The TC Notes is the official news source of the Travis Country Community Service Association.
Food - Drink - Costume Contest - Activities - Spooky Fun!!
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: [email protected]
[email protected]
residents, including those on the Firewise Committee were growing more and more concerned about the
increasingly dry areas around the neighborhood. For this reason, the Firewise Committee held a special
meeting in early September, focusing primarily on the Hilltop amenity along Republic of Texas where
much dead wood, downed cedar trees, and dead bushes are directly under cedars (ashe juniper). They
also discussed efforts to heighten fire prevention awareness throughout the neighborhood.
The Firewise Committee took their recommendations to the HOA Board of Directors who, in turn,
allocated funds to implement fire prevention practices at both TC amenity areas. Board members agreed
that even though the Association is insured, a catastrophic loss of TC facilities would impact homeowner
use and enjoyment of them for an extended time while assessment and rebuilding took place.
Additionally, loss of the office would greatly affect operations.
There is a Travis Country Firewise process through which concerned homeowners may obtain a
Firewise Management permit to take action to protect property beyond their property lines. The issue,
however, is the prompt and safe disposal of so much dry debris. The Travis Country Manager, Bill Sigler,
checked with the City of Austin to inquire about the possibility of setting up a special debris pick-up day for
residents. The City stated that they will do additional bulk pick-ups for $100 per house, and this cost could
increase if they feel there is too much to pick up. The next bulk pick-up is in January, and the City feels that
two annual pick-ups per neighborhood are sufficient. Alternatively, TC could obtain a temporary dumpster
for disposal. Interested owners should contact the TC office at [email protected] so the staff can
compile a list of interested participants. The Board discussed a “Firewise Cleanup Day” in the greenbelts
bordering TC homes if a sufficient number of homeowners show interest. Both mid-November and midJanuary were mentioned as possible times. Residents are asked to contact the office if interested.
The Firewise Committee requested that funds be set aside in the new budget for the Association to
take future action to help protect all residents against the possibility of wildfire, as the drought is expected to continue through next summer.
For related articles, see pages 5, 7, and 8.
Check the Travis Country website for updates and links to additional helpful information:
www.traviscountry.c G m
OCTOBER 4 6-8 pm
Pizza - Drinks - Games - Firetruck
Take this opportunity to meet your neighbors and
learn how to keep Travis Country safe -TOGETHER!
Man oh Man...
It’s dry out
This “Drought Man” photo
was sent to the TC Notes by
resident Gail Karwoski.
While conserving water
at your home, remember that it's
important to water around the
perimeter of your yard because a
green grassy area could halt the
spread of a wildfire before it enters
your property. Dead, dry grass could
allow a wildfire to easily advance
toward your home. Most wildfires
begin on the ground and spread on
the ground.
- Do not park on dry grass.
- Take care when mowing or using
power tools and have a hose ready
in case of fire. Even hitting a rock
with a mower could spark a fire in
dry grass. Use hand tools, if
- Consider refraining from outdoor
cigarette smoking or grilling or
have a hose available.
- As leaves fall, continuously clean
dry leaves from your roof and
gutters and around your yard.
SEPTEMBER 15, 2011 By: Pat Epstein, TC NOTES
This report does not represent the official minutes of the meeting. Minutes are available at the website and at the TC Office.
Richard Cain
Pat Epstein
Dan Flannery
Dennis Jistel
Betty Mading
Jim McNabb
Ruth Schwab
Bill Sigler
Charlie Wilcox
Cynthia Wilcox
Pat Epstein (AISD Trash)
Jim McNabb (Brush & Snake)
Chris Roach (Lemonade Stand)
Candy Goodrich - Sue Maras
Lindy Siegismund
60+ Amazing TC Residents
Oak Hill Printing - On Recycled Paper
[email protected]
Anthony Peterman
Leonard Saenz
John McCulloch
Paul Salazar
Mark Carroll - Kay Colvin
Tom Curran - Wendy Primeaux
George Stokes
892-2256 (O)
891-9554 (FAX)
289-1616 (After Hours Emergency)
[email protected]
With respect to information available from the
Association's website and/or information found in
TC Notes, neither the Travis Country Community
Service Association Inc. (the Association), nor its
officers, directors, employees, or agents make any
warranty, express or implied, concerning any information referenced therein, or assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information set out therein or the quality of the services provided by any person or business identified therein. The presence
therein of information on any specific products or
services shall not be construed as, and does not
constitute or imply an endorsement or recommendation of such products and/or services by the
Association and/or its officers, directors, or agents.
2 - TC Notes
DIRECTORS PRESENT: Kay Colvin, Tom Curran, John McCulloch, Anthony Peterman, Leonard Saenz, Paul Salazar, and George
Stokes. Absent: Mark Carroll. Wendy Primeaux arrived late.
1. To assign the Firewise recommendations to the Manager and set aside $5,000 to cover an estimate of costs. (U)
The following visiting homeowners addressed drought/fire concerns
for Travis Country: Stan Evans, Lynne Fahlquist, Candy Goodrich,
and Frank Krystopher. Comments centered on making firewise
activities a priority, i.e., 1) removing brush from the greenbelts and
trimming trees to six feet high so fire would not be able to jump to
the tree tops (Evans); 2) encouraging more residents to apply for a
Firewise permit; 3) clearing the Copperwood stub so firetrucks can
get through if necessary; and 4) there is no reason the HOA cannot
get a brush hog on the common areas to knock down the small
debris. It needs to be cleared so it won't flare up.
The following visiting homeowners thanked the Board and the residents for their support of the very successful AISD pledge drive (see
related article page ___): Cynthia Wilcox, Leigh Ziegler, Thomas
Boxer, and Theresa Rutz.
Candy Goodrich: Consider mold remediation before jumping into
a plan to replace the office building. Consider talking to your attorney about developing a letter to remind people that the HOA has
the ability to foreclose on their home for non-payment of HOA dues
(even if you don't plan to do so). Frank Krystopher: Copperwood
traffic has quieted down this year. Leigh Zigler: Has a friend who
offered to review the contract for the pond work at no charge, if the
Board is interested.
Kay Colvin, Paul Salazar, George Stokes, and Leonard Saenz all
thanked the residents for their "impressive" efforts on the AISD
pledge drive initiative. OTHER BOARD COMMENTS. Paul Salazar:
We should consider a greenbelt brush clean up day instead of a
greenbelt trash day. The "illegal trespassing violation" has been
resolved. George Stokes: We need to make the Firewise information more noticeable at the website. Advises people to water their
trees at the roots, not up high. Leonard Saenz: Sees folks flicking
cigarettes; we need to start calling 311 and providing license
plates when this is observed. Hopes the Longhorns beat UCLA
(THEY DID!!!).
The new email system has been developed, but it
will take about 30-60 days to update the emails. If anyone has a problem with office emails, please contact the
office staff. Greenbelt inspections will begin soon (as
authorized at the August HOA Board meeting). The new
pool repair company took pictures of the Hilltop pump
room and took an oral history of the problems at the
pool. The previous engineer never produced a report. The
arborists advised that TC wait until spring to treat for oak
wilt, so the Blue Valley trees were not treated as recommended at the August meeting. The manager has a recommendation for product to seal the crack in the office's
ceiling to help control the ancillary mold issues. The
product will be tested this winter and if it works, the ceiling will then be painted. The goal is to make air a little
healthier. This expense comes out of the regular office
budget. (Editorial Note: There was a brief Board discussion about developing a contingency plan should the
HOA office be deemed uninhabitable.)
The speed sign motion was tabled again while the
Safety Committee determines if the HOA can do the
Irrigation meter: There is still only one bid of
$21,100. The savings will pay for the installation in just a
few years. The bid does not include the recovery fees. The
motion was tabled until a spreadsheet showing costs and
savings is developed.
Board member Paul Salazar confirmed that the
Dawn Song sports court encroachment issue has
been successfully resolved. The sports court has been
removed from Travis Country property.
Cynthia Wilcox attended the bid opening at AISD on September 15.
She reported that there were three bids submitted: 1) the Native
Prairies Association of Texas/NPAT (which is comprised of the money
raised in the pledge drive and matched by the HOA); 2) RME
Holdings (Russell Eppwright); and a broker who recently formed an
LLC in order to bid on the property. The AISD Trustees have 120 days
to make a decision. The earliest they will discuss the bids is at their
10/17 meeting, and this will be in Executive Session.
Bid amounts: NPAT $253,674 (contingent on changes in bid form);
RME $800K (also contingent); and the LLC (Nick Dean acting as
broker for Universal Gas Utilities) for $980K, with no contingencies.
There was a large payment for the pool monitors due
to four months of service. The invoices had to be redone
due to pool calendar changes. These charges drop off after
September. 44-- Trail Crest was foreclosed. There was discussion on whether the HOA can recoup past dues after a
bank foreclosure (no). TCCSA has some homeowners who
owe as much as $3,200 in past dues. Management states it
can cost more to begin foreclosure process than is
retrieved. Budgeting time is coming soon. Committees
need to consider their expenses and submit them to the
Austin’s first environmentally planned neighborhood.
