Do Christmas Trees Grow in North Texas?
Date December 10, 2022
Due to our hot summers and warm nights, only a limited number of Christmas trees grow in DFW. The most common ones you’ll find locally won’t be the classic Balsam, Fraser, or Douglas Firs. Still, Texas provides a home for several Christmas tree species that serve well to add some year-round greenery for your landscape or a decorative focal point for the holidays. This blog post will explore different types of Christmas trees that grow in North Texas and how to take care of them. We will also discuss why some of the most popular Christmas trees aren’t best for planting.
Native North Texas Christmas Tree: Eastern Red Cedar
The eastern red cedar is the closest species to native Christmas trees in North Texas. With many cultivars and growing patterns, eastern red cedars can be trimmed to stay as a large shrub or grown into a shade tree. Eastern red cedars are hardy and adaptable to a variety of DFW soil types. Additionally, they can survive our scorching summers and freezing temperatures. On the downside, many people are allergic to easter red cedars, so it may not be the best for all landscapes. However, if you’re looking for a native North Texas evergreen to decorate your yard or grace your home during the holidays, the eastern red cedar will be your best bet.
Pine trees and evergreens imported to North Texas have had varying degrees of success. Most pine tree species prefer dry, sandy, or rocky soils over denser, clay-heavy North Texas soils. A lack of drainage can lead to too much moisture in the soil and cause some species to develop root rot or fungal infections. If you’re looking for some holiday decor, these options will work, but there may be better options for planting.
The Virginia pine is a fragrant, short-needled pine tree with dense foliage forming a classic Christmas tree shape. This species grows best in acidic soils but can be adapted in other parts of Texas. The Virginia pine is also popular for Christmas tree customers who prefer to shop from choose-and-cut tree farms.
Though similar to the Virginia pine, Afghan pine trees have branches further spread apart, offering a more “open” appearance, perfect for stringing lights and hanging ornaments! This particular type of evergreen tree is mainly growing in western and central Texas, so while it may not be the best choice for growing in North Texas landscapes, it makes an excellent addition for the holidays.
Though they share the cypress name, Leyland cypress trees are more similar to juniper bushes than bald cypress. They can be an option for planting a Christmas tree in your yard, but tend to be disease prone in our area. Leyland cypress trees are also an option for those allergic to many evergreens, like the eastern red cedar. This tree is dense with short needles, and if kept in water, it will likely outlast many other real Christmas trees during the holidays without leaving a ton of needles on your floor!
Once a North Texas landscaping staple, Italian cypress trees and their juniper cousins have developed several health issues over the past few years, including seiridium canker. This tree disease has been spreading around DFW due to climate and other environmental conditions like drought, humidity, and dramatic temperature swings common in North Texas. These environmental conditions have threatened Italian cypress tree health and caused them to be more vulnerable to disease. Homeowners should refrain from planting this species unless they commit to regular tree maintenance and preventative treatments made by ISA Certified Arborists. While many homeowners may be tempted to use them for privacy screens, and since they’re similar in shape to Christmas trees, there are better options for our ecosystem.
Growing Christmas Trees in Texas
If you plan on buying a Christmas tree to decorate in your home, any of these options will do. However, when it comes to growing your own real Christmas tree, the eastern red cedar will be the most adaptable and hardy species for the North Texas climate and soil types.
Christmas Tree Care
Buying a live Christmas tree for the holidays can be a worthwhile investment. There’s nothing like the fragrant scent of a Christmas tree to ring in the holiday cheer, but choosing the right one is essential, even if it’s only for a short time. The Christmas tree species you’ll be able to find at your local tree farm will have great options for decorative purposes, but if you’re looking to grow a Christmas tree on your property, the species and how you take care of it make all the difference.
For more information on how to take care of your live Christmas tree, check out our blog: [UPDATED] How to Care for Your Live Christmas Tree This Holiday Season
North Texas Tree Care
TreeNewal is a full-service sustainable tree care company offering residential and commercial tree services in Dallas, Argyle, Denton, Fort Worth, Flower Mound, Southlake, and Westlake. Whether you need help with tree trimming and pruning, tree insect and disease management, tree nutrition, or more, our Dallas tree care specialists understand the local environment, and how to give North Texas trees the care they need to thrive. We’re committed to protecting customer investments and promoting a greener, more sustainable community during the holidays and beyond. Contact our certified tree experts at (817) 592-6846 and enjoy tailored tree care advice and the best tree health services in North Texas!