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Milberger's Nursery and Landscaping
3920 North Loop 1604 E.
San Antonio, TX 78247

Open 9 to 6 Mon. through Sat.
and 10 to 5 on Sun.

Three exits east of 281, inside of 1604
Next to the Diamond Shamrock station
Please click map for more detailed map and driving directions.

Click here

Weekly Express-News Article
“San Antonio Life”
By Calvin R. Finch, PhD, SAWS Water Resources Director, and Horticulturist
Saturday, June 2, 2007

“Small Trees Improve the Landscape”

There are many reasons for selecting a small tree for the landscape. Some of our lots are small and a large tree will not fit. Some of us have enough large trees and we want to fill the gap to make the landscape more complete or we want to attract birds. A landscape with a continuum of plants is more attractive to birds. There are a large number of small trees from which to select. Some require full sun and others are shade tolerant.

One of the favorite small trees in my landscape is a vitex. It is desirable because of the lilac colored blooms, its drought tolerance and the fact that deer do not seem to eat the foliage. Vitex grows to about 25 feet tall and can be trained to be upright, but seems more inclined to grow in a horizontal configuration. There is a new vitex selection on the market called ‘Texas Lilac’. The bloom is larger and it is more floriferous. Use vitex in full sun.

Loquats reach about the same size as vitex, but that is where the resemblance ends. Loquats have large hairy leaves and vitex has small thin leaflets arranged like a hand. The loquat has a tropical rain forest look and vitex makes you think of an arid climate. Loquat is also called Japanese plum because is produces a fruit in early spring after a mild winter. Some winters the blooms freeze. Use loquat in sun or shade.

Ornamental pears are very regular in growth habit. The blooms in early spring are very showy. The tree has a classic round, dense crown on a straight trunk. It is very formal in appearance and is used in full sun in manicured landscapes as a blooming specimen tree or in straight rows bordering a path or road.

Yaupon hollies are drought tolerant and have some shade tolerance. The berries that are produced on female plants are decorative and a favorite of birds. Standard yaupons are not fast growers, but will reach 30 feet on good soil. They can be pruned to fit any shape including a tall squared hedge. Yaupons are the plant of choice for the large plant sculptures you see in arboretums or amusement parks. Yaupon hollies are evergreen with small leaves (dime size). Deer do not eat yaupon holly.

Crepe myrtles come in every size, including small tree size. The deciduous blooming plant grows in full sun. Bloom color includes red, pink, white and lavender. Some of the selections have attractive bark. Most nurseries have a posted list of bloom color and size. A popular white crepe myrtle is Natchez. It grows to 25 feet. Basham’s Party Pink grows to 30 feet on some sites. Tuscarora is also pink, but only grows to 20 feet. For a red consider Arapaho. It grows to 20 feet tall. Dynamite is also a good red selection. Pass up the older selections of crepe myrtle such as watermelon red or pink in favor of Indian named hybrids that have more powdery mildew resistance.

Desert willow is native in West Texas and parts south and west of Texas. As the name depicts it is very drought tolerant. The leaves are willow like. The tree reaches 25 feet tall on some sites. It is always open and airy. Grow desert willow in full sun on unirrigated sites. It does not do well in the middle of a lawn that is watered every week. Desert willows claim to fame is that it produces orchid like blooms in the hottest temperatures.