OCTOBER 22, 2011 - BLUE VALLEY PARK - 8:30 am
WANT TO ENJOY SOME FRESH AIR and get a little exercise at the same time? The Grounds Committee (GC) is seeking volunteers -individuals, families, scout groups, etc. -- to help plant 25 native trees in our lovely Blue Valley Park.
Due to the initiative of GC volunteers, Travis Country is once again the recipient of the Keep Austin Beautiful (KAB) grant. This award
takes the form of 25 native trees and 13 cubic yards of compost. All that's needed is the manpower to get these jewels in the ground. The plan
is to replace the cluster of ten dead live oaks near the children's picnic table and wagon and those by the dive pool. In the words of Dr. Alex
Shigo, former Chief Scientist for the U.S. Forest Service, let's not "…just plant 'a' tree, [let's] plant a forest of trees." Dr. Shigo recommends
planting trees in groups or clusters as they then have a better chance of survival and protection during storms and droughts.
The holes will be pre-dug; however, volunteers are needed to dig out the loose material and plant the trees in the ground. GC member
Dennis Jistel will provide a demonstration in proper tree planting techniques. Volunteers will be planting, providing the initial watering for,
and installing protective cages around the newly planted trees (to protect them from deer). They will also help spread the compost, and (if
time permits) will assist in removing some invasive plants from the Sycamore Creek bank with a weed wrench.
So… bring your gloves, water bottles, shovels, rakes, and wheel barrows (if you have them -- if you don't, tools will be provided). Let's
work together to reforest Blue Valley.
Sapling days
Story from Information Provided By: Betty Mading, TC RESIDENT
TREE FOLKS STARTED “SAPLING DAYS” over ten years ago to dispel the inaccurate notion that trees should be planted in the spring
(along with the tomatoes, peppers, and marigolds). In reality, the best time to plant trees in Texas and the Southwest is autumn giving them
the fall, winter, and spring to establish strong root systems to help them make it through Austin’s dreadfully hot and dry summers.
Saplings are little baby trees, usually just a year old, that are easy to plant and easy to water. Saplings often grow faster and stronger than
larger trees because their minimal root systems don't experience much transplant shock compared to larger trees. This year Tree Folks will
give away free Escarpment live oak and Texas redbud saplings (see inset box below right for locations and times).
Sapling Days Locations
Fridays, October 7, 14 & 21
“The severe conditions experienced this spring and summer are exactly why you, and your neighbor,
Downtown along Congress
and your mom should all plant a young tree this fall.” Many mature trees have been or will be lost due to
the exceptionally hot and dry season, and the time to plant their replacements is approaching. Young trees
Avenue at Noon
recover from transplant shock quicker and grow faster than their larger counterparts that have sat in pots
for several years.
Saturday, October 15
Native trees two inches or less in diameter require a mere 10 to 20 gallons of water a week during
Howson Branch Library
warm weather and every two weeks during cold weather -- for two years after planting. Such a small
1:30 pm
amount of water can easily be provided using a five-gallon bucket with a few holes drilled in the bottom.
This method allows water to soak into the soil with zero runoff and minimal evaporation loss. Tree Folks
recommends intercepting water that normally flows down the drain when washing your hands or cleaning vegetables and reusing the water
from your kiddie pool to water a young tree.
According to Tree Folks, “Planting a young tree is an act of hope and an investment in the future that someone other than you will likely
enjoy the benefits of many years down the road.” So... head out to Sapling Days and get your “baby trees”... and be sure to come down to the
TC Arbor Day to help reforest Blue Valley for generations hence!
NOTE: See the online version of your TC Notes for a copy of TreeFolks “Native Tree Growing Guide for Central Texas.”
October 8, 2011 10 am-2 pm Blackshear Neighborhood Garden, 2011 East 9th St.
Learn techniques to optimize planting to maximize yield in a small garden space at this outside event. Good garden practices also covered.
TC Notes - 3
All TCCSA Committee meetings are open to residents.
Please see the Community Calendar or Message Board for
meeting dates, times, and locations. Committee reports
not appearing were not submitted to the TC Notes.
ARCHITECTURAL COMMITTEE (ACC). Submitted by Frank Krystopher
Sixteen designs (fourteen permits) reviewed: Six fence projects, three patios, two house paintings, one pool, one ground solar installation, one
garage door, one shed, and one gate replacement. Thirteen permit approvals; one is pending info for approval. ACC October Tip: The current
ACC Rules are being revised to comply with 2011 legislation. If not resubmitted, pending and/or disapproved permits lapse by the next ACC
meeting and will be filed as disapproved. Please provide all information and log your permit with the TC office prior to the next Design
Review: Wednesday, October 12, 2011, 7 pm at the TC Office.
POOL COMMITTEE. Submitted by Diane Wright
RECOMMENDATIONS: The impact of Stage 2 watering restrictions and aquifer restrictions on our pools was discussed. Since pools can only be
filled with hand-held water hoses, the PC will ask for volunteers to fill the BV pool. PC recommends closing the BV pool to all swimmers MF, leaving access only on weekends due to water rationing/water levels. A drop in the water level presents a health and safety hazard as the
pumps will not function properly. DISCUSSION ITEMS: Possibility of a full-time pool monitor, including developing a job description. Further discussion will take place at the October meeting. Federal ADA requirements for pools. Bill Sigler is researching what needs to be done to the
HT pool while it is being renovated.
SAFETY COMMITTEE. Submitted by Janet Ngo
Regents traffic has been diverted through Travis Country since the start of school and numerous complaints have been made. The City of
Austin is aware and will work with the SC to place traffic counters in a few weeks to collect data to investigate if there is an increase in traffic
and speeding through the area. If data supports such complaints, then the committee will attempt to approach the Regents Board and
Headmaster to discuss solutions in the best interest of Regents, the City of Austin, and Travis Country. (See related article on page ___.) The
new APD representative for TC is Officer Richard Paez. National Night Out: See flyer in this TC Notes.
TENNIS COMMITTEE. Submitted by Dan Flannery
Congratulations to TC residents Nancy Nitardy and Camden Bobek. Their 4.0 team, the "Rockin Racquets" won championship honors at the
USTA Sectionals and will advance to the National Tournament in the fall. The team is co-captained by Nancy and Camden and has been
working with Coach Kevin Clark. Coach Jason Hufford has been working with Lisa Gross and her team "Double Trouble" who just won the
"Hit for Hope" tournament! Congratulations to her, and to the stars in the junior program, Charlie Waggoner (who was invited to the top 8
Grand Prix for all of Austin and won second place) and Emily Clarke (who has just superchamped qualified, meaning national ranking in girls
16s!). Group Lessons and individual instruction are available for all levels of play in Travis Country on the Blue Valley Courts. Take advantage of a unique neighborhood resource available to players of all ages and abilities. Fall Junior Team tennis starts now! Contact Coach Jason
to sign up!
Travis Country Fall 2011 Tennis Program -
4 - TC Notes
4 week sessions
Jason Hufford, 924-4389
Kevin Clark, 788-2777
[email protected]
Register Online:
Contact Coach Jason and Coach Kevin at [email protected] for more info!
Austin’s first environmentally planned neighborhood.
ON NOVEMBER 1, 2010, AT 3 PM, a vehicle traveling southbound on
Republic of Texas struck and killed a pedestrian and her dog. The vehicle was
traveling 65mph at the time of the collision.
Eyewitnesses reported that the pedestrian had been standing at the corner of
Travis Green Lane and Republic of Texas, preparing to cross the street when her
dog ran into the road after a squirrel. The pedestrian ran into the road after her
dog and was struck. She was thrown an estimated 25 feet. Both she and her faithful dog were pronounced
dead at the scene.
It has been learned that the driver of the vehicle, former Travis Country resident Your Name Here, was
distracted by texting at the time of the collision. The driver, charged with vehicular manslaughter, was
recently convicted by a Travis County jury. Your Name Here is currently serving five years the Texas State
Prison in Huntsville.
Relatives of the victim have been trying to recover from the loss of their Your Relative Here and wondering how such a thing could have happened in Travis Country. The speed limit on that part of Republic of
Texas Boulevard is 30 mph. According to the police investigation and a measurement of the tire marks at
the scene, had the driver been driving at the posted limit, the accident would have been avoided.
According to investigators, the high speed of the vehicle made this accident "unavoidable."
Believe it or not, this story is partly true. Thankfully, there was no loss of life that day in Travis Country. There may have been a resident
and dog at the corner of Travis Green and Republic of Texas at that time… or perhaps there were schoolchildren walking home after school.
But there definitely was a vehicle traveling 67.6 miles per hour just 152 feet north of Travis Green Lane. At 8 am that morning, there was also
a vehicle traveling between 65 and 70 mph at that same location.
