn is ideal for planting. Cooler temperatures mean less stress for plants and trees, and warm soil helps roots acclimate and grow.
Before planting a tree, consider its mature size to determine its location.
“Don’t plant trees too close to a house or sidewalk,” says John White, a certified arborist and professional horticulturist.
“Proper planting is critical. Dig the hole twice the diameter of the root ball, but only as deep as the root ball. Tease the roots. If they’re too long, prune them or replace the tree.”
Good root development means efficient uptake of water and nutrients. When to water, and how much, determines success.
“Water in the mornings,” says John Zimmerly, manager at Eastside Nursery. “If you start with a large tree, give it 10 to 15 gallons of water. Smaller trees can do well with 3 to 5 gallons.”
"Water around the tree’s base and root zone, however big the pot was," Zimmerly says. "As the tree grows, water as wide as the branches extend.”
Stay away from Poplar’s, Cottonwood, or Weeping Willows; they require high water use and carry disease and insect problems.
Another tree to avoid is the Mulberry. The city of El Paso banned the fruit-bearing tree in 1992 because its pollen impacts air quality.
Best trees for El Paso
Mondell Pine, known as Afghan Pine, can endure El Paso’s dry summers. These windbreak trees grow upright up to 60 feet at a fast pace. They keep their branches from top to bottom and need little pruning. Water pines all year. As the tree gets older, it will require more water because it will have more leaves.
Crape Myrtles grow up to 20 feet and bloom flowers summertime into the fall. Find them in many colors, including white, pink, and red. Crape Myrtles are great stand-alone trees, multiples should be spaced 15 to 20 feet from each other. The first week, water every day. Once mature, water three times a week.
The Chinese Pistache enhances property with color and beauty. Plant it where it gets direct sunlight, no closer than 25 feet from a home’s foundation. This tree grows fast and is drought resistant. Give it two or three inches of water once a week during pleasant weather, twice a week during summer.
Raywood Ashi s a compact tree that grows upright, nearing 35 to 40 feet once mature. Its foliage is an attractive green in the summer and wine-red in the fall. The ash is a good source of shade. This hardy tree should receive plenty of sunlight and requires more water than others.
Live Oak trees offer significant shade and live for centuries. Location is essential: they grow large in length and width. Live Oaks only require partial sun and need to be watered regularly.
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