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The Best Trees for Your Yard

April 8, 2016
Amanda Curry
Read Time
3 minutes

Planting a tree in your yard can boost your curb appeal and increase your property value, but beware! Trees are a long-term commitment.

If you’re considering planting a tree in your yard this spring, there are a few important things to consider before you decide which type of tree to plant so that you can enjoy the full benefits of having beautiful trees in your yard.

Aside from having the right growing conditions (like level of sunlight, type of soil, and climate), there are four main factors homeowners should prioritize when choosing trees:

  1. Level of maintenance: If you’re a novice gardener, you’ll probably want to pick a hardy, low maintenance tree to start. If you have a bit more of a green thumb, it’s probably safe to choose trees that may be a little more finicky.
  1. Rate of growth: Most trees naturally grow at a slow rate. If you’re desperate for some shade in your yard, or would like some natural privacy as soon as possible, you’ll want to choose fast growing trees.
  1. Amount of space needed: Some trees spread their roots wide, while others grow deep into the ground. If you’re planting a tree close to your home or in a small space, you’ll need to be careful not to pick trees that may disturb other elements around it.

Tree roots can put cracks in your home’s foundation, which can cause costly issues in the future. When working in tight spaces or planting close to your home, it is best to find ornamental trees.

  1. Aesthetics: This one speaks for itself. If you want to boost curb appeal or soak in the beautiful sights of nature, go for flowering trees or ones with colorful fall foliage.

Check out this list of the top seven best trees for your yard, and which criteria they fit!

Dogwood Trees

Low maintenance, moderate rate of growth, good for small spaces, highly aesthetic

Dogwood trees, sometimes referred to as flowering dogwoods, are perhaps one of the most attractive trees to have in your yard. Fragrant pink, white, and red flowers will bloom in the spring, and red berries will hang on into the winter.

Dogwood trees don’t grow very tall, but they can grow to be quite wide. However, it may be many years before they reach full size. Look for varieties that grow a little smaller for placement in tight spaces. Some varieties may even do well in containers.

Red Oak Trees

Moderate maintenance, fast growing, not good for small spaces, highly aesthetic

Red oak trees are native to many northern states, but can be enjoyed by homeowners across the country. These trees feature thick, dark green leaves in the summer months, and turn a vibrant crimson color in the fall. However, you’ll need to rake the leaves in the fall!

Red oaks are extremely fast growers, and can be very large when fully mature. Because of this, red oak trees are not recommended for small spaces.

Maple Trees

Moderate maintenance, slow growth, some varieties good for small spaces, highly aesthetic

Ornamental varieties of maple trees, like the Japanese maple, are great for planting in small spaces. They grow well in many areas, and need pruned and fertilized every so often. With red to burgundy colored leaves, maple trees make a stunning addition to any yard.

River Birch Trees

Moderate maintenance, moderate growth rate, may work in small spaces, highly aesthetic

River birch trees, with their unique white, peeling bark, will make a statement in any yard. They grow moderately fast, and can reach a height of up to 70 feet when mature. Birch trees can be more sensitive to moisture levels than other trees, so proper watering is important. Some can also be prone to insect infestations, which may require treatment.

Magnolia Trees

Low maintenance, moderate growth rate, great for small spaces, highly aesthetic

Magnolia trees are one of the best tree types to plant close to your home, as they do not grow very fast or large. They are considered ornamental, and can even be planted in containers with great results! The best feature of magnolia trees is their fragrant magenta pink flowers, which make their debut in spring. Potential homebuyers are sure to be drawn in by their beauty.

Evergreen Trees

Low maintenance, moderate growth rate, may work in small spaces, moderately aesthetic

Evergreen trees are a fantastic choice for any yard. They are extremely low maintenance, and you’ll never have to clean up leaves in the fall like the other deciduous trees on this list. Regular varieties of evergreen trees can grow to be quite large. These are great for privacy hedging, but will not work in tight spaces. For these purposes, go with an ornamental variety.

Evergreen trees do not undergo the visual changes other tree types do from season to season, so they may be less aesthetically pleasing to some homeowners.

Crabapple Trees

Low maintenance, slow growth rate, good in small spaces, highly aesthetic      

Crabapples are very low maintenance, especially the newer varieties available on the market. They’re typically very small, which makes them the perfect tree to plant around the home. Crabapple trees have bright, fragrant flowers in spring and develop a small, apple-like fruit later in the season. Crabapple trees are sure to be the perfect addition to any yard.

What are your favorite tree varieties? Tell us in the comments below!