What Types of Trees to Plant
- Flowering trees can add life to an otherwise drab landscape. Many trees produce showy blossoms that provide visual interest during the growing season. Apple and crabapple trees often produce colorful flowers in addition to edible fruit. The magnolia tree bears 8- to 12-inch white blossoms and red berries, making it a colorful addition to any property. Callery pear trees have aromatic white blossoms and tolerate inferior soils. The Japanese dogwood reaches about 20 feet high when mature and bears showy white blooms.
- You may want a tree with a wide spread at maturity such as on oak, to fill out a large open space. Perhaps you need a tree with small spread, if you have limited amount of space or want to avoid disturbing utility lines. Think about how well the form of the tree fits into the planting site. For example, a narrow tree generally makes a much better choice for planting beside a building than a spreading tree.
- Evergreens will keep color in your yard all year. Pine trees typically grow well in poor soils and often have cones with interesting shapes or colors. The Chinese juniper flourishes in urban areas and has the added benefit of at drawing birds. Another juniper, the eastern red cedar, which is not actually a true cedar. makes a good accent or ornamental tree depending on the variety. The various species of false cypresses grow throughout the United States and Europe. The larger varieties make good background plants.
Pests and Diseases
- In some cases, a species might be so vulnerable to pests and diseases that it is not worth planting. For example, Dutch elm disease has wiped out more than half of the elms in the U.S., making any attempt to grow them problematic. If a species has a known vulnerability to a certain pest or diseases, look for resistant varieties or cultivars.