FREE help for your trees in the Houston area: How to enlist an expert

See expert advice, arborist consultations and as many tree-related activities your green thumb desires.

Tree in garden. (James DeMers via

HOUSTON – Planting and caring for a tree is a difficult endeavor regardless of where you may reside.

Understanding tree health throughout the seasons, trimming or watering your arboreal undertaking and choosing the best species of tree to suit your needs are common quandaries of those who just want to make their yard a little greener.

For Houston residents, these questions are further complicated by the obnoxiously capricious weather.

Wondering how to keep your leafy family members alive through record-breaking heat advisories or unexpected February freezes? Look no further than these certified arborists and forestry experts.

Tree planting

The Texas A&M Forest Service provides a comprehensive guide for Texas homeowners looking to select the right tree for their yard. Simply visit this website.

The tree planting guide allows you to input your county of residence, as well as your desired tree size in order to give you a variety of options to choose from. Their Express Tree Selector allows you to quickly find the tree options that best fit your location and desired size, while their Custom Tree Selector allows you to enter in even more specifications, such as the space you have available for your tree, a preference on leaf type and the soil quality you have in your yard. Once your preferences have been entered, the selector gives you a range of tree options that meet your specifications, including tree illustrations and information about the care needed for each option.

The A&M Forest Service also provides tree planting tools, including very helpful information on where to best plant for energy efficiency and around power lines. Also included are guides for selecting healthy trees from a nursery, fitting a tree into the landscaping you already have and the ideal depth to plant your young tree at.

Tree maintenance resources and communities

Your trees will likely require attention and care beyond just selecting the right species and planting in the right spot. Various organizations or public arborists in the Houston area have services and resources available for all your tree-related queries, completely free of charge. Many programs actively encourage volunteer participation, so you can pay forward the arboreal attention to others if you so choose.

Houston’s Community Forestry Program

The Texas A&M Forest Service sponsors a number of various community programs across the state. They describe their programs to “bring...together interested parties to find local solutions to local problems,” and their services include increasing public awareness on the value of urban trees, guiding communities on sustainable management, setting standards for local tree care and planting as well as raising the skill level of local tree workers. The Houston program leader is Mickey Merritt. For more information, or if you are interested in joining the program, he can be contacted at or 713-688-8932.

Texas A&M Forest Service digital resources

The Forest Service provides a wide variety of resources to many common tree-related questions on their website, including helpful fact sheets on almost every possible aspect of tree care. Visit here for a wide variety of information on watering trees, problems such as leaf loss, discoloration, stunted growth or pests, tips on pruning, common tree injuries and diseases and much more.

Precinct Four’s Legacy Trees Project and arborist

Harris County Precinct Four’s very own certified arborist Laura Medick offers advice on any tree related issues or questions. You can contact her via emailing or calling 281-353-8100. She also heads the precinct’s Legacy Trees Project, an initiative aimed at promoting the benefits of trees, supporting the cultural heritage of Texas, and engaging the public through volunteer and planting opportunities, according to the project website. Visit the site for more informative diagrams and videos on Texas trees. If you’re interested in volunteering for the project, through fostering your very own tree or caring for heirloom fruit, fill out this form.

League City’s arborist

Heather McKnight is a certified arborist working for League City’s public works department. She provides homeowners as well as developers with answers to their tree-related questions and concerns. You can contact her via phone at 281-554-1441, or you can visit this website to see a variety of informative videos on trees and beyond, including tips on when to plant, common tree pests and conservation strategies.

Fort Bend gardener hotline

Fort Bend County offers a hotline service for those with concerns about infection or disease in their trees. Trained volunteers through the Texas A&M AgriLife program or a local county agent offer their services for such issues via phoning 281-341-7068, emailing or visiting their website.

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