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cjosey0327 08-14-2012 10:37 PM

Very rocky soil
My wife and I just bought a house in a place that looks like a desert, I believe the reason it looks like a desert is because of the soil. I want to plant some trees because we have no shade..... At all! The soil is full of some large and some small white rock the kind that is ground up into gravel. Does anybody know what kind of trees will make it in these conditions? And I live in zone 7, North Texas.

Thanks a bunch.

user1007 08-15-2012 06:21 AM

Best check with your state or university ag extension office to see what they would recommend. It sounds like you are not exactly in a US tree city but your municipality may have a part time arborist. Check the library and a real local nursery for information as well. A trip to neighboring local habitats might be a good research trip. Shoot pictures of what looks to be growing and share them with a nursery.

You should plan on ammending the planting holes to give whatever you plant a fighting chance. Ordinarily you dig planting holes for trees twice the diameter of the root ball or container but you may want to go more than that and fill in with organic matter.

Think about installing drip irrigation so you can keep the trees watered. Gravel and rocky soil is probably going to drain rapidly.

notmrjohn 08-22-2012 12:23 PM

cj, do you know of Howard Garret who writes an organic gardening column under the name Dirt Doctor in the Thursday Dallas Morning News? He's always answering tree questions. And one of them is always 'What's the best tree?' On his website he lists about 30 best trees for our area. See it here or Google Dirt Doctor. You'll notice that some are not shade trees ie the cedars, the big tooth maple and the oaks he reccomnds are real nice, check the list out ,do some research about each one, look at pictures of them in each season, and make your decision. Avoid trees that are "fast growing" . Fast growing means short lived water thirsty fast dying. Like the mountain ash a lot of developers planted in new tract homes around here. In 5 years new home owner has a fairly nice shade tree, next 5 years it grows some more but begins to have problems, in less than 15 years its dead. DirtDoc has some advice on improving your soil and planting new trees, mistakes made there are primary cause of later problems, by then its too late to do any thing. His no. 1 peeve is folks plant too deep, the 'root flare' is sp'osed to be exposed, thats the part of the trunk that, well, flares out at the bottom to start becoming roots. Tree planting info here .

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