How to Choose the Best Trees to Plant in Your Yard How to Choose the Best Trees to Plant in Your Yard

Before heading out to the nursery or ordering off the internet, you need to consider how you want your yard's landscape to work for you and, most importantly, you need to discover the best trees for you. You might need some privacy from noisy neighbors, or perhaps you need some shade for outdoor entertaining. You might want to increase the beauty of your yard by adding an eye-catching focal point, or hide an eye sore. You might even want a home for the wildlife in your yard. There are also special concerns that each tree will bring with it. Keeping in mind your specific goals will help you select trees you will enjoy for years to come.

Privacy Trees

These trees have dense foliage that blocks light and sound. In many cases, if you wanted a fence but couldn't afford one, privacy trees can fill out as a living fence in a few years. They also can be used to screen the less than beautiful parts of your yard. Some examples of privacy trees are: Thuja Green Giant, Emerald Green Thuja, various species of arborvitae, Eastern White Pine, Austrian Pine, Black Hills Spruce, Leyland Cypress, Wester Red Cedar, Douglas Fir, Needle Palm, Dawn Redwood, and Magnolia.

Shade Trees

These trees eventually form a canopy over your yard and give you relief from the hot summer sun. They tend to be tall, wide-spreading trees. Some examples of shade trees are: multiple varieties of eucalyptus, poplar, maple, ash, sycamore, birch, walnut, chestnut, elm, dogwood, honeylocust, ginkgo and willow, as well as Golden Raintree and Quaking Aspen.

Trees for Focal Points

Whether you want brightly colored spring blossoms or fall foliage, there are trees that will draw attention to your yard. Some examples of blossoming trees are: Royal Empress, Crape Myrtle, Golden Raintree, and different kinds of cherry, dogwood, pear, magnolia, mimosa, flowering plum, redbud, and crabapple. For strong fall foliage, you could choose: Red Maple, Sugar Maple, Norway Maple, Japanese Maple, Tulip Poplar, Autumn Purple Ash, Red Oak, White Oak, Quaking Aspen, Chinese Redbud, Chinese Pistachio, and varieties of ginkgo and birch.

Wildlife Trees

If you want to make a home for birds and other little critters in your yard, give preference to native trees. They tolerate the climate and soil of your area well. They are especially insect and disease resistant to pests in your region, and they do not harm the natural ecosystem. Check with your state's forestry department for specific native trees that work in your area.

Things to Keep in Mind

Deciduous trees have broad, shady leaves in the summer, but are barren in the winter. They often produce flowers in the spring or bright colors in the fall. Evergreen trees, however, maintain green foliage all year.

Some trees grow quickly, and are good for shade and privacy. However they have a shorter lifespan and less durable wood. Other trees grow slowly, taking many years to mature. They live longer and tend to have stronger wood.



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