According to a traffic count/speed study conducted by the APD on both the north and southbound lanes of the 5200 and 5700 blocks of
Republic of Texas, there were also two cars going over 55 mph, and six traveling over 45 mph. Over 60% of the vehicles traveling in the
southbound lane of Republic of Texas were speeding that day. The highest speeds were recorded on the southbound lane; however, the statistics for both lanes were similar.
While we may want to think these speeding drivers are an anomaly, it is important to keep three facts in mind: 1) This study represents
just one day out of 365 days; 2) this "anomaly" is driving a 4,000-5,000 pound vehicle; and 3) TC residents are doing the driving and the
It is obvious there is a speeding problem in Travis Country, and the Travis Country Safety Committee is asking for your help in resolving
it. Please take the time to read the entire traffic study at the TC website ( Then ask yourself if you want to see Your Name
Remember, this is your neighborhood. Please slow down and enjoy it... and ensure that everyone lives to do so as well!
chipping away
By: Jim McNabb, TC NOTES
The scream of chainsaws and roar of wood chippers echoed from normally
peaceful Blue Valley in early September. A small army of arborists attacked
targeted damaged and dying trees around the pond and pool. The hot and high
winds of this record-breaking summer had torn off branches, creating both safety
hazards and fire dangers. The crew also cleared away some low limbs hanging
over the playground and a couple seating areas. This work was the result of a
motion passed by the HOA Board of Directors in August, 2011, to spend $5,000
"for removal of certain trees in the Blue Valley park and pool area."
Conscious of the hazards of oak wilt in the area, the crew carefully painted
over the pruned portions of live trees. Additionally, workers picked up and
chipped stacks of dead limbs west of the tennis courts that were another potential
fire danger. The chips were then sprayed into the nearby greenbelt to become
Top: Moving mulch to the greenbelt.
Bottom: Dry brush by the BV playground.
TC Notes - 5
By: Jim McNabb, TC NOTES
killed a baby rattlesnake near 5713 Hero on Sunday,
September 25. That means there may be ten more
or so little rattlers nearby.
"The snake was in the middle of their
driveway close to the sidewalk. My wife
and I came upon it as we were walking our
dog," McCracken says. "I ran home with
the dog and returned with a shovel while
my wife kept her eye on the snake."
Chances are, the snake was searching for respite from the searing heat. "It
was acting sluggish and didn't move until
I approached it with the shovel; however,
even then it did not coil or rattle. I pinned
him with the blade of the shovel and
stomped on his head," McCracken says.
According to, now is
the time when baby rattlers are born. "The young
are born between August and October. The newborn
rattlesnake is about 10 inches long and has a small horny
button on the tip of its tail. Rattler babies have venom, short fangs, and are
dangerous from birth." The snake on Hero was about 13 inches long.
A female rattlesnake may have up to 25 eggs, but only ten or so survive.
"Many newborn rattlesnakes do not survive their first year, either dying of
hunger or being eaten by birds and animals," according to, but
it is quite possible there are more little vipers in the area.
"Young rattlers are completely independent of the mother. They remain
in the area of their birth for the first seven to ten days, until they shed their
first baby skin and add their first rattle. The litter will begin to disperse as
they venture out in search of food," the site says.
McCracken got a closer look at the rattler on Hero after it was dead. "I
examined the tail and saw that he had one rattle." That first segment of a rattle is called a "pre-button," but the number of rattles does not reflect the age
of the rattler. The length of the body is a better indicator.
The western diamondback rattlesnake is the most common and venomous in Texas, according to Texas Parks and Wildlife. The pit viper is well
camouflaged, blending into our dry underbrush with its brown, diamondshaped markings along the middle of the back and alternating black and
white rings on the tail. Parks and Wildlife advises against killing rattlesnakes. Avoid them instead. They offer these rattlesnake safety pointers:
- Snakes like tall grass. Keep the lawn around your home trimmed low.
- Remove any brush, wood, rock, or debris piles from around the residence - they make great hiding places for snakes and their prey, i.e.,
- Always wear shoes while outside and never put your hands where you
cannot see them.
- Be careful when stepping over fallen logs and rock outcroppings.
- Take care along creek banks and underbrush.
Snakes do not prey on humans and they will not chase you. in fact, they
usually retreat or escape if given the opportunity. The danger comes when
they are either surprised or cornered. (Source: Texas Parks and Wildlife,
See this edition in color at
6 - TC Notes
By: Pat Epstein, TC NOTES
On Friday, September 2, 2011, at about 8 pm,
someone from a neighboring backyard fired a gun,
probably an air rifle, that shattered the rear door glass
pane at 4008 Crystal Water Cove. The resident, Richard
Soja, immediately filed a report with the police. He also
talked to his neighbors the following day to find out if
they had seen or heard anything, but no one had information.
Based on the position of the bullet hole in the glass
(which is close to eye level), the likely target appears to
have been a squirrel or possibly the Soja’s cat that was
perched on top of the backyard fence. Mr. Soja
expressed concern for his family’s and other neighbors’
As was reported in the August 2010 edition of the
TC Notes, the use of firearms, air guns, pellet rifles, BB
guns, bows and arrows (or other projectile devices) is
prohibited by Austin City Code Chapter 9-6-7.
Mr. Soja is asking that anyone with information
about this incident contact him at [email protected]
By: Marion Mlotok, TC RESIDENT
An individual who was renting a house in Bastrop
lost all of her meager belongings in the recent Bastrop
fires. She has minimal resources, but is fortunate to be
moving into a home in East Austin the weekend of
October 1.
At this time, she does have a queen bed, but she
needs other household items, e.g., a small table and
chairs for the kitchen, kitchen things for eating and
cooking, a blender, lamps, bedside table, and bedding
for a queen-sized bed. She also needs clothes in sizes 34-5.
If you have any of these items and can donate
them, please contact Marion Mlotok at 358-0042 or
[email protected]
Friday, October 14, 2011
1:30-3:30 pm
Blue Valley Park
Stop by and meet other Travis Country Homeschoolers.
Find support, fun, and friendship right here
in the neighborhood.
Jenny Leeds
892-8888 or [email protected]
Samantha Smith
891-9503 or [email protected]
Austin’s first environmentally planned neighborhood.
By: Cynthia Wilcox, TC RESIDENT
Thursday, September 15 was the
deadline for submitting bids to AISD for
the 12.45 acre native savanna at the
heart of Travis Country. 298 households
all over Travis Country pledged a total
of $126,837 to the Native Prairies
Association of Texas’ (NPAT) Travis
Country Prairie preservation campaign,
the majority of which was pledged in
the final three weeks. That is almost
Emory Roach(6), Annaliese Roach (3),
$40,000 more than the Ladybird
and Maggie Nichols (6) took a “stand at
Johnson Wildflower Center raised in its
the lemonade stand,” raising almost
recent pledge drive!
$100 for the AISD land pledge drive.
It was wonderful to see so many
different groups coalesce in support of
preserving the green space at the heart of Travis Country. HOA Board and
Committee members joined in with homeowners and green space advocates from
throughout Travis Country to identify a viable alternative for AISD as they make
a decision about the parcel. Even our youngest residents got into the spirit of
things by setting up a lemonade stand and dedicating their proceeds to the AISD
land/NPAT pledge drive.
With the pledges that were made, NPAT was able to place a bid of $253,674
for a perpetual conservation easement on the property on September 15. The
conservation easement allows AISD to retain valuable development offsets that
they can apply toward existing schools that need to be expanded or remodeled or
for new construction.
For the neighbors in close proximity to the land, it was heartwarming to see
how many people from throughout Travis Country care enough to pledge, volunteer, and help in other ways with this community effort to protect the environment, Austin's watershed, and our TC quality of life. It's hard to imagine a better
outcome for this property.
Two other bids were submitted – one for $800,000 by Russell Eppright, the
builder Waterloo Development brought to the August HOA Board meeting, and
one for $980,000 by broker Nicholas Dean on behalf of a newly formed entity
called Independent Realty, LLC.
AISD has a maximum of 120 days to make a decision about which bid if
any to accept. In the meantime, let's all just take a collective moment to pat ourselves on the back!
Is this yours?
Do you know who did this?
If you have info on who dumped a broken basketball
backboard on the AISD land and/or and who thought
it would be funny to toilet paper trees on the land,
please either ask them to clean up after themselves or
contact the TC Office at [email protected]
Please help keep Travis Country beautiful and clean!
A number of Travis Country residents wrote the TC Notes to voice their
concerns about negligence by some here in the neighborhood.
Multiple people have been observed cavalierly flicking their cigarette
butts out car windows or when walking near our prized -- yet extremely
dry -- greenbelts. Some residents have begun writing down license
plates numbers and calling 3-1-1.
New Firewise Committee Members
Quarterly Meetings
Interested: Contact Candy Goodrich
[email protected] or 892-4101
PLEASE BE EXTRA CAREFUL. If you smoke, make sure your
cigarette butts are fully extinguished. Our land is parched, and a single
ember could start a fire with the potential to destroy the entire Barton
Creek Greenbelt. If you see someone flick their cigarette out of a car,
call 3-1-1. If you see someone flicking ashes into dry areas, stop them
and educate them. LET’S KEEP TRAVIS COUNTRY SAFE!!!!
