This is one of my absolute favorites. It's probably doomed to become an 'invasive species' to COA standards but it's an incredibly beautiful, resilient and low-maintenance addition to any Central Texas Landscape. My only real knowledge comes from ownership of 3 of these in my backyard. I picked them up from the old Skinner Nurseries on a whim as they were 24" boxes at 7' tall for $50 a piece. I bought them in January or February of 2009 and they were about 50% foliated. Covered in thorns I trucked these things a few hundred yards to their planting area with a friend... This was a quite unpleasant task. They've proven to be the top performers in my hodge-podge of reject trees & plants in my backyard.
In the icy cold Winters of '09 and '10 almost all of their foliage burned off. In 2009, I was sure that they were too good to be true and I'd have to rip them out and find something else. But as soon as the temperatures rose, they pushed new leaves out and went on a Summer-long growth spurt. In the past 3 years they've doubled in height and tripled in spread!
When I googled them after I planted them, I saw a lot of images of these thorny bastards covered in yellow puff balls as blooms in early Spring... My 3 specimens never produced anything like it. Until this year... I woke up last Monday and walked outside to a big surprise... With sand in my eyes they looked chlorotic and needed nitrogen.. But, no... they were in full bloom. My only guess is that the mild winter we had this year did not burn off the buds that would later produce blooms.
These trees get fertilized with osmocote twice a year and have NEVER been hand watered! They love the hot, dry and windy conditions of NE Austin.
These trees ultimately came from Amerson Nursery Sales, a broker of West Coast material to the Texas market. Dale is a great guy and very easy to deal with.
I hope these trees make their way on to many Austin/San Antonio projects!