Trees for Home Landscapes
Trees beautify our surroundings, increase property values, and help save energy. They provide cooling shade, a habitat for wildlife, and reduce air pollution. They are an absolute benefit to a home landscape, but should be chosen carefully to make sure that they are functional as well as beautiful. The following points are a few things to consider before deciding on what type of tree to plant.
1. Size and rate of growth – Trees can range from ten feet in height to eighty feet tall (or more). A tree should be able to fit the selected site when it is full grown and homeowners should not try to keep it pruned to an unnatural size. Also, a tree may creep skyward at a pace of 6”-12” a year, while another type may charge upward at 2’-3’ per year.
2. Soil requirements – If the planting site is extremely dry, or constantly moist, certain trees will perform better than others.
3. Hardiness – Trees must be completely hardy with a long life span when cared for properly. Weak wooded species can cause damaged to homes, power lines, and under-plantings during storms.
4. Freedom from insects and disease – Many new cultivars have been bred to withstand disease, or to be less appealing to insects. These would be improvements to the old standard varieties.
5. Function – It should be determined if the tree being is planted to produce shade, or to flower and create interest with berries or interesting foliage colors.