TC Notes - 7
By: Cammi Klier, TC RESIDENT
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is reprinted in its entirety with permission of TC Resident Cammit Klier.
We have been shocked and saddened by the damage caused by the Central Texas fires this month. Our sincere thoughts and prayers are
with everyone who has been affected by the fire. We are very grateful for those who were on the front lines fighting fires and for so many in
our communities helping people.
Now that a few weeks have passed, my company took the opportunity to catch up with a few former clients who experienced the trauma
of a fire in their homes and to talk about thier experiences.
Brad and Gina Harper lost their Travis Country home to fire about eight-and-one-half years ago. I remember in the early days of our discussions, Gina said that she didn't want to rebuild unless there were big improvements. They did rebuild with the improvements that they
desired and have been happy in their new home.
Mark and Jane Stein lost their Northwest Hills home to fire last summer and they have just recently moved back into their newly constructed home.
Brad and Gina both said that in losing their home, they experienced the typical stages of grief with the added process of building a home.
This seemed overwhelming at first. Gina said, “I was still in shock in the early days while we began working with the insurance adjuster.
Once we made up our mind that we were going to stay and rebuild, it became an opportunity.”
Mark said that one of the biggest surprises was the insurance process. “The level of detail in recollection to get your full claim value was
overwhelming. We thought they would take a look at the square footage of the damaged home and just cut a check.” The Steins said that anyone in this situation should be prepared for a lengthy process. They are still today working the claim and submitting receipts for replaced
Brad said that they were also unprepared for the insurance process. “Don't think it can't happen to you.” Check your insurance policy and
add insurance riders for special items that might not be covered. Take inventory of your contents and make it easy for yourself by walking
through your home with a video camera. He also said in the process of replacing contents, be thoughtful about what things you might replace
versus refurbish. In the Harper's case, there were some items that were only damaged by smoke and water. “You are dealing with a fixed pot
of money.” Brad suggests taking time to decide if something is worth refurbishing or if it’s possibly cheaper to just replace the item.
One of the best things the Steins said they did was to hire a public adjuster. This is someone who knows the ins and outs of the process
and can represent you to the insurance company to get the maximum claim benefit allowed. A public adjuster's fee is based upon the percentage of recaptured funds. Mark said he was sure that they were able to get far more out of their claim than they would have without the
Mark also suggested checking references and carefully considering the professionals you will work with. He was happy to find a CPBD
building designer with realistic fees and a competent builder; both with personalities he could enjoy working with. He also said in hind sight,
he would create a time line as a framework to help the planning and construction be in sync with the schedule of the insurance company.
Jane said one of the things that surprised her was the time it took for the City to approve of their permit. There is no way to get around
this except to simply expect delays.
“Don't be in a hurry,” was Brads best advice. While keeping on track with the insurance company's time frame, don't feel rushed and skip
through decision making. “Take a step back, make thoughtful decisions. Be a wise and careful shopper.”
The Harper's and the Steins' both have the same perspective after this experience: the end result was worth the effort. Neither family had
a loss of life, only a loss of property. “There was trauma, but it was not permanent,”said Jane. To those who are going through this now, Mark
and Jane both offer, “You are going to be OK.” Both families now live in homes that are better than what they had before, and that they
gained perspective on what is important.
Rebuilding or relocating after a fire is a personal choice. If you choose to rebuild, here are some suggestions that we think are important
to Rebuild it Better.;
- Hire an engineer to survey the damage and evaluate the conditions of the remaining structure to find out if any parts of the wall, roof or
foundation structure is salvageable.
- Build a more energy efficient home by creating a better design and better construction methods. A home that is designed right for you
and your site and the salvaged home. Even if you are able to salvage parts of the damaged structure, it is possible to create a better
design with what is available. With any remodeling project, you have an excellent opportunity to build a home that is sealed tight, better
insulated and protected.
- Use fire-resistant materials such as hardi-board siding and metal roofing. Seal all gaps or lay siding so that there are no gaps and cracks
that can allow sparks to get through.
- Seal your home and your attic air tight. A sealed home and attic is not only more energy efficient, but will help keep sparks and embers
from penetrating into your attic and through the cracks in your home.
- Build concrete decks instead of wood decks. Wood decks on the back of a home are very vulnerable to fire. Concrete decks can be built
over wood framing wrapped and sealed with hardi-panel or other fire-resistant materials.
- Install lawn sprinklers Consider which side of your home might be most vulnerable to fire such as a prairie or hillside and install lawn
sprinklers. If the event of fire, the sprinklers could keep the ground wet and hold off a fire potentially until firefighters can arrive.
-Create a 30 foot to 30 yard defensible area around your home that firefighters can drive up to.
Continued on page 9
8 - TC Notes
Austin’s first environmentally planned neighborhood.
Surviving a Wildfire, continued from page 8
As long as drought conditions remain, we are all at risk of fire and this fall we will have many other opportunities for north winds. Not a
neighborhood in the Austin area is less than a few miles from a road side, green belt, or natural area where a fire could be started.
Here are some other helpful and interesting links:
Contact your realtor to help you find a temporary residence or talk about relocating. Go to the Austin Board of Realtors Austin Home
Search site specifically created for disaster relief:
1) This is a great list of things to protect your family from fire that every home owner should do:
2) The HBA of Austin published a very informative article on how to choose a reputable builder.
While we wait for rain, here are some really great links to help our lawns and trees:
1) Caring for Trees in a Dry Climate:
2) Landscape Conversion Incentive: Lawn Remodel Option (See page 10 for more information. The TC Notes would like to
follow residents who make this transition.)
3) Free Soil Moisture Meters
Read more about the Landscape Conversion Incentive,
including forms, in the online edition of the October TC Notes.
TC Notes - 9
Style H H
Austin’s first environmentally planned neighborhood.
Do you have an idea for our TC Lifestyle section?
Email [email protected]
Landscape Conversion Incentive:
Lawn Remodel Option
Welcome to TC’s Newest Residents!
By:Bill Sigler
Carrie and Timothy Eger
Richard and Evelyn Lawrence
Terra J. Nuss
William J. Brown
Laura Tyson
Thad Williams
Steven Crosley & Emily Matthews
4801 Cap Rock Drive
4425 Twisted Tree Cove
5201 Bandera Creek Trail
5244 Concho Creek Bend
5712 Travis Green Lane
4824 Canyon Bend Circle
4500 View West
What a Great Kid!
TC Student Collects for Bastrop Fire Victims
There were undoubtedly many,
many people here in Travis
Country who joined the relief
efforts for victims of the
recent fires in Central
Texas. But one really
stands out: TC resident
Colin Molloy.
Overcome by the
struggle faced by
victims, Colin created
fliers seeking donations
and rode his bike around
Travis Country, distributing
them directly to doorsteps. A
couple of days later, Colin (with a little
help from his parents) drove around the neighborhood filling an
entire FJ Cruiser with donations left on residents’ porches.
The donations ranged from clothes and shoes to bottled water
and hand cleaner, plus other useful items. They then drove to the
Bastrop Volunteer Fire Department and delivered the goods.
What a great kid! What a great neighborhood!
In addition to the existing incentive for customers interested in
conserving water by converting their lawns to native beds or nonirrigated areas, for a limited time Austin Water is offering residential
customers the opportunity to replace their water-thirsty turf with
grasses that are more likely to survive the next drought.
Participants in the program commit to stop watering stressed turf
in front and/or back yards until the drought has ended and a sustained
recovery is projected. At that time, Austin Water will contact participants to request a design plan that may include selected turf varieties,
native plants, and non-irrigated areas.
- Commit: To stop watering stressed turf.
- Calculate: How your new landscape will look with plants that
are more likely to survive the next drought .
- Conserve: By avoiding irrigation during the drought, and using
less water on your future landscape.
To apply, complete the application, send by fax, mail or email
application as an attachment to [email protected]
by October 14, 2011.
The TC Notes would like to follow your progress. Let us know if
you apply for this program! See online edition for more information.
OHE Classrooms & Cafeterias Fill with
Dads at “Bring Your Dad to School Day”
OHE is seeking neighbors young, old, and in-between who would
like to volunteer for the 2011-2012 reading tutoring programs.
Bridget Brown, 301-0235/[email protected]
Photo: Colin making the delivery at the Bastrop Volunteer Fire Department.
Liddy Zierer, 891-9845/[email protected]
Additional pages and information in the online edition:
10 - TC Notes
FALL SAFETY TIPS FOR PETS (From the Editor’s Vet Newsletter)
Austin’s first environmentally planned neighborhood.
