Urban Forester Angela Kralik receives many inquiries from residents who, like her, understand the importance of trees and care about well-being of these living creatures.
Having collected a small cache of questions from local residents, we want to share her useful information with the rest of the community in an effort to help everyone in Plano support the maintenance of our urban forest canopy.
Visit our Urban Forestry page for more information about how you can speak for the trees!
Judye G.: The summer was too hot, but now that the weather is cooling off, I need to plant in my back yard. I was recommended the Claudia Wannamaker Magnolia, but our next door neighbor has the Little Gem. They get great screening with those. Can you address those two types?
Also, where does the city buy trees? Can you suggest any place for us citizens out here?
AK: Great to hear from you! As for the Magnolia tree, it depends on how much space you have available. The Claudia Wannamaker is a variety of the Southern Magnolia and is considered “large” once it reaches maturity. According to my sources, this magnolia reaches 80 feet tall by 35 feet wide. That’s pretty big. It just depends on how much space you have and how many you want to plant. Generally, they do pretty well here.
Your tree’s success also depends on the pH of your soil. You may need fertilizer from time to time. If you’ve ever seen a magnolia with yellow leaves, that is one that requires fertilizer. I’ve seen them do well and I’ve seen them do poorly, it just depends on how much effort you want to expend so that your tree is healthy.
In Plano, we planted Alta Magnolia. It’s smaller than the Little Gem and Southern Magnolia. We’ve used it for screening and so far it’s done quite well.
If you have a lot of space, a tree that has done well for us is the Arizona Cypress. It has the look of a blue Christmas tree. It’s evergreen and does not require much water. We have them at Tom Muehlenbeck Recreation Center off Parker Road. They've done great for us!