Choosing the right tree for your property, your budget, and your taste isn’t easy. Here are some helpful questions to help you narrow down your selection and find a lifelong match:
- Why am I adding a tree to my landscape?
- What is the main purpose of the tree — shade or privacy, for example?
- Is the tree just an addition to improve the property, or is it being planted to block other unsightly features?
- How much time and money do I want to invest in maintenance?
- Do I want a fruit-bearing or flowering tree?
- What type of tree would best complement my current landscape?
- How quickly will this tree grow and how large will it become over time?
- How close is the tree going to be to my home, other trees, utility lines, septic systems, etc?
- Are there any pests or diseases common to my area threatening tree health?
- Do I prefer a tree that keeps its leaves year-round, or one that loses its leaves in the fall?
Once you define the purpose and goals for your new tree, you can begin to decide which type of tree is right for you.
Consider factors like maintenance and growth rate. Some trees need more work and some grow more rapidly than other ones. Hardwoods, such as black walnut, bur oak, or green ash, grow slower and tend to live longer. Faster-growing trees can be a good decision if you want to add shade or quickly add color. These trees usually have softwood, are smaller in size, and don’t live as long as the hardwoods. Softwood trees include pines, spruces, firs, and cedars.
Anticipate your chosen tree’s life cycle. Deciduous trees lose their leaves in the fall and are bare all winter, while evergreen trees retain their foliage year-round.
The amount of shade or heat affects your home when you plant close to your house. This can be a benefit in summer or winter in terms of reducing heating or cooling costs.
Trees that are bare in winter won’t offer any shade, but may let a little more heat into the house. The shade provided by evergreens will be consistent throughout the year, but might not allow in extra heat during the winter.
The type of tree you choose should fit proportionately into its surroundings and enhance the property. Remember, planting a tree is a great investment. Trees purify the air, makes a property look better and they increase your property value in the long-run. Happy hunting for a tree you’ll love!