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The 2019 Tree Giveaway Roster: Introducing the Species

What’s not to love about fall? Cooler temperatures, backyard bonfires, and changing leaves get all of us at KDB excited for our largest tree giveaway event. This year, KDB’s annual Community Tree Giveaway is in its 21st season, and the tree selections will not disappoint! We have carefully chosen eight different native and adapted species with Denton’s soil and climate in mind. Check out the species below and find your favorite!

Registration for the 650 available trees opens to the general public Tuesday, Oct. 1. But wait! – there is a way to ensure you get your preferred tree. KDB Members get access to registration an entire month prior to public registration. Become a member today to get access as early as Sept. 24! Memberships range from $10-$75 and help to support KDB’s programs.

Once you have found your favorite species, take a peek this quick guide we have created to ensure that tree is just what you are looking for and perfect for your yard. We look forward to sharing these trees for planting just in time for Texas Arbor Day!

Autumn Blaze Maple (Acer freemanii ‘Jeffsred’)

This tree is a hybrid of silver and red maples making it adaptable to climate and soil types. The Autumn Blaze Maple provides beautiful color all year with bright green foliage in the spring turning into a vibrant red in fall. If heartiness and bold color is not enough, this maple does not drop seed pods!

Mature Autumn Blaze Maple with Fall Foliage; photo by ostvigtree.com

Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum)

This tree is often identified by its stately pyramid shape. It prefers moister soils, and the leaves turn a beautiful rust color in the late summer/early fall.

Mature Bald Cypress; photo by Treeseeds.com

Little Gem Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora ‘Little Gem’)

The Little Gem Magnolia grows at a slow rate, but blooms at an earlier maturity than most magnolias. Cup-shaped flowers reach 4 inches in size offer a pleasing scent, and its fruits attract many species of birds. This ornamental tree will thrive in well-drained, slightly acidic soil.

Little Gem Magnolia; photo by thetreecenter.com

Loblolly Pine (Pinus taeda)

This quickly growing tree can tower up to 100 feet. The Loblolly features long, blue-green needles, and springtime brings bright green clusters of needles to the ends its branches. As the tree ages, it loses lower hanging branches making it an outstanding shade tree.

Loblolly Pine; photo by coniferousforest.com

Mexican Plum (Prunus mexicana)

This tree might smaller than our other species, but it packs a punch in its beauty! Their showy white blooms in the spring smell of honey, which attracts lots of helpful pollinators to your garden. This tree can produce edible plums, hence the name. This one is an excellent choice if you want something a bit different.

Mexican Plum; photo by Neil Sperry, www.neilsperry.com 

Mexican White Oak (Quercus polymorpha)

This semi-evergreen can grow up to 4 feet in one year quickly reaching its mature height of 40 feet. While some fast-growing trees are more susceptible to disease or have shorter lifespans, the Mexican White Oak is resistant to oak wilt and will provide shade for generations to come with a lifespan of 100 years.

Mexican White Oak; photo by Howard Garrett, dallasnews.com

Native Pecan (Carya illinoinensis)

As the Texas State Tree, the Pecan can be found across the state. Known for their delicious nuts, Pecan trees may live and produce nuts for 300 years. The species attracts a variety of animals from deer to blue jays. When selecting a Pecan for your yard be mindful of its size, this tree is large and can grow anywhere from 65-130 feet.

Native Pecan with fall foliage; photo by Howard Garrett, dirtdoctor.com

Vitex/Chaste Tree (Vitex agnus-castus)

This flowering tree is a great ornamental addition to any North Texas yard. Adapted to the area, the Vitex is heat and drought tolerant and pest resistant. Purple flowers bloom in early summer and continue to flower into the fall attracting butterflies and hummingbirds.

Vitex/Chaste Tree; photo by tree-land.com

Rose Costumes’ Adopt-A-Spot & Mia

The Adopt-A-Spot location on Sherman Drive between Elm and Locust Streets has been maintained by Rose Costumes for nearly 30 years. In addition to keeping the area litter-free and mowed, Judy Smith, founder of Rose Costumes, decorates the Spot – you may have seen Christmas stockings or sneakers adorning the fence. One pair of these sneakers has very special meaning.

In December 2011, Julia Sandoval stopped by Rose Costumes inquiring if her niece Alexis Mia Sandoval’s shoes could be placed on the fence at the business’ Spot. Mia who had been a first grader at Lee Elementary (now Alexander Elementary) had recently passed away from a rare disease. Judy obliged placing Mia’s shoes in memory of the little girl. The sneakers, decorated with her favorite cartoon Hello Kitty, were signed by her family before having them placed.

A few years later in 2015, a woman brought a man to the counter of Rose Costumes. The couple was Aaron Sandoval, Mia’s father, and Lindsey, his wife, who had been encouraging Aaron to reach out to Judy. He had brought a bouquet of flowers to Judy thanking her for keeping a memorial for his little girl, and asked if there was anything he could do to help. Judy explained that it had become more difficult for her to mow and the additional help she had been receiving had also stopped. Aaron volunteered in the store that day and started mowing the Spot in honor of Mia. He continues to mow and edge the grass weekly.