Although temperatures are cooler in the fall, it won't be cold
enough to keep your pet safe from fleas and ticks. Keep pets
on year round prevention to protect from transmissible
Fall is the season when rodents start looking for warmer
shelter, including your house! If you are considering using
rodenticides around the house or in your yard, remember
that these products are highly toxic to pets. It is not safe to have any rodenticide around your
pet's living areas. Additionally, your pet could get Leptospirosis from rodents, so be sure to
keep them current on vaccines. Rodents can also cause tapeworms if ingested by your pet.
Do you change your car's engine coolant in the fall? Ethylene glycol-based coolants are highly toxic, so make sure to clean up any spills on your driveway. Although propylene glycolbased coolants are not completely non-toxic, they are much safer than the ethylene glycolbased ones. Some signs your pet may have ingested them are lethargy, stumbling, vomiting,
and seizures.
If you love mushrooms, you probably know that fall is mushroom season! About 1% are
highly toxic and can be life threatening. Poisonous mushrooms can cause mild gastrointestinal problems to severe hallucinations and death. Keep your pet away from any areas where
mushrooms are growing. In case of ingestion of a poisonous mushroom, contact your veterinarian immediately as your pet may need immediate medical attention.
In the fall, snakes start preparing for hibernation. During this period these reptiles tend to be
more irritable, increasing the chance for your pet to be bitten in an accidental encounter.
Supervise your pet when outside and keep them out of the areas where snakes are more likely
to be found.
The kids are back to school and this often translates in a house full of pens, pencils, glue sticks,
and markers, all of which can be very harmful to your pet if ingested. Gastrointestinal upset or
blockages can occur, putting your pet's life in danger. Keep them from your pets’ reach.
If you enjoy hiking, remember to always have a first aid kit with you and to carry plenty of
water. Even though temperatures are cooler, your pet will need to stay hydrated. If you're
walking your dog, especially in crowded areas, always keep him/her on a leash. Make sure
your pet is wearing identification tags and consider microchipping him/her.
DATE: October 29
LOCATION: 3977 Sendero
BOOK: Adrenaline, by Jeff Abbott
The author will be present.
This will also be a Halloween party.
Guests are encouraged to bring treats.
In September, there will be two KnitWits
gatherings: Tuesday, October 11, 2-4 pm at
3957 Sendero; and Tuesday, October 25, 24 pm at 4024 Travis Country Circle. All
knitters and crocheters welcome! Questions:
[email protected]
Compiled by Ruth Schwab, TC NOTES
6-8 pm Hilltop Recreation Area
7 pm
TCCSA Office
7 pm
TCCSA Office
6 pm
TCCSA Office
7 pm
TCCSA Office
6 pm
TCCSA Office
7 pm
TCCSA Office
6 pm
TCCSA Office
6 pm
TCCSA Office
4:30-6 pm Blue Valley Park
HALLOWEEN is such a fun holiday, but it could turn into a nightmare for pets. Here are some
tips to keep your pet safe and keep the party going!
- Maybe tricks, but definitely NO treats. Chocolate and xylitol (an artificial sweetener contained in candies and sugar free gums) are highly toxic to pets. Keep your pet away from
any kind of candy, as even a very small bite could threaten your pet's life. Also, glow
sticks and glow jewelry are toxic if eaten.
- Secure all the wires and cords from the lights and decorations. If chewed, they could
cause burns to your pet.
- Skip the use of candles. Dogs, and especially cats, can easily knock over the candles and
start a fire in a matter of seconds. Choose battery operated candles instead.
- Not all pets love costumes like we do. Make sure your pet is comfortable in that cute
outfit and that the costume is safe. If your pet shows signs of discomfort, do not force
him/her to wear something that could cause unnecessary stress.
- If trick-or-treaters upset your pet, keep him/her in a separate room.
TC Bunco is welcoming fall with open arms
and expecting more fun playing our favorite
game! We will once again meet at the TC
Office on Oct. 3, at 7:30 pm to eat, drink,
play and be merry! Come join us! Questions:
Lindy at 892-3116.
TC Notes - 11
Richard Cain, TC NOTES
Home buyers are still realizing that Travis Country may be one of the best values in
Austin. There hasn't been a slow down in sales in "the hood," even though we sometimes
see a slight shift this time of year due to our city's cyclical market. The numbers for this
month look very similar to those in last month's update.
As of September 24, there are eight homes for sale, five of which came on the market
within the last ten days. There are five homes in pending status, and they took an average
of 57 days before accepting a contract. The average days on market for the currently
offered homes is 23, and the average asking price is $344,157. The two condos in The
Woods have an average asking price of $199,999.
The five pending homes are once again spread between the original and newer
sections. The average list price for the homes under contract in the original sections is
$256,600 and were on the market for an average of 55 days. The average price for the
homes under contract in the newer sections is $317,400, averaging 62 days on the market.
The homes that sold since the last update are also split across all sections. Three
homes sold in the original sections for an average price of $269,500 ($160.70 per square
foot). They were on the market an average of 50 days. The homes that sold in the newer
sections commanded an average price of $385,863 ($147.74 per square foot) and were on
the market an average of 38 days.
Rates are still at historical lows, and the local real estate market here in Austin
remains one of the best in the nation. Unfortunately, most people are focusing more on
the national market. Next time you find yourself in a conversation with someone saying
how bad the real estate market is, ask them how the national temperature looks for today!
Remember, real estate is and always has been local.
Travis Country is an
established neighborhood.
You need an established
real estate agent.
Call me and ask me why.
Sherri Williams
Visit me at
Keller Williams Realty
Licensed Realtor in the State of Texas
TC Notes - 13
Someone to help drive 5th grade student from Pease Elementary School (12th and Rio
Grande) to Travis Country any weekday(s) between 2:45 and 3:15 pm. Perfect for ACC
Rio Grande campus or UT student. Sara at 917-1560.
Camper shell for six-foot bed truck. Silver-grey, excellent condition, best offer.
Coleman stove and tent, $29. 797-4311.
Pre-Lit 6.5 foot Christmas Tree with storage bag. Used once, $39. 797-4311.
Beveled glass table/desk top, 30"x58"- $19. 797-4311.
Antique-Collection etched glass plate with metal stand. From 1988 Austin Aqua
Festival (plate made in France), $15. 797-4311.
Noritake China, Winterbrook Pattern. Service for 12 plus serving pieces, $150. Call Sue
at 512-293-4082.
Garage Sale: Saturday October 8, 8am - Noon. Household items/electronics/furniture/clothing etc. 4800 Woodside Drive. Also: Solid cherry executive desk with two
hutches (can become 2 desks), $900. Two matching full-sized chairs for entry area or
executive office. $175. Six foot cabinet, matching solid cherry, $200. Matching cherry
dry erase board, $100. Dialta 650 copier, $500. HP Laser Jet 2200 printer/scanner, $75.
New oak coffee table, $40. Miscellaneous Christmas decorations and Halloween
costumes. 658-2257.
14 - TC Notes
Austin’s first environmentally planned neighborhood.
A G hJ W O 1 n A G hJ
*CPR Training
+Red Cross Course Certified
#First Aid Training
CLASSIFIED AD POLICY: The Classifieds are open to TC residents only. Free service ads for students ages 18-and-under all year, and for college students from June through August. College students must be attending a college or university during the regular year, and living at home--in Travis Country--during the summer months. Services cannot be conducted on TC Common Property or use TC facilities. ALL ADS EXCEPT
STUDENT SERVICES ADS MUST BE RENEWED MONTHLY. The Editor must be notified when a student is 18 and graduates from high school. Non-service ads can be run for a maximum of three months. We reserve
the right to edit ads. For information about paid advertising for businesses and services provided by adults, go to Advertising for businesses and services for individuals 18+ can be placed at
the Travis Country website inder Classifieds for no charge. You may also ask the TC Office (892-2256) to add your name to the list they maintain. Questions or to advertise: [email protected]
TC Notes - 15
Molly Austin
[email protected]
Molly’s 2¢ (on Throwing a Party)
Along with the much needed cooler
plenty of paper supplies, soap and
First Impressions – Greet your
weather, fall is a time of
clean hand towels.
guests from the moment they arrive
celebrations and get-togethers.
by having the path to the front door
Throwing a party is always a great
well lit and inviting. This is also
reason to give your house and yard
another area where a professional
a little extra care.
Clean House – A house party is a
good reason to give your home a
thorough cleaning. In fact, why not
leave it to the professionals? A
house full of guests is a wonderful
New Listings!
4835 Calhoun Canyon Lo
4703 Trail West Drive
Call me to come take
touch is a good idea by having the
yard mowed and edged the week of
the party. White lights in the trees
or around the edge of the patio will
not only help guests to recognize
a look!
opportunity to professionally clean
the party house, but also create a
special look.
the windows, drapes and get all the
Scent-sational – Your home should
Refreshing Reminders – Nothing
cobwebs out of the corners. As
have a pleasant aroma that
breaks the ice better than being
party host, you’ll be busy sending
welcomes your guests without
served an ice cold beverage upon
invitations, planning menus and
overwhelming them. Lightly
arriving. Have the bar easily
organizing the evening.
scented candles or fresh flowers can
add to the ambiance and create
assessable and display three or four
choices. Put snacks throughout the
subtle scents. Also, spritzing
seating area, this way everyone is
couches and chairs with linen spray
not crowded into one little spot.
can help keep the room fresh.
