Why Plant A Tree?
Considering their size and longevity, trees are very inexpensive and just a few will make a big difference in the look of your yard. Before plopping some all willy nilly out in the yard, ask yourself the question… Why Plant A Tree? Consider what you want to accomplish with planting a tree. Accenting your house’s architecture, hiding a view, adding some color, or creating much needed shade? Flowering ornamental trees will add color and height to a flat boring garden. They can make a house look “nestled into its’ surroundings and are often us accents in small front yards. Their blooms add a layer of color to the typical suburban cookie cutter landscape. If under planted with shrubs and perennials they will create a private oasis around an outdoor living area.
Flowering ornamental trees usually don’t grow more than 25’ tall and wide. While they do create some shade, their smaller stature is not meant to shade a two story house from the brutal afternoon sun of summer (more about this in a minute!) There are several Spring Flowering trees that are great for accents in smaller yards, like Yoshino and Kwanzan Cherries, with pink flowers in March and April. Red Buds with purple flowers shooting right out of the bark in March are nice. Don’t forget our beloved native Dogwoods, which we have built a festival around here in the Knoxville Tennessee area. Grouping several of these together will create some natural privacy. You can enhance a grouping by under planting with shrubs and perennials.
Want summer color? Plant a Crape Myrtle. Crape Myrtles bloom in the hottest months of the year, and are available in pink, red, white, lavender or purple varieties. Do your homework (or just ask us) on the mature size of certain varieties of Crape Myrtle. They can range from 6’ tall to 25’!! Pick the proper tree for the intended spot in your yard.
Shade trees will grow more than 25’ tall and as their name implies, are used to shade and cool the environment around your home in the summer months. We use deciduous trees for this purpose, so the loss of leaves in the winter lets the sun in to help warm our homes.
Trees that grows 50-75’ high and 30-40’ wide should obviously be set far enough away from the house so that the root system or the tree canopy will not affect or touch your house. This should be at least one hundred feet from your house. At the same time think about placing the tree where it will cast a shadow on your house in the afternoon and early evening. Placing large deciduous trees where they will shade outdoor living area is imperative to their function. No one wants to fry their brains out at a patio party!! Consider the time of day you need this shade and plan accordingly. Place a shade tree south or west of where you need the shade so afternoon sun will be blocked.
Tree varieties that would serve these purposes are: Maple, Oaks, Linden, Poplars, Sycamores and Elms to name a few. Sugar and Red Maples are great shade trees that reward you with yellow/orange or red Fall color respectively. Oaks are slow growing, sturdy shade trees. Poplars and sycamores are fast growing native trees, however they can be messy with seedpods and early leaf drop during drought. Remember, most shade trees grow slowly, so put your money into buying the largest one you can afford and plant it in the FALL!
Why Plant A Tree? Do it for Spring blooms, Fall foliage color, Summer shade, for wildlife, for our children. Regardless of your reason….What are you waiting for?