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Specimen Trees Help Bagwell's Colleyville Neighborhoods Stand Tall.

  The David Bagwell Company Maintains a Nursery with Thousands of Specimen Trees Provided Free to Homebuyers.

Developer David Bagwell allows that he is making "shady deals" in Colleyville. He elaborates, "When someone buys a lot from me, beautiful big trees are part of the bargain."

Colleyville lies within the narrow Eastern Cross Timbers region that runs between Dallas and Fort Worth. Due to the soils there, many more varieties of trees can be grown than elsewhere in north Texas. The area was once so densely wooded that author Washington Irving called it the "Cast Iron Forest" when he struggled through on an exploratory trip in the 1830's.

Before the growth of Dallas and Fort Worth created demand for new homes in Colleyville, much of the land had been cleared for agricultural purposes. The David Bagwell Company preserves remnants of the Eastern Cross Timbers left on property it buys. And, to restore the forest, each year it collects thousands of seeds to grow trees that are native to the Eastern Cross Timbers but unavailable from commercial sources. It is also reintroducing native understory plants like possumhaw, American beautyberry, Mexican plum, hawthorne, sumac, and coralberry in its developments.

Because the soil of the Eastern Cross Timbers is like that of the South, many of the stately trees that enframe Southern homes can be grown in Colleyville. The David Bagwell Company exploits this opportunity by embellishing its homesites and common areas with specimen trees purchased from Southern nurseries.

Mesa Design Group architects Tary Arterburn and Jeff Turner have created a comprehensive tree planting plan for David Bagwell Company neighborhoods in collaboration with Susan Folkert, called "The Premier Tree Source in North Texas" by her peers. These plans anticipate how trees will enhance each owner's homesite, as well as neighborhood vistas and the neighborhood pedestrian experience.

Trees are selected for their attractive summer form as well as fall color and winter aspect. The eastern white oak is a close cousin to the post oak that predominates the Eastern Cross Timbers. Whereas post oak cannot be successfully transplanted if more than knee high, white oak tolerates relocation and becomes a stalwart contributor to the landscape of its owner and the neighborhood as a whole. Each fall, the foliage of white oaks takes on a rich autumnal hue, and in winter its ash gray trunk and fine branching structure create interest in the landscape at a time when little else does.

Woven into the natural fabric of the Eastern Cross Timbers are shumard oak, bur oak, American elm, cedar elm and green ash. These trees and the shumard oak's Southern cousins, nuttal oak and scarlet oak, are planted liberally throughout David Bagwell Company neighborhoods for their impressive size, beautiful form, and pleasing fall color.

Extensive tree planting is only one aesthetic element of timeless neighborhoods that The David Bagwell Company emphasizes to create character and enduring value. To see the effect, take a drive along McDonwell School Road in northwest Colleyville and turn in to Benedict Hill at Westmont, Whittier Heights, or Old Grove at Whittier Heights. Or, go on-line to www.bagwellcompany.com

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