Also, don’t forget your vegetarian
Even if you don’t have the time for
a total house cleaning, a sparkling
bathroom is a key component to
hosting a party. Be sure there are
or vegan guests and offer plenty of
fruits and veggies.
Tip of the Month
Some great party themes are wine tastings, donation parties where a
can good gets you in the door, and a fun girls night is a clothes
swapping party.
16 - TC Notes
All about Austin
Join us for the 2nd Annual “Around the World Beer Block Party” on
Oct. 29th at 6pm, in the Creek Ridge cul-de-sac. Admission is
canned goods for the Capital Area Food Bank. Line up your
babysitter now! Email me for further information.
from Double
Austin Fire
guys with big
trucks and
Target is
handing out
Talk to
Urgent Care
about your
sprained ankle!
Games for
the kids!
Date: October 4th Time: 6pm - 8pm
Where: Hilltop Recreational Area
Come on out and meet all your neighbors.
Landscape Conversion Incentive: Lawn Remodel Option
Applicant Information
Name (applicant must be the property owner) _______________________________________________
Installation Address & Zip Code ______________________________________________________________
Mailing Address & Zip Code __________________________________________________________________
Email Address _______________________________________________________________________________
Primary Phone Number ______________________________________________________________________
Secondary Phone Number ___________________________________________________________________
Austin Water Account Number (only direct Austin Water customers are eligible) ________________
Which section of your yard are you applying to replace?
Approximately how much area (square feet) are you applying to replace? ____________________
Participation is not appropriate for certain properties or customers. Please check the boxes
below to indicate that you understand and attest to the following:
This property is not creekside or at a slope where erosion is a concern
This property is not subject to HOA restrictions that conflict with program requirements
My property has a soil depth of 6” or I am able to increase the soil depth to 6”
I am willing to accept an indefinite time period with dead grass
I am willing to accept an indefinite delay on the new installation
I will be willing to allow my new lawn, once planted, to go dormant in the winter
This lawn is currently stressed due to drought conditions (this program is not appropriate for
landscapes, including established St. Augustine, that have remained healthy under current
watering restrictions)
This area receives 6 or more hours of full sun daily
Participant Agreement
By checking the boxes, I acknowledge the statements below:
I certify that the information I have provided is accurate and that I have read and
understand the program guidelines. I understand that Austin Water reserves the right to
cancel or modify the program without notice and that rebates are subject to funding
availability. I agree to:
Stop watering – by hand or through automatic irrigation – the turf grass being
replaced, and will water other landscaping in the area by hand only. I understand I
may continue to irrigate areas not being replaced, but that a violation of the Water
Use Management Ordinance anywhere on the property will result in disqualification.
Not install my new landscape until I've received approval. I understand that
installations made before that time are ineligible.
Allow Austin Water to track my water use, reference my project in outreach material,
and contact me regarding participation in public viewings or promotional tours.
After completion, go to the final menu (top left) click save as and save this file to your computer
and email it as an attachment to [email protected] by October 14,
Please call 974-2199 to request a paper application.
Landscape Conversion Incentive:
Lawn Remodel Option
How is this different from the Landscape Conversion Incentive?
The existing Landscape Conversion Incentive doesn’t allow for the installation of new turf while the Lawn
Remodel Option does.
I haven’t watered my grass since June, can I still apply?
Yes. This program is intended to replace turf that is suffering during the current drought.
Can I replace my drought-tolerant grass through this program?
No. If your Buffalo or Bermuda grass is struggling, we suggest you consider other factors, such as whether
it’s receiving enough sunlight or has gone dormant.
Do I have to submit a design plan?
Not yet. Once the drought is coming to a close, we’ll request design plans.
What if I decide later to install native plants instead of turf?
Not a problem. By enrolling in the Lawn Remodel Option, you’re automatically eligible to participate in the
other Landscape Conversion Incentive options.
How long will I have to wait to install new grass?
A drought of this degree will not quickly be recovered from. Until a sustained recovery has begun and is
projected to continue, replanting will not be permitted. This may be in a year or even longer. If you are not
prepared to accept an indefinite time period with dead grass, this program isn’t right for you.
Why don’t you typically offer incentives to install native grasses?
While Buffalo and Bermuda grasses are more drought tolerant than most varieties of St. Augustine, property owners often attempt to keep these grasses green during their natural dormant periods making water
savings not as reliable as we would typically like. But, the severity of this drought coupled with the growing public interest in native turf grasses warrants the short-term inclusion of a turf option in the Landscape
Conversion Incentive.
How can I let my neighbors know why I have dead grass?
Participants in the program can request yard signs explaining that your yard is undergoing a water-saving
remodel. These signs may not be displayed in the right-of-way, and display is optional.
What happens if my HOA fines me?
Program participation does not supersede agreements between homeowners and HOAs. Properties subject
to HOA restrictions that conflict with the program requirements are not eligible. It is your responsibility to
verify that you are not subject to conflicting HOA restrictions prior to enrolling in the program.
Continued on next page
My landscape is doing fine on the current watering schedule, but I’d like to install buffalo grass –
can I apply?
Lawns (including established St. Augustine) that have remained healthy under current watering restrictions
are not eligible. This program is intended to incentivize WaterWise landscape choices for customers who are
likely to replace grass lost to the drought. We will monitor the results of this program to evaluate broader
turf-replacement incentives in the future.
Does this mean I have to let my trees and shrubs die?
Absolutely not. Trees and shrubs in areas being converted may be watered by hand. If you are enrolling for
only the front or back of your yard, you may continue to use automatic irrigation systems in the area that is
not enrolled; e.g., if you are replacing your front lawn, you may continue to water your back lawn using the
automatic irrigation system and in accordance with watering restrictions.
What if I already started planting new drought-tolerant turf?
The program is not retroactive; any installations started prior to receiving approval do not qualify.
What should I do in the shaded areas on my yard that supports St. Augustine but not Buffalo or Bermuda grasses?
St. Augustine is the only warm season turf grass in our region suited for shade. If your yard receives less
than six hours of full sun per day, this program isn’t for you. If there are a few shaded areas in your yard that
currently has St. Augustine, you will need to stop irrigating that area along with the rest of your front and/or
back yard you’re planning on converting. If the St. Augustine in the shaded areas dies without supplemental
irrigation, it is best to replace it with a shade or non-irrigated bed.
Can I combine the turf, native bed and non-irrigated bed rebates to reach the 500 square footminimum?
Yes, as long as all other conditions are met.
Isn’t this going to result in a bunch of rocks-and-cacti yards?
That is not the program’s intent. Crushed granite and gravel can be integrated into an overall landscape
plan, and may be particularly appropriate for “dry creeks” in the landscape, walkways or utility areas along
the side of a home. Mulched areas are an ideal solution for shaded areas under tree canopies, and there
are numerous flowering plants native to Central Texas that can be used in a colorful, textural and attractive
Why is this only for owner-occupied properties?
Because this program requires a long term commitment, and because education is critical to the success of
the program, our pilot program requires that the owner occupy the property.
American Smoke Tree
Cotinus obovatus
Bald Cypress Taxodium distichum
Carolina Cherry Laurel
Deciduous wetland native that can grow higher
than 100 feet. Pyramidal shape, fall color and
adaptability make it a favorite in the South.
Mature Height: 60' to 80'
Prunus caroliniana
Small, oval-shaped tree that flowers in spring and
has dense, green foliage which is ideal for
screening. Mature Height: 25' to 40'
Carya illinoinensis
This State Tree of Texas is a superb shade and
nut tree, but is very slow growing when located
in dry or shallow soils. When properly placed,
this large tree can reach 65 feet or higher at
maturity. Mature Height: 50' to 70'
Outstanding small tree or
multi-trunked shrub with
masses of smoke-like flowers
in the spring and great fall foliage color.
Mature Height: 15' to 25'
Yaupon Holly
Ilex vomitoria
Very picturesque,
upright evergreen for
southern gardens.
Adapts to varied soils.
Multiple uses including
screens, barriers and
takes to pruning well.
Mature Height: 15' to 20'
Prosopis glandulosa
Yellow, fragrant flowers in spring and summer.
North American native with spreading, rounded
canopy and many drooping, crooked branches
low on trunk. Mature Height: 25' to 35'
Carolina Buckthorn
Rhamnus caroliniana
Native to most of eastern and
midwestern U.S., this small, bright
green, fruit-bearing tree attracts
wildlife. Showy yellow-orange or red
fall color. Mature Height: 12' to 15'
Prunus serotina var. eximia
White flowers appear in early spring with
new leaves. Lustrous green leaves turn a
beautiful golden yellow in the fall.
