The Best Trees For Your Yard

Planting trees in your yard is an investment of your time and energy but is one of the best ways to create an inviting outdoor space. It’s essential to consider the thousands of available tree varieties and make decisions based on the specifications of your yard if you want to make the correct choice. 

Considering these can feel like a tall order, but tree planting benefits exceed time and energy investments. Whether you’re looking to frame a view or add structure and shade to your yard, there are several steps you should take before you start planting.

Determining Where to Plant

To determine which trees are best suited for your yard, consider the dimensions of your space. Will you be planting near a fence, building, or other infrastructure? You’ll need to make sure your tree of choice won’t be restricted. 

Further, are there any height restrictions? Broken limbs or power lines on rooftops are serious safety hazards and should not be overlooked. Consider planting trees with narrow growth habits instead of spreading crowns to avoid these risks. 

The height of your trees will also determine how much shadow will be cast onto the rest of your yard. Should you pursue planting a garden, make sure you pick trees that are permeable to the sun and don’t cast long shadows. 

To help you make the right choice, the two tree categories most rely on while planting are ornamental trees and shade trees. Ornamental trees tend to remain small through their growth cycle, maturing at 30 feet or less and 10 to 20 feet wide. Shade trees are much larger, maturating anywhere from 30 to 60 feet tall.

Growing Conditions of Your Yard 

Next, consider the growing conditions of your yard. How much moisture and sunlight there is will dictate which tree you should plant—not to mention the soil type. You’ve got two choices: select a tree that’s best suited to your existing conditions, or put in the work to make your yard more suited to the trees you wish to grow. 

Most planters will have to make a few changes to their yard to create an appropriate planting site. For example, growers may see better growth results if they amend their soil with compost or create drip irrigation systems throughout their yard. Moreover, every tree has its own needs, and it’s your job to be attentive to your yard’s conditions.

Create the Perfect Outdoor Space

Planting trees in your yard is one of the best ways to create an inviting outdoor space. As such, it’s important to choose trees that you’ll be happy living with for years to come. Where an oak may contribute to enclosed patio space with a leafy ceiling, arborvitae creates a beautiful privacy screen along your property line. 

Further, you’ll need to keep your sidewalks, pathways, and patio spaces in mind. Some tree varieties are known to drop leaves, twigs, fruit, and even larger limbs if trimming is not completed consistently.

The Best Trees

After making these tree planting considerations, it’s time to choose the best trees for your yard.

American Holly

The American Holly is the perfect choice for planters who desire a broadleaf evergreen that can grow anywhere from 15-50 feet tall. Its deep green leaves and vibrant red berries are not just visually appetizing but attract birds and other wildlife to your yard. 

If you’re looking for a tree with year-round colors and few size restrictions, you can’t go wrong planting the American Holly in your yard.

‘Green Giant’ Arborvitae

The ‘Green Giant’ Arborvitae is one of the best ways to incorporate privacy into your backyard. These trees grow fast, tolerate almost any soil type, and can be planted in a line or as a single specimen in the yard.

Like the American Holly, the ‘Green Giant’ Arborvitae is perfect for those with size restrictions who want lush greenery throughout the year.

Silver Maple

Silver maples are popular in yards across the country because of their expansive, leafy canopies that provide ample shade. Silver undersides of each leaf give way to a shimmering appearance in the wind that contributes to the tree’s name. 

Further, silver maples tend to have large trunks and intricate root systems that need additional space from walkways and sewer lines. Silver maples are the perfect centerpiece for your backyard for the next 40 to 50 years when planted.

Sugar Maple

Sugar maples were chosen as the state tree in New York, Wisconsin, West Virginia, and Vermont—and for a good reason. Sugar maples are extraordinarily colorful during the spring, summer, and fall seasons and boast an impressive, spreading canopy.

Commercially, these trees are planted for their lumber and sweet syrups, but their natural beauty and unique 60 to 75 feet of growth potential make them a popular pick for backyard planters.

Tulip Tree

Tulip trees serve as both shade and ornamental trees. In the springtime, they’re known for their alluring tulip-shaped flowers. In the fall, they’re known for cascading yellow leaves.

As a fast-growing hardwood that can grow more than two feet per year, tulip trees are ideal for planters across various yard types. These trees mature into an arching dome with solid branches and large leaves if given rich soil and adequate sun.

Tons of Tree Varieties to Choose From

No tree is perfect for all yards, but planters should rest assured knowing there’s more than enough varieties to pick from. Whether you’re looking for an expansive canopy or an ornamental tree with vibrant berries and visiting birds, you can’t go wrong planting one of the above backyard trees.

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