While most people think of gardening as tending to vegetables, flowers, and herbs in plots around the yard, trees can be another beautiful addition, functioning as a natural source of shade, oxygen, and colorful foliage. As with any type of gardening, planting trees around your home is possible for just about anyone to do with proper research and preparation.
Why You Should Plant More Trees
Planting new trees in your yard may offer an abundance of benefits related to comfort, attractiveness, and functionality.
One of the most commonly-known functions of trees is helping to convert carbon dioxide into oxygen, which supplements the surrounding environment with cleaner, less polluted air. They can also provide shelter for birds and support a variety of other creatures in the area.
Additionally, trees can provide a fair amount of privacy and shade around your property. Adding new trees is a prettier, more natural-looking alternative to installing fences or other yard dividers. With their ability to block hot summer sun and cool winter winds, large trees may help to reduce energy costs in your home.
The natural beauty of trees also enhances the appearance of your yard. More colors and foliage surrounding your home can increase curb appeal and make your property feel more attractive and complete.
What Kinds of Trees You Should Plant
When choosing which kinds of trees you want to add to your yard, it is important to consider their purpose and what will grow well in your area. Your local garden center is a great resource for determining which types of trees will work best for you.
A few tree options to consider:
- Red Buckeyes are drought-tolerant trees that can grow anywhere from 8-30 feet tall. They produce lovely red blooms in spring which are great for attracting hummingbirds.
- ‘Fastigiata’ Spruces are blue-tinted evergreens that grow up to about 15 feet tall and two to three feet wide in a columnar shape. Their luxurious needles are easy to shear and shape to fit your space.
- Maples are medium-sized trees that typically grow to approximately 20-25 feet tall. They are excellent for providing shade and turn a stunning shade of red and orange in the fall.
- Minnesota Strain Redbuds are beautiful flowering trees that grow to approximately 30 feet tall. They have a strong architectural appearance and turn bright pink in the spring.
- Slender Hinoki False Cypresses are elegant trees that add beauty and grace to almost any sized yard, topping off at 15 feet high and five feet wide.
How to Plant and Maintain Your Trees
The key to growing a healthy and strong tree is giving it a healthy foundation by planting and maintaining it properly.
For many types of trees, the best time to plant is in the fall. New trees require less water before they grow leaves, so planting in cooler soil gives them time to establish strong roots over the winter months before blooming in spring.
To establish secure placement of your tree, you should place it in a hole that is two to three times as wide as its root ball and deep enough that it rests at the same height in the soil as it was in its container. Once you have rotated the tree to the direction you would like it to face, replace the soil and install several stakes that will properly stabilize the tree for about six months.
You will then need to keep up with regular watering at least once per week during its first growing season, using enough water at a time to fully saturate the roots. Adding wood chips around the base of the tree may help to make the watering process more effective. Additionally, fertilizing the soil around your tree is not necessary for at least two to three years, and only until it has matured.
To help pick out the perfect trees for your yard and get more advice about how to plant them, stop by our greenhouse and let us help you get started!
To see what’s springing up around the greenhouse, sign up for our newsletter.