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Tips for Selecting Trees for Your Yard

Trees in the yard
Trees represent a big investment of time, money, and space. They can dominate or enhance your landscaping — naturally, the latter is preferable. They can provide shade or serve as a cornerstone for your gardening. In other words, they have a lot to offer, which is why they're worth the time and effort.
Choosing trees isn't as easy as selecting other landscaping elements because of their size and their relative permanence — most trees live for decades. Find out some of the most important considerations for choosing landscaping trees.

Decide on a Primary Function for the Trees

The first step in choosing landscaping trees is deciding what function you want them to take in your yard. The most common function is to cast shade. However, trees can also create a windbreak or provide a habitat for certain wildlife. Another common usage for trees is to screen a yard. Adding beauty to landscaping is usually the primary function of ornamental trees.

Choose Between Evergreen and Deciduous

Your primary reason for planting the trees will help drive the choice between evergreen and deciduous. For instance, since evergreens keep their foliage, they're ideal for screening the yard and creating a windbreak. Deciduous trees are better for casting shade during the summer. Your personal preferences will dictate which type of tree you think looks better with the rest of your landscaping.

Calculate the Space for the Trees

Even the smallest trees take up more space than other landscaping elements, so you should see how much space you can dedicate to them. When considering specific trees, keep in mind how tall and broad they get at maturity.

These calculations will also help you choose trees that fit your reason for planting them. For instance, for shade trees, you want a tall tree with a broad canopy.

Consider the Growing Conditions

Trees have different soil and sun needs depending on the variety. It's a good idea to get a pH test done before approaching a landscaping project in case it's necessary to treat your soil. It will also give you a good idea of what you have relative to what the tree needs.
Likewise, keep in mind how the tree will grow. Will it stretch out into the neighbor's property? That could cause problems. Are there utility wires or other obstacles the tree might eventually reach? Tall trees might not be the best choice in this case.

Ask About the Growth Rate of the Tree

Some trees take decades to get to their full height, while others grow much faster. If you need shade or privacy, a fast-growing tree is ideal. However, some of the faster growing varieties can host their own issues, such as weak limbs and aggressive roots. If you want your tree to last a lifetime, a slower growing variety may be a better choice.

Look for a Beautiful Tree

Even if your primary reasons for planting tree are utilitarian — such as providing privacy or shade — you can still choose an ornamental tree to beautify your garden. You should look for trees that offer an appealing profile throughout the seasons, such as pretty spring blossoms, colorful fall foliage, winter berries, or unusual shapes.

Keep in Mind Special Features of the Tree

Before you settle on a tree, keep in mind how you and your family will have to interact with it. For example, if you have small children, a tree with thorns is probably not a good option. Likewise, certain trees require more clean-up than others. Some trees can also sprout pervasive seedlings. Make sure you do a little research on specific tree types before making a final selection.
Choose trees that will enhance your property and your outdoor living. The landscaping experts at Bill's Tree Care & Landscape, Inc. can offer advice on the right trees for your property.