Thoughts on Texas Ebony or small backyard.

reversethongApril 20, 2009

I'm thinking about getting a Texas Ebony tree. Any problems, issues I should aware of? Invasive? Invasive roots? Allergies? Any thoughts on this tree would be great.

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I have one in the front yard. It has absolutely no problems or pests. It loves heat and grows fastest during hot summer. Keeps leaves in winter, but leaves arn't as green then. Thorns are sharp! Very sharp. I like it though, and selected it because it has a smaller canopy and needed that.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 3:52PM
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Thanks I'm now debating that or the Texas Mtn Laurel

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 11:45PM
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I have one of those too! It was slow getting started and did not do well the first two years, but I think this year it is going to make real headway. It is no way as tall a tree as the TE.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 7:06PM
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Do you have a preference Eric? That's cool that you have both trees. I need shade and privacy screening. Which one is likely to cause fewer allergic reactions? It will be fairly close to my window. The Ebony thorns scare me. I've heard nothing but good things about the Laurel, but I've seen them come in variety of shapes. I'm heading the nursery on Friday to look at the selection. The fragrant blooms of the Laurel are tempting.

I also looked at Chinese Pistache, but it isn't evergreen and I believe they can get very large.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 11:39PM
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greenlust(z9 Phx,AZ)

Texas mountain laurel: entire plant is poisonous. But its a good choice. :-) (from the web - It forms a seedpod that contains red, round beans by late summer. The beans cause hallucinations at low levels. The beans are also very poisonous if the alkaloids within are released. The same seed coating that protect the seed from drought, however, will allow it to be swallowed and pass through our bodies without harm, in most cases.)

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 1:18AM
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The is laurel safe to keep around edible plants? My entire backyard is edible plants.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 11:31PM
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I'd go with Texas Ebony - get a decent 15 gallon variety and within a few years you'll be rewarded with a handsome very green (but thorny!) tree that stays green all winter and eventually develops a beautiful canopy. Not too messy, it does develop brown pods at some point in the year but not to the point where it litters the yard. Easy to maintain with basic pruning maybe once every spring to help develop the canopy, is definitely drought resistant and can go on a low maintenance drip system!

    Bookmark   April 27, 2009 at 5:57PM
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I don't have any experience with the Texas Ebony, but did have a Texas Mtn Laurel for several years. It has the beautiful purple flowers in the early summer that smell like grapes, but these do form pods that will drop later. Also I had a continuing battle with caterpillars eating the leaves. Here is a little info on that problem: "Its only pest problem is the Genista caterpillars which occasionally will feed on the plant's foliage but which may be easily controlled with an application or two of B.t. spray". I eventually gave up the battle with the caterpillars and cut down the tree.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 11:49AM
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It does get pests. My Texas Ebony has small holes in the trunk. The tree guy said it is horn beetle bore. He wants $400.00 to treat and prune. It is about 25 feet tall, 13 years old, multi-trunk. Very pretty tree but how do I get rid of these beetles. Thanks for any information you can provide.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2011 at 2:43PM
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we've had a scare with the texas mt. laurel. The seeds in the pods are extremely poisonous and very attractive to kids because they rattle like marracas and they're red. I made the mistake of bringing some home and letting my kids play with the pods and seeds. Then I read up on the plant and freaked out in the middle of the night because we couldn't find all the seeds they played with and we weren't sure if someone had swallowed any. Nothing happened, but yes, if someone did swallow them without chewing, they would most likely pass through without problems, but if it was chewed, you might as well say goodbye, because the poison is very potent. The natives used to use them in their ceremonies to induce hallucinations, but they used them in very minute amounts and in a controlled environment.
The other scary thing is that after doing research on it, I called the poison control people, and the lady totally had her plants mixed up. for some stupid reason she thought we're talking about peyote. (I guess the beans are also refered to as "mescal beans" and the active compound in peyote cactus is mescaline so maybe that's where she got her stuff mixed up). but that's scary. Suppose someone really did have an emergency and this person was giving them bogus info. anyway. I have kids, and I wouldn't grow the plant, otherwise it's beautiful, but very slow growing. I thought that BT pretty much takes care of the caterpillar problem.

Texas Ebony is a beautiful tree. Too bad I don't have patience for it LOL... I'm the sissoo type of person. Get a 20 ft shade tree in 2 years... wam bam... thank you ma'am. :)

    Bookmark   January 17, 2011 at 2:17AM
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We have a Texas Ebony that is very messy, dropping pods and their berries plus lots of small leaves on our patio. The thorns make it painful to trim and it grows quickly and to the ground. The doves love to nest in it so that makes a huge mess on our pavers. We are considering cutting it down and are looking for a native Arizona tree that is not so messy and requires little water.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 10:21PM
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Pagancat(Phoenix, AZ)

A native that's not messy and requires little water... hmmm... that's gonna be tough. Mexican fan palms are probably pretty clean, as are the big blue ones (sorry, I'm blanking on the name - Bismark, maybe?). Just about all the natives are deciduous, so they're going to drop leaves. Those that flower, like the Desert Museum Palo Verde might not have pods, but the flower drop is like a carpet - a rather pretty one, IMO, but that's me. Ironwoods have thorns, too, and are pretty slow to grow.

Maybe a non-native, some of the Eucs or Acacia? Acaia willardiana is a very light, feathery tree with cool peeling bark, you might like that. Not sure if it's native, but it is drought tolerant.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 7:10PM
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