Mature Height: 35' to 50'
Texas Ash
Fraxinus texensis
Mexican Buckeye
Drought tolerant, medium
shade tree. Stunning orange, yellow and
purple fall color. Mature Height: 40' to 50'
Ungnadia speciosa
This multi-trunk tree
is noted for its clusters
of pinkish, orchid-like
flowers in the spring and
yellow foliage in the fall.
Mature Height: 15' to 25'
Escarpment Black Cherry
Desert Willow
Diospyros texana
Chilopsis linearis
Fragrant and orchid-like with
shades of lavender and pink
trumpet-shaped blooms at tips
of branches. Regularly visited
by hummingbirds.
Mature Height: 15' to 25'
Easily identified by its smooth,
gray trunk, peeling bark and
dark green deciduous leaves.
Edible fruit matures to a dark
black and is a great wildlife
food source. Mature Height: 15' to 20'
Orchid Tree
Lacey Oak
Quercus laceyi
A small oak tree good for limestone soils.
Unusual smoky, blue-gray foliage and compact,
round canopy. Mature Height: 15' to 25'
Bauhinia congesta
Fragrant and showy white
blooms appearing in the
spring. Occasionally blooms
intermittently in the fall.
Mature Height: 15'
Chinkapin Oak
Quercus muhlenbergii
Grows best in full sun on well-drained soil.
Leaves turn red, yellow, orange and brown
before dropping in fall. Acorns are edible.
Mature Height: 40' to 50'
Possumhaw Holly
Western Soapberry
Sapindus drummondii
This excellent shade tree is well suited to
the urban environment. Name derives
from Native American use of crushed
berries to make soap suds. Showy fall
color. Mature Height: 40' to 50'
Ilex decidua
A small and generally
multi-trunked tree, this holly
loses its leaves in winter to
display a multitude of red
berries (female trees).
Ehretia anacua
Fragrant white flower clusters,
and fleshy fruit. Nectar attracts
wildlife. Mature Height: 30'-40'
Texas Pistache
Pistacia texana
Leaves are relatively small, shiny,
and usually evergreen with a
bronze color at the growing tips.
Small, white flowers bloom in
spring and summer.
Mature Height: 12' to 20'
Mature Height: 15' to 20'
Bur Oak
Quercus macrocarpa
Huge tree, with impressive
crown, massive trunk, stout
branches and coarse texture.
Very large acorns are covered with furry,
bur-like cap. Mature Height: 70' to 90'
Bigtooth Maple
Acer grandidentatum
A Hill Country native with spectacular fall
color when growing conditions and
weather permit. Mature Height: 40' to 50'
Eastern Red Cedar
Juniperus virginiana
Will grow almost anywhere including
sandy soils. Has an open and widespreading habit.
Mature Height: 30' to 45'
Cedar Elm
Ulmus crassifolia
Native to the Hill Country and southern
central U.S. Very adaptable deciduous tree for
the urban environment. Makes a great shade
or street tree. Mature Height: 50' to 70'
Mountain Laurel
Sophora secundiflora
Native evergreen indigenous to Hill Country. Small,
multi-trunked tree with dark
green leaves with purple, fragrant
flowers. Mature Height: 15' to 20'
Eve’s Necklace
Sophora affinis
Drooping clusters of pinkish
blossoms in the late spring form
necklace-like chains of black beans
in late summer through fall.
Mature Height: 15' to 25'
Gum Bumelia
Escarpment Live Oak Quercus fusiformis
Large, wide-spreading evergreen with massive,
horizontal, arching branches. Mature Height: 60' to 80'
Sideroxylon lanuginosum
The fruit is eaten by birds, and white-tailed
deer browse the leaves and fruit. The flowers
provide early season nourishment for honey
bees. Mature Height: 40' to 50'
Small deciduous,
understory tree
with delightful pink
blossoms in early spring
before leaves emerge.
Mature Height: 15' to 20'
Mexican Plum
Prunus mexicana
Very showy white flowers in early spring.
Small, tart plums. Mature Height: 20' to 25'
Texas Red Oak Quercus texana
Texas Redbud
Native to Texas. Stately tree with narrow, open
and rounded canopy. Mature Height: 35' to 45'
Cercis canadensis
var. texensis
Approximate Tree Heights At Maturity
American Anacacho Carolina
Orchid Buckthorn
Possumhaw Texas
Black Cherry
Red Oak
Bur Oak
Illustrations by Robert O’Brien
Cedar Elm
Live Oak
50' +
50' +
50' +
Bur Oak
Carolina Buckthorn
Carolina Cherry Laurel
Cedar Elm
Chinkapin Oak
Desert Willow
Eastern Red Cedar
Escarpment Black Cherry
Escarpment Live Oak
Eve’s Necklace
Gum Bumelia
Lacey Oak
Mexican Buckeye
Mexican Plum
Possumhaw Holly
Texas Ash
Texas Mountain Laurel
Texas Persimmon
Texas Pistache
Texas Redbud
Texas Red Oak
Western Soapberry
Yaupon Holly
50' +
50' +
50' +
Mulch 2-4
inches deep
in circle
Position the
top of the
rootball level
with or slightly
above the
Keep mulch
away from
8. Fill until the hole is
half full. Flood the hole
with a slow hose or tamp
gently with your foot to
firm the soil. Repeat until
the hole is full. Press
only firm enough to hold
the tree upright. The best
soil for root growth has
spaces for both air and
water. Large air pockets
can cause problems.
7. Backfill with original
soil. Mixing fertilizer,
compost, or other material with the soil is not
6. For balled and burlapped trees, rest the rootball in
the center of the hole. Reshape the hole so the tree will
be straight and at the proper level. After adjusting the
tree, pull the burlap and any other material
away from the sides and
top of the rootball. Gently
remove the material from
the hole.
Build soil dam
3-4 feet from
Sucker Growth
Susceptible To Oak Wilt
Poisonous Seeds
Sucker Growth, Small Thorns
Susceptible To Oak Wilt
Pollen Drop
Surface Roots
Susceptible To Freeze Damage
stems to
develop a
single trunk.
Shorten low
branches to
develop trunk
Watering slowly by hand gives you a great opportunity to
monitor your trees for problems such as disease, insects
and broken or dead limbs. You will be amazed at how
well your trees will respond to your care.
Regular watering is the single most important
factor in the success of your new tree. New trees
need about one inch of water per week for about two
years. This is true for all trees, even though they may be
native or drought tolerant. Be careful not to drown the
roots; they need air as well as water to grow.
Remember: a good mulch layer will provide a natural
source of nutrients to the tree and it will help cool the
soil and conserve moisture. Maintain a 3-4 inch mulch
layer within the planting area. Check the thickness of
your mulch mid-summer and renew it as needed. Keep
mulch away from the base of the trunk to avoid potential
rotting of the bark.
Do not add fertilizer at planting. Have your soil analyzed
to consider amending soil. Fertilizer may injure the
tree. Half an inch of compost under the canopy is
Care Of Your Tree
Remove root
suckers and sprouts.
Do not leave
branch stubs.
Remove limbs
that turn inward
towards the trunk.
Remove dead,
broken or
crossing limbs.
Remove limbs that extend
beyond the natural crown
of the tree.
Dotted lines indicate branches that have been removed:
3. The final cut should be
just beyond the branch
collar, without cutting
into it. Support the stub
so that it does not tear
the bark.
2. Make the second cut
from the top all the
way through the
branch, 2-3 inches
above the first cut.
1. Undercut the limb
12-24 inches from
the branch collar.
This stops the bark
from tearing.
Second cut
Remove dead
or broken
Three-Step Pruning Method
Remove low
Mature Tree Pruning
Females hold bright red berries through winter. Very hardy. Bushy unless pruned.
Large amber berries fall through winter.
Several red oaks available. “Texana” best for our area. Known as Quercus shumardii var. texana.
Several redbuds available. “Texensis” best for our area. Eastern variety does poorly.
Glossy foliage, small, white flower clusters, maintains shrub-like shape.
Drought-tolerant native with attractive exfoliating bark. Small, edible black fruit.
Excellent drought-tolerant tree. Outstanding fragrant spring blooms. Needs good drainage.
A very attractive alternative to Arizona Ash. Darker leaf color & denser, more upright growth pattern.
Striking native plant. Bright red berries in late fall and winter.
State Tree of Texas. Plant with plenty of room! Grows slowly until well-established.
Bright white flowers and edible fruit. May need protection from winter winds.
Good as a multi-stemmed specimen.
Extremely drought tolerant with desirable light, filtered shade. Thornless varieties available.
Native oak unusual for its bluish foliage. Resistant to Oak Wilt disease.
Blue to black berries, edible, ripen in fall. Highly adaptable to soil types, drought resistant.
Attractive flower in spring and fruit through fall and winter. Tolerates light, wet soils.
Limit use to areas with few live oaks. Allow plenty of room. Oak Wilt disease a problem.
Attractive, upright tree with showy fall color & interesting bark. Not for heavy, clay soils.
Fast growing, adaptable evergreen for screening & shade.
Showy flowers through summer. Needs good drainage.
