Are you recently moved into a new home and wondering what trees you should plant in your yard? Answering this question involves several important considerations. What kind of look do you want to create? How fast do you need the trees to be full-grown? What species will do well in your soil?
Trees for every question, need and setting
There’s just nothing like planting a tree, seeing it grow, watching it change (or not) throughout the seasons of the year. You will deeply appreciate its color, shade, and shape for many years. If you have children, it’s a wonderful nature lesson for them, too!
Check out the trees below, categorized by the most common needs of homeowners:
If you’re looking for something that grows quickly (about 5 to 8 feet per year), a hybrid poplar is a good choice. But the Leyland cypress is a close second. It’s an evergreen tree that grows around 3 feet per year, developing into a lovely column shape that’s bound to add interest to your backyard landscape.
You can also plant a paper birch or river birch tree (they both grow about 1.5 to 2 feet per year). The river birch also makes for lovely colors in the fall.
The pin oak is a large specimen that grows quickly to about 70 feet (at 2.5 feet per year) and is beautiful all year round.
The American yellowwood is another beauty that makes stunning white blooms in spring, with yellow leaves in the fall. The yellowwood tree is medium sized with a rounded top, perfect for an urban backyard. Moreover, it’s a tough, drought-tolerant tree.
Another tough, medium-tall tree is the Athena elm, growing to a height of about 40 feet and a width of up to 50 feet. And the dark green foliage makes great shade and turns bronze in the fall.
If you’re one for colorful trees in the fall, some of the all-time favorites include the quick-growing (2-3 feet per year) quaking aspen, the October Glory Red Maple (that turns a stunning red), and the American hornbeam (Carpinus caroliniana). The latter grows about 40 feet high in an oval shape, turns yellow, orange and red in the fall, and blooms in the spring.
Need a windbreaker in the backyard? Go for the Arborvitae Green Giant. It grows super-fast (3 feet per year) and is very tough. Because of its strength, this hybrid is an exceptional landscape tree for use as a screen, hedge, windbreak, or even as a single specimen.
If you need a tree that is aesthetically pleasing, you could opt for a Lombardy poplar, with its narrow, pointy shape. Planting a few in a row usually produces the best results.
Another option is a red pine – it grows quickly enough and is impressive in its effectiveness as a windbreaker. Just know that they’re also a little messy, as dead branches might be falling in your yard.
Happy tree planting! May it bring you, your family (and the birds) many seasons of pleasure.