6 of the Best Urban Street Trees for Texas

Ben Collinsworth

Adding shade, attracting wildlife and making a property look more established are just a few of the benefits you’ll enjoy with trees.

You can also create a welcoming environment when you use the trees along urban streets and in parking lots. But, you need to make sure you pick the right trees for the space — or you could be left with broken pavement, liability issues and dead trees.

It’s important to keep in mind the tree’s growth habit, maintenance and local permits when choosing varieties for your commercial landscape. Luckily, there are some trees that are the perfect fit for streets.

Check out these six ornamental trees that are ideal for urban streets in Texas.

Crape MyrtleCrape Myrtle

Known for showy flowers during the summer, crape myrtles are popular options for entrances and street medians throughout the state.

There are dwarf and mature varieties, and the trees are available in colors like red, pink, purple and white — so you can find the perfect look and size for your street space.

Crape myrtles can grow anywhere from 2 to 20 or more feet tall, but the smaller varieties are better along streets. They also resist mildew well.

They can grow in a wide range of soils, which is what makes them one of our top street tree choices.

Desert Willow

This tree has all of the benefits of a desert plant but with plenty of lively color.

The desert willow has low water requirements and grows 15 to 20 feet tall and wide. It blooms during summer and fall and has white to lavender-maroon flowers.

This tree is great for use near overhead and underground utilities because of its compact size and roots. We also like how it casts some shade on surrounding plants and has low water requirements.

southern magnoliaSouthern Magnolia

Enjoy floral color and scents with the southern magnolia. This evergreen tree produces large, fragrant white flowers that bloom from late spring to fall.

The southern magnolia can grow 60 to 80 feet tall with a 40-foot spread at maturity, but it’s a slow grower — only growing about a foot each year. The tree also grows fruit, which helps attract birds.

For clients looking for a hurricane and storm-resistant street tree, we recommend the southern magnolia for their urban property. Plus, magnolias are one of the oldest flowering plants, so they’ve definitely proven their longevity.


Texas Mountain Laurel

The Texas mountain laurel is a slow-growing tree with fragrant, showy flowers in the spring. Its bloom colors include purple, violet, lavender and (rarely) white. Just don’t try to eat its seeds: They are poisonous.

This evergreen tree can reach 15 to 35 in height, with a 10-foot width, although it can be kept smaller.

It’s another street tree we like for its low-water requirements. Plus, it’s good for use near overhead and underground utilities.

street_trees_for_texas.jpgTexas Redbud

This tree will attract site visitors and wildlife with its vibrant colors and small fruit.

The Texas redbud can reach 15 to 20 feet tall and wide. This deciduous tree needs sun to partial sun to thrive.

You’ll enjoy pinkish/purple flowers in early spring with this tree. It makes our list of the best urban street trees because it’s a great specimen tree with low-water requirements.


Yaupon Holly

When other trees are going dormant, this street tree is coming to life with plenty of color.

This evergreen tree produces red berries in the winter, adding some color and attracting birds during the colder months. It grows 10 to 20 feet tall and 8 to 12 feet wide.

Another option that’s good to install near overhead and underground utilities, the yaupon holly is also shade tolerant.

Let Native Install the Best Street Trees for Your Property

Just like with commercial properties, no two trees are the same. It’s all about finding the one that’s the right size and has the visual interest you’re looking for.

Our team can show you which trees will work best for your site and make sure your landscape complies with local ordinances. Beyond helping with the selection process and installing the trees, we can also maintain and trim them throughout the year to keep your site looking pristine and avoid visibility issues.

Call us at 512-918-2270, or fill out a contact form online to schedule a free onsite consultation.

View Our Work

Get New Content Instantly! Sign Up For Email Updates.

Ben Collinsworth


Before Ben founded Native Land Design in 2001, he earned a Bachelor's degree in Horticulture and Landscape Architecture from Texas A&M University. He’s an active member of ASLA, HBA of Austin, NHBA, PLANET, and BOMA. Ben, his wife and their three children reside in the Cedar Park area.

Ready For Native Land Design To Help You?

Contact Us

Native Land Design has reliably been servicing The Domain (Austin, TX) for four years and continue to be attentive and thorough in their care. We are extremely appreciative of their efforts and hope to have a long lasting relationship. We would recommend them to anyone looking for a solid commercial landscaping contractor.

Melissa Kreutner, Property Manager, Endeavor Real Estate Group