Since trees can live for a really long time, it’s essential that you are able to match the right tree to a certain site. Here is how to choose the perfect tree for your landscaping and zone.
Making a quick and uninformed decision when choosing trees might make you regret it for a long time. A lot of trees grow beautifully for decades. However, there are some that could lead to years of trouble, such as dropping annoying sticks and messy fruit. This is why it is important that you plant trees that provide excellent views and functions.
When choosing, the first question you must ask yourself is – “Why should I plant a tree? For privacy? Shade? For a perfect view?” These questions will greatly help you later on.
The growth rate of a tree is also important to consider. Those trees that grow slower are generally stronger and have longer lives. However, if flowers and shade are more important, then it’s better to choose trees that grow faster. Fast-growing trees are typically smaller and have softer wood. They also don’t live longer compared to the slow-growing ones.
If you have a small house or yard, then smaller trees are recommended. If you want to have taller trees, then it’s better to plant them further from your house.
Shrubs and trees are either evergreen or deciduous. Evergreen shrubs and trees maintain their foliage during the entire year. Meanwhile, deciduous ones are bare during the winter season and their leaves fall off during fall.
Things to Consider When Choosing Trees
Cultivated trees have features that are suitable for certain landscape use. They also have specific requirements that are crucial to their survival. For example, a lot of trees like soil that is moist and woodsy. Meanwhile, some trees prefer soil that is more alkaline. Trees like bald cypress and swamp maples can endure soil that is truly wet.
With so many features, trees also have their own burden. While not as common, there are thorny trees that could be harmful to children. Some trees also have a lot of weeds. There are also trees that tend to be messy, like growing twigs and barks really fast. These trees require more work and maintenance. So if you can only invest less time attending to your trees, then these types are not recommended.
However, if more maintenance is needed and you have less time, you can always invest in outdoor equipment. For instance, buying a log splitter from a well-known gas-powered log splitter manufacturer will help you split huge wood fast and easy. This wood can be turned into smaller pieces that are ideal for other purposes, such as firewood.
A small tree does not mean necessarily a young one. A small tree could be weak. You can see this as the tree will have a thick bark with furrows, ridges, and flakes instead of a tender and smooth one.
Some trees have more tolerance for common conditions in urban areas, too. These include pollutants from cars and industries, poor drainage, salt spray, compacted soil, and night lighting. In general, trees from the city have shorter lives. Those that grow relatively well in cities are honey locust, oak, Norway maple, Washington hawthorn, crabapple, sweet gum, zelkova, and linden.
The Different Types of Trees Perfect for Your Yard
1. Shade Trees
Shade trees are perfect if you need some protection from the sun in your yard. Although it takes some time for them to grow and even requires more maintenance, these trees will truly pay for your hard work in the end.
Here are some excellent examples of shade trees:
- Tulip Tree – This is a fast-growing tree that riches up to 25 feet. A tulip tree blooms beautiful flowers with an orange center that curl up among the leaves.
- Honey Locust – This tree is strong and can adapt well to certain conditions. It can grow between 30 and 50 feet. During the fall season, its foliage becomes yellow.
- Willow Oak – This is made of narrow and pointy foliage and shapes a conical canopy. This tree can reach up to 50 feet during full maturity.
If your goal is to have some privacy from your neighbors, then you should go for conifers. Some trees are really compact, providing more privacy. However, there are also tall ones that can also serve as shades.
Here are some great conifers great for your yard:
- Pine – A pine tree stays evergreen during a full year. It is made of countless long and soft needles. A pine tree is often used for privacy and some protection against the wind.
- Arborvitae – This tree can grow up to feet. At first, it is slender. However, it becomes spiral-like as it reaches maturity. Arborvitae may come in different widths and heights.
3. Ornamental Trees
If your home has a small space but you need some height, ornamental trees with colorful foliage, blooms, and berries are perfect. These trees are useful for birds and pollinators. You may also even have delicious edible fruit!
Here are some examples of ornamental trees:
- Callery Pear – This type of tree grows faster and creates different flowers. In the spring, it grows white flowers and in the fall, it grows colorful foliage. It has a pyramidal canopy that grows between 30 and 45 feet.
- Chinese Dogwood – This tree produces white flowers with pointy petals. It also has dangling red fruits that hang in its branches during the fall season.
- Japanese Maples – they grow between three to twenty feet and provide interesting shapes, rich color, and fine-texture foliage.
- Crabapple – A crabapple grows up to 15 to 25 feet. During the spring, it grows beautiful pink flower buds that turn into white blossoms. Moreover, these flowers provide small yellow or red apples that are a favorite of birds.
- Saucer Magnolia – This deciduous tree can grow up to 30 feet. During the early spring, it produces long pink flowers.