Texas Tree Trials Database

Texas Tree Trials Database

The Texas Tree Trials Database is a collection of information about 45 tree species of interest because of their novelty and potential for the Sacramento Valley region as it adapts to a changing climate. The database is meant to serve as a resource for horticulturists, arborists, researchers and all tree lovers. In it you will find preliminary research results from the Texas Tree Trials, and horticultural information on each taxon. You will also find the average performance rating from a pre-trial survey of experts.

Please note that these trees are not yet widely available for purchase in our region. However, as they are tested for their various attributes and shortcomings, we aim to increase availability of the most promising species.

Use the search block on the right to learn more about specific species. For questions about this research please contact Abbey Hart, nursery special projects manager via email: aghart@ucdavis.edu.

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  • While identifying target species, we surveyed experienced horticulturists in Texas and California on their professional assessment of each species. The trees that do not have an average rating were either additionally, serendipitously collected in our travels, or have not been widely planted enough for experts to assess their performance. Rigorous propagation trials were outside the scope of this project, but we have included a summary of the various propagation treatments we used and their results. In the future, as we collect data on the performance of each species in our field trials, we will add assessments of drought and heat tolerance, growth rate and other metrics of climate readiness and horticultural performance.

    Students in the Learning by Leading™ Urban Tree Stewardship team researched and wrote about the horticultural promise as well as potential issues for each species. Special thanks to the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center for sharing their knowledge and the Urban Forest Ecosystems Institute SelecTree for sharing their knowledge and photos.

Photo of Juniperus deppeana.

Alligator Juniper | Juniperus deppeana

Juniperus deppeana, alligator juniper, is a medium-sized evergreen tree with blue-green foliage and striking bark that resembles alligator scales. It is sometimes multistemmed and grows at a fast rate. It is highly adaptable and tolerant of dry, sunny, hot locations.

Photo of Hesperocyparis arizonica.

Arizona Cypress | Hesperocyparis arizonica

Hesperocyparis arizonica, (syn. Cupressus arizonica) Arizona cypress, is a medium sized rounded pyramidal conifer. It has attractive bluish scale like needles and beautiful exfoliating bark. It's heat and drought tolerant and fast-growing.

Photo of Juglans major.

Arizona Walnut | Juglans major

Juglans major, Arizona walnut, is a medium to large deciduous tree. It has a spreading crown of pinnate foliage and produces edible nuts.

Arizona White Oak | Quercus arizonica

Quercus arizonica, Arizona white oak is a small to medium, semi-evergreen tree. It has attractive bluish foliage has spreading branches growing at right angles to the trunk. It's highly drought and heat tolerant and gets to maximum heights in moister areas.

Carolina Basswood | Tilia americana var. caroliniana

Tilia americana var. caroliniana, Carolina basswood, is a medium-sized, deciduous tree with medium water requirements. Carolina basswood has fragrant, yellow to white drooping flowers stalks. It is the southern most basswood.

Photo of Quercus marilandica var. ashei.

Ashe's Blackjack Oak | Quercus marilandica var. ashei

Quercus marilandica var. ashei, Ashe's blackjack oak, is a deciduous tree that reaches mature height between 30-50 ft, and prefers environments with partial shade and dry soils. Its glossy dark green foliage forms a round, spreading, crown, and acorns provide cover, food, and a habitat for local wildlife.

Photo of Taxodium distichum.

Bald Cypress | Taxodium distichum

Taxodium distichum, bald cypress, is a large, deciduous conifer with heat tolerance and flexible water requirements. The bald cypress has brilliant yellow fall color and is adapted to a wide variety of environments.

Photo of Bigtooth Maple.

Bigtooth Maple | Acer grandidentatum

Acer grandidentatum, bigtooth maple, is a fast-growing small deciduous tree. It is relatively drought tolerant and has medium or low water needs. It has a spreading, rounded canopy with colorful fall foliage color.

Photo of Ulmus crassifolia.

Cedar Elm | Ulmus crassifolia

Ulmus crassifolia, cedar elm, is a large semi-evergreen tree with luscious green foliage that changes to yellow in the fall. It is drought-tolerant and prefers partly shaded or sunny areas with dry soil. Tree should be monitored for invasiveness as its seeds germinate rapidly.

Photo of Quercus muehlenbergii.

Chinkapin Oak | Quercus muehlenbergii

Quercus muehlenbergii, chinkapin oak, is a medium-sized deciduous tree with strong branches and a rounded shape. The tree can tolerate various soil conditions and grows at a fast rate with medium water requirements.