The trees, donated by generous community supporters, were provided through the Texas Trees Foundation. They were dug up and wrapped in burlap just hours before being replanted in early April 2006. All the digging was done by a truck-mounted machine called a tree spade. It has four huge blades that glide into the soil and make the job look very easy. The trees weigh from about 2,000 to 45,000 pounds, so all the lifting was done by heavy machinery.
A drip irrigation system will keep the appropriate root of each tree watered until they can survive mostly on natural rainfall. When trees this large are transplanted, they are likely to suffer shock and some may lose their leaves, but they will most likely recover in a year or so.
Taxodium distichum var. distichum
Bald Cypress is a deciduous conifer of ancient origin that is widely planted in Texas as a shade tree. Its layered branches with needle-like leaflets that turn from dark green to bronze or rich pumpkin brown in autumn give it a feathery, fine-textured appearance. Bald Cypress is native to swamps and rivers in east and central Texas. It can tolerate standing water or rather dry sites once established, but does best in wetter areas and in acid to neutral soils since it can become yellow from lack of nutrients in high pH soils like ours. The famous "knees" are woody conical growths from the roots that are produced in wet areas or near water features; their exact function is not known. The fluted trunk flares at the base and becomes highly butressed in old age. Bald Cypress is extremely long-lived and its wood is very durable and valuable timber. It is often listed as slow growing, but is actually a rapid grower if fertility is good and water is available.
Bur Oak is a majestic tree of the tall grass prairie that once covered central North America. It’s very drought-tolerant, fast growing and long-lived. It reaches 70’ tall by 70’ wide and is noted for its very large leaves and acorns: the leaves are from one-half to one foot long, and acorns can be as large as 2 inches long and wide, enclosed in a cup with fringe on the edge. It casts deep shade.
Cedar Elm is the most widespread native elm in Texas. It grows in all areas of the eastern half of Texas except the extreme southeastern part. It is a large (to 90’ tall x 80’ wide), tough, adaptable shade tree with excellent drought tolerance and beautiful golden yellow fall color. Its leaves are small and rough, and glossy green in the spring. Cedar Elm can withstand heavy, poorly drained clay soils and soils that are moderately compacted. It is the only native Texas elm that flowers and sets seed in the fall.
Chinkapin Oak is an attractive medium to large shade tree suitable for use in much of Texas. Its distinctive saw-tooth leaves, which resemble those of the chinquapin tree found in the eastern U.S., are a rich green, turning yellow to bronze in fall. It grows in the wild on well-drained bottomland soils and limestone hills near water, but it is adaptable to a range of soils and exposures. Seldom troubled by diseases or pests, it is moderate to fast-growing and develops an open rounded crown 50-90’ x 20-40’ wide as it ages.
The Lacebark Elm is a superb tree for urban conditions and should be widely considered for use as a street tree. It is a very hardy, tough tree that is capable of withstanding the rigors of harsh climates, poor soils and streetscape situations. The species is known for quick growth, particularly if planted in fertile, well drained soils. The dark green, oval leaves of the Lacebark Elm vary from 3/4 to 2 1/2 inches in length. The leaf margins are serrate or saw-like. Most Lacebark Elms lose their leaves late in the fall. Fall leaf color is variable, but some yellowish to reddish purple is possible even in warmer climates. The bark of this elm is perhaps its finest feature. The grey bark begins to exfoliate or peel off in small patches as the trunk matures resulting in an interesting combination of mottled colors beneath, including green, gray, orange and brown.
Live Oak is majestic and long-lived, with a crown that can spread up to twice its height (40-50’ tall by 80-100’ wide). It is pH adaptable and tolerant of drought and poor soils, although it does not tolerate poorly drained soils or extremely well-drained deep sand. Its small, leathery gray-green leaves are evergreen.
Shumard Red Oak is an upright tree which can attain a height of 120 feet. It is found on rich bottomland soils, moist woods and along streams in the eastern third of Texas. It is fast-growing, with an open canopy and stout spreading branches. Leaves are a rich green that turns scarlet in the fall. It grows the tallest on moist, well-drained soils but is also adapted to drier limestone soils and high pH levels. Shumard Red Oaks are never found in large groves but usually occur singly and far apart. Shumard Red Oak, Texas Red Oak, Q. texana, and Chisos red oak, Q. gravesii, are all closely related but differ in their ranges.