Top 5 Trees and Shrubs to Plant in North Texas

Date January 11, 2023


Author TreeNewal Staff

If you want to create a vibrant, diverse, and lush North Texas landscape, this blog is for you! While it’s common knowledge why trees are essential to North Texas ecosystems, knowing which to plant in front yards can be challenging. We’ve put together this list of the top 5 trees and shrubs to grow for Dallas/Fort Worth climates. So, whether you’re looking for a shade tree or a flowering bush, we’ve got you covered!

Which Trees and Shrubs Should I Plant in Dallas/Fort Worth?

All trees and shrubs in North Texas should serve a purpose. Whether you’re looking to add a privacy screen, hardy shade trees to lower your electricity bill, or a decorative focal point for your yard, you should consider these needs when deciding. However, choosing a species well suited to North Texas climates, soil types, and growing conditions are equally important and will be the best way to protect your investment. Below, we’ve outlined the best trees and shrubs to plant in Dallas to achieve your landscape goals while preserving the ecology and habitat of our beautiful communities.

5 Best Trees to Plant in North Texas

These trees are recommended by ISA Certified Arborists, Dallas tree care specialists, and Texas Super Star plants due to their adaptability, tolerance, and maintenance ease.

Texas Oak Trees

What kind of list would this be if it didn’t involve our beloved oaks? Oak trees are a staple in North Texas landscapes, and for a good reason! Oak trees are incredibly adaptable, well suited to our climate, and boast exceptional tolerance to heat and drought. Depending on your preference, Texas Red Oak, Shumard Oak, Live oak, Lacey oak, Chinkapin, and Bur oak are commonly available and perfect for adding shade and a beautiful stately look to your yard.

Crepe Myrtle Tree 

This graceful tree comes in around 50 varieties with colors ranging from fuchsia, lavender, red, white, and more. The handsome green foliage contrasts with vibrant hues, and some varieties have inherited resistance to North Texas tree pests and diseases. However, the pink crape myrtle is one of the best species for warmer locations in Texas. An abundance of blooms will grace the tops of the canopies during the spring and summer, adding beautiful color to any DFW landscape. For optimal flowering, plant in full sun and call (817) 592-6846 to schedule professional tree pruning services by a Dallas tree surgeon during the appropriate times.

Cedar Elm Trees 

Cedar elm trees are widespread and native to North Texas. They are deciduous, moderate to fast-growing trees that tolerate a variety of soil conditions, making them one of the most adaptable tree species in DFW. During autumn, you can expect reliable fall colors under the right conditions, and their height makes them excellent for privacy and shade for commercial and residential properties.

For more information on tree growth rates, check out our blog “North Texas Tree Growth: Fast vs Slow Growing Trees”.

Chinese Pistache Trees 

Chinese pistache trees are near-perfect shade trees for smaller, one-story homes. They are adaptable to all areas in Texas and boast outstanding tolerance to heat, cold, drought, and soil types. In addition, they seldom have issues with tree pests and diseases when maintained through routine professional tree care services.

Shantung Maple Trees 

Shantung maples are reminiscent of Japanese maple trees but with greater toughness. This beautiful tree has a spreading canopy offering shade to smaller North Texas homes, and during the fall, you’ll enjoy spectacular red to red-orange leaf coloration. This hardy tree tolerates heat and alkaline soils in Dallas/Fort Worth.

5 Best Shrubs to Plant in North Texas 

These shrubs are versatile and highly adaptable to North Texas climates. If you’re looking for reliable warm-season blossoms or smaller landscape additions, these North Texas shrubs will give you the most bang for your buck!

Blue Angel Althea

This hybrid shrub grows vigorously, with an extended blooming season featuring stunning single blue broadly trumpet-shade flowers. They are tough and versatile with reliable, warm-season flowers. Once established, they are moderately drought-tolerant and adaptable to various soil types. However, depending on how alkaline your soil is, it may require iron chelate treatments occasionally.

Vitex, Texas Lilac, or Chaste Tree

This large deciduous shrub can quickly grow into a small tree and produce abundant spikes of lavender flowers through summer and fall. Vitex trees are coarse growing and require heavy pruning at the appropriate times. Heavy pruning will also create more spectacular blooms. Vitex trees are heat, drought, and pest tolerant, with no known disease or insect problems.

Check out our blog “The Ultimate Tree Care Guide: North Texas Vitex Trees” for more info!

Lynn’s Legacy Cenizo 

Similar to vitex trees, this woody shrub is perfect for decorating your landscape. Its profuse and frequent flower displays rival Texas lilac trees. Compared to most Texas sage varieties, Lynn’s Legacy is not as dependent on changes in relative humidity for flowering and can bloom more often during the summer than other selections. They are tolerant of most soil types as long as they are well drained.

Rock Rose 

The rock rose is a small to mid-sized shrub that tolerates heat, drought, and sun while providing continuous blooms. The gorgeous fuchsia flowers look similar to pink hibiscus blossoms and are around 2″ in diameter. Flowers occur from spring to frost as long as good growing conditions are maintained. They also seldom have serious issues with North Texas tree pests or diseases, given that conditions are favorable and they are well maintained.

Yaupon Holly 

According to Texas A&M and Texas Super Star Plants, the yaupon holly is one of the top evergreen shrubs to plant in North Texas. Native to Texas, this shrub can grow up to 20′ tall and wide, tolerant to almost any soil type and sun/shade environment. While the yaupon holly is a shrub, lower branches can be removed and trained to grow as small trees. On the downside, they produce berries that can make animals ill if they feed on them, so it’s important to exercise caution depending on location and relativity to natural wildlife.

Final Thoughts 

By planting the right trees and shrubs in Dallas/Fort Worth, you can achieve your landscaping goals and contribute to a greener, more sustainable environment. However, planting them is not enough. We must take care of them through professional tree care services to ensure they’re healthy and live their natural lifespan.


As a full-service sustainable tree care company, TreeNewal offers the best plant health services to residential and commercial property owners in Dallas, Fort Worth, Argyle, Denton, Flower Mound, Southlake, and Westlake. Some of our services include tree trimming and pruning, tree nutrition and fertilization, insect and disease management, soil conditioning, and more. Our ISA Certified Arborists and Dallas tree care specialists are committed to protecting customer investments and promoting North Texas tree health. If you need help deciding which tree is best suited to your landscape or taking care of your existing trees, call us at (817) 592-6846 and enjoy tailored tree care advice and assistance.