Good for limestone soils. Attractive, light-colored bark.
Well-adapted shade tree for Austin. Some problems with aphids & powdery mildew.
Makes a good screening hedge. Requires good drainage.
Attractive fall color and fruit.
Excellent tree; not utilized enough. Plant with plenty of room!
Native to Hill Country; good for well-drained limestone soils. Excellent fall color. Hard to find.
Well-adapted to many soil combinations and moisture. Handles wet areas well.
Deep shade; spring blooms look like the tree is covered with snow. Also called Sand Paper Tree.
Very attractive small tree that will flower in full or part sun.
High drought, heat and cold tolerance.
Young Tree Pruning
*Water guidelines are for established trees. Freshly planted trees require
15–20 gallons of water every 7-10 days. See the 'Planting Your Tree' section
in this guide for more information on watering your new tree.
Wildlife, Fruit
Fall Color
Wildlife, Bark, Fall Color/Acorns
Flower, Fall Color
Attractive To Birds, Deer Resistant
Color, Wildlife, Bark Texture
Wildlife, Flower
Wildlife, Fall Color
Wildlife, Fall Color
Fruit, Wildlife, Fall & Winter Color
Wildlife, Flower, Fall Color, Bark
Wildlife, Bark Texture/Color
Wildlife, Flower
Texture, Color
Wildlife, Fragrant Flowers
Flower, Fruit
Wildlife, Flower, Fruit
Wildlife, Aromatic Wood
Wildlife, Flower
Wildlife, Fall Color
Wildlife, Flower
Wildlife, Fall Color, Fruit
Unique Leaves and Acorns
Fall Color
Wildlife, Fall Color
Attractive, Showy Blooms
Attractive, Aromatic Flowers
Color, Wildlife
3. In the center of
Dig hole
the planting area,
no deeper
soil & water
dig a hole at least
than the
when filling
2-3 times the diamPlace bottom of rootball on solid soil.
eter of the rootball
Make hole 2-3 times wider than rootball.
and no deeper than
the depth of soil in the rootball.
The bottom of the ball should rest on solid undisturbed
9. Construct a small dam or berm three feet in diamsoil when finished, the soil at the base of the tree should
eter around the tree. This dam will help hold water
be as high on the trunk as it was in the container.
until it soaks into the soil, rather than it running off
across the surface.
4. Make sure the sides of the hole are rough and uneven.
In very hard soils, a rough edged hole may help allow new
10. Cover the entire loosened area of soil, including
roots to grow out into the surrounding soil.
the berm, with 3-4 inches of mulch. For example, you
can use shredded wood or bark, compost, or dry
5. Place the tree in the hole. If the tree is in a container,
leaves. Mulch will slow water loss, reduce weeds and
pull the container away from the rootball. Don't pull
grasses, moderate soil temperature and provide small
the tree out by its trunk. Place the rootball in the center
amounts of nutrients.
of the hole. Adjust the tree so it sits straight and at the
proper level. Stand back and look at the tree now before
you put the soil back into the hole. You can make careful
adjustments to the hole at this point without seriously
harming the rootball.
2. Mark out a planting area 2-5 times
wider than the rootball diameter (wider
is better). Loosen
this area to about an
8-inch depth. This
will enable your tree
to extend a dense
mat of tiny roots well
out into the soil in
the first 1–10 weeks
in the ground.
1. Select the right tree for the right place. Proper tree
planting begins with good planning. Determine your planting goals and match the mature size, soil and moisture
requirements of your trees to the site. (Refer to the Tree
Selection Chart.)
Planting Your Tree
VL - Very Low (Water occasionally during very dry conditions).
L - Low (Water thoroughly ever 3-4 weeks if no rainfall).
M - Medium (Water thoroughly every 2-3 weeks if no rainfall).
H – High (Water thoroughly every 5-7 days if no rainfall).
25'-50'25'-35' No
Bigtooth Maple
50' +
Bald Cypress
30' Slow
Anacacho Orchid
American Smoke Tree
Height |Spread
The Austin Climate Protection Program is dedicated to
making Austin the leading city in the nation in the
fight against climate change. To learn more, visit
TreeFolks is a non-profit organization dedicated to
growing the urban forest of Central Texas through tree
planting, education, and community partnerships. Our
award winning programs have planted nearly 200,000
trees in city parks, preserves, schools and community
gardens. To learn more visit or
call 512-443-5323.
This poster is printed on acid-free archival quality paper. The pulp used for this paper is elemental chlorine free or totally chlorine free. It contains 30% recovered all post-consumer fiber.
Austin Energy recognizes the intrinsic value of
trees and works to maintain the health of the
urban forest. To learn more, call 512- 494-9400
or visit
Wildlife Habitat
Trees provide food, nesting sites and protection to a wide variety of birds and animals.
Water and Land Conservation
Trees and other landscape plants help slow surface water runoff and reduce soil erosion. The soil absorbs more rainwater,
so less potable water is needed on your landscape.
Urban Heat Island Mitigation
Cities often experience higher temperatures than the surrounding countryside. This urban heat island effect is reduced by
planting trees that shade hard surfaces like roads and sidewalks. Trees also literally cool the air around them through the
natural process of evapotranspiration. Whether alone or together evapotranspiration and shading can cool your yard, your
street and ultimately the city.
Climate Protection and Air Quality
Through the shading of homes, offices, air conditioning units, and by lowering localized temperatures through evapotranspiration (where the air is cooled by the release of moisture from the surface of leaves), the amount of related energy is
reduced including its associated air pollution and greenhouse gases. Trees don’t just help us avoid making more
air pollution; they actively absorb it. They sequester carbon dioxide, remove particulates and disrupt ozone particles.
Property Value
Mature trees beautify and help reduce crime in neighborhoods. They can add a significant percentage to the value of a
typical Austin home.
Energy Conservation
Properly placed shade trees can reduce home energy consumption, by providing shade for roofs, walls and air conditioners.
Large deciduous trees on the south and west sides of your home shade the roof and walls in the summer and help conserve
energy. In the winter when they drop their leaves they allow the sunlight through to warm your home. Planting evergreens
on the north side of your home can help you save energy too and keep your home warmer by blocking cold, northerly
winter winds.
Why We Plant Trees
Central Texas native trees have adapted to this climate over thousands of years and are better able to withstand extreme
weather events. Native trees generally require less watering, are more resistant to insect and disease attack, and provide
superior native wildlife habitat. There is also a link to our Central Texas natural heritage.
Why Native?
Do not plant large trees
within 50 ft of utility lines.
Plant smaller trees
under and/or within
20 ft on either side
of power lines.
Plant fruit trees
for edible fruit and
to attract wildlife.
Plant evergreens to
screen undesirable
Plant flowering
trees for accent
and beauty.
Tall trees: 40 ft. or taller in height
Medium trees: 25 ft. to 40 ft. in height
Small trees: 25 ft. in height or less
Plant deciduous trees
to shade your roof,
walls, windows and
air conditioner.
Shade the west and south
sides of your house to help
lower your utility bills.
Plant large trees
at least 50 ft.
from pole.
THIS GUIDE was created to answer some of the most commonly asked questions about
tree planting and care in Central Texas. It provides a selection of native large
and small trees, and their characteristics and growing needs. The tree illustration
foldout can also be used as a wall poster. Please share or recycle the guide when you
are finished with it.
City of Austin Grow Green Program
City of Austin Tree Programs
City of Austin Urban Heat Island Mitigation Program
Tree Folks
Fruit & Nut Tree Guide for Central Texas
Managing Trees Near Power Lines
Texas Forest Service
Green Building Program
Austin Urban Forestry Program
Plant medium
trees 20 to 50 ft.
from pole.
Tree Selection Chart For Central Texas
What to Plant
There are many kinds of trees available for planting in
your yard. The tree listings and illustrations in the Native
Tree Growing Guide can help you decide what to plant.
We recommend planting only native trees for shade and
ornamental purposes. Also, consider the size of the
planting hole you are willing to dig before you buy a tree.
You must dig no deeper than the rootball depth of your
new tree and two to three times as wide. Besides being
less expensive to purchase younger trees, they require
less water to get established than older trees.
When to Plant
Plant your new tree(s) as early as possible during the
Central Texas planting season (October 1st through
March 31st). Planting in the cool, wet season allows the
roots of your new tree(s) to become established before
the trees are subjected to our hot, dry summers.
Where to Plant
Plan before you plant. Make a sketch of your property
showing existing trees and landscape, sidewalks, driveways, building outlines, compass directions and overhead
or buried utility locations. Play it safe and call Dial Before
You Dig (8-1-1) three days before you plan to dig. They
will come out and mark the ground where all of your
underground utilities are located.
Planting Site Selection
Consult the Tree Selection Chart to determine the mature
height and spread of your tree(s). Make sure you give
your tree(s) adequate room to grow. Trees and shrubs
should not be planted where they will eventually interfere
with utility lines or equipment.
Plant small
trees within
20 ft. of pole.