After meeting Aaron, Judy had a pink memorial sign made for Mia. Each year, for Mia’s birthday, Judy adds a hat or toy next to the sign. In 2018, a little boy asked if he too could have his shoes hung on the fence. Judy happily added the shoes, and says Mia now has a friend.

Congratulations! Yard of the Month Winners April-July

April's Winners

What we Love!

400 N. Carroll Blvd. - Independent Bank’s Denton branch has bright pops of color and their entire lot is landscaped handsomely - even the parking dividers!

1404 Sandy Creek Dr. - Kathy Massey loves her neighborhood and Denton, and it shows. We are attracted to the perfectly paired flowers, bushes, and trees in her well-edged yard.

2404 Whispering Oaks - The Herbert's yard not only has established Oaks, but also Japanese Maple and native plants. In spring, irises grow from bulbs given to Wenda by her grandmother – the finishing touch to the beautiful yard.

2809 Nottingham Dr. - The Fausey’s yard is filled with over 80 plants from a variety of species including native plants ranging from persimmons to redbud to sage with other commonly known plants such as cilantro, lavender, and sunflowers taking root.

May's Winning Yards

What we love!

705 N. Locust St., Mulkey-Bowles-Montgomery Funeral Home - So much to see - a nice green lawn, flowers, shrubs, a fountain, and beautiful magnolia trees!

901 Jackson St. - Jeff Wilson grows plants that Gladys, his wife, is fond of including knockout roses and tropical plants. Grown with love has an additional meaning!

1917 Willowwood St. - Lloyd and Elizabeth Fitzpatrick's robust variety of shade-loving plants among stately trees overhead.

2204 Parkside Dr. - Donna's stunning assortment of flowers including peonies and irises as well as numerous ferns that create a woodland effect.

2217 Emerson Ln. - Hearty Texas evergreen plants, beautiful in all seasons!

2509 Oak Park Rd. - Christina Wassum’s abundance of native plants such as Red Yucca, enjoyed by hummingbirds, Autumn Sage, and native trees.

8217 Montecito Dr. - A front yard full of bluebonnets and adapted Lacebark Elm shade trees - a perfect Texas combination.

June's Winning Yards

What we love!

118 W. Congress St., Flowergarden 118 - Owned by Cindy Simmons, this business makes the most of their compact yard with a tidy, rock-filled raised bed featuring potted plants and a fountain artfully maximizing a small space.

120 Forest St. - This yard has vibrant pops of color! The homeowner, Kirsten Kaae, is a fan of springtime and likes to cultivate plants that accent the variety that nature has to offer.

802 Crescent St. - The colors of the plants and flowers in Debra Wells' yard perfectly complement each other and the property's cobblestone patio adjoining a deck-style porch. Tom May (Tom May Landscape) is contracted to plan and plant her yard.

1024 Sante Fe St. - The Farlow's yard has dimension. From shrubbery used on tiered landscaping to flower beds to trees, plant of a variety of size and color fill this yard.

1740 Fordham Ln. - Sherry Bryant's yard is multigenerational family project. We love the variety including Azaleas, ferns, and even vegetables.

2400 Oak Park Rd. - Linda Hudspeth's yard shows off native plants including spirea, hostas, daylilies, roses, Turk’s Cap, and zinnias among others. We love the variety and the pops of color!

July's Winning Yards

What we Love!

215 E. University Dr., Shambhala Wellness Center  - The variety found in this yard is fantastic from a very old pecan tree and crape myrtle to flowers including chrysanthemums, roses, coneflower, dusty miller, periwinkle that greet you as you pass.

709 Bolivar St. - In addition to the landscaping, the porch area is charming with its various potted plants, decor, and seating. The yard’s design fits this home perfectly.

1018 Hopkins Dr. - The beautiful caladiums were planted by their ten-year-old granddaughter who claims much of the credit for this yard! This yard brings the homeowners a lot of happiness, “You turn the corner and come into your driveway and it makes you feel good, even if you are having a bad day.”

1313 Palo Verde Dr. - The homeowners Steve Wolverton and Lisa Nagaoka worked over the years to develop this landscape into a vibrant xeriscape of mostly native, drought-tolerant plants.

1909 Archer Trl. - Denise Ray does all the work herself and keeps her yard free of pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and herbicides.

2019 Georgetown Dr. - Jeanne Jacobs’ yard is well-planned to have plants blooming year round. During the summer Shasta daisies fill a front flower bed, and during the winter, Christmas Camellias bloom yellow and red.

2601 Timber Trl. - Linda Spies’ yard boasts pretty beds and pops of color. We love the roses and bougainvillea, and dew, a colorful groundcover!

2900 Santa Monica Dr. - This evergreen yard is a great example of using vegetation for water savings and erosion control. Located on a hill, this yard features ground cover comprised entirely of jasmine – no grass at all!

3301 Camino Real Trl. - In addition to the beautiful flowers and shrubs, we love the two young Pecan trees in this yard!