Four Ideal Trees to Buy for Your Yard
Four Ideal Trees to Buy for Your Yard
You! Yeah, you, with the nice yard that gets a liiiiitle too much sunlight for your taste every summer. This blog is for you — it’s about a few different varieties of tree you can invest in to tie the room together, so to speak.
We’re going to speak about the specifications of each tree, pros/cons, how to take care of them and anything else you need to know. Let’s get into it.
Bald Cypress (Taxodium Distichum)
The Bald Cypress tree (shown below) is a pretty great one for the yard for a number of reasons.
First of all, this tree will grow pretty much anywhere in the US. It’s adapted to low lying regions with standing water, but it can grow almost anywhere besides the northernmost regions of Montana, Minnesota, Wisconsin and other similarly cold locales.
The Bald Cypress grows about 2.5 feet per year and is easy to take care of. In the summer it blooms green, and in the Autumn, it turns fire red, making your neighbors jealous. It then sheds its needles in the winter (hence “Bald” Cypress) and resets the cycle in the spring again.
In the wild, this tree attracts all sorts of wildlife depending on where it’s stationed — bald eagles in northern habitats, and frogs & other amphibians in the wetlands.
While wildlife may not visit much in the suburbs, underneath it may just be a great place to spend time with your kids — or for your kids to spend time with their friends.
As far as taking care of it, the tree adapts to most soils, but slightly acidic soil is where it does the best. Feed it with medium moisture for the first few years and in the spring, prune criss-crossing branches where necessary.
If you’re already sold on this tree in your yard and you literally refuse to read further, click here.
Quaking Aspen (Populus Tremuloides)
So you’ve made it this far. If you live in the southern third of the US or so, you can probably roll to the next section — reference the map.
If you find yourself in the green area, or are feeling crazy and want to just to keep reading, here we go.
After looking at that picture I almost feel like I shouldn’t write this section because those are so spectacular.
These are fast growing, native trees that inhabit the green area in the above map, particularly out west near the Rockies.
Quaking Aspens are famous for the light rustling sound they make in a breeze, almost like soft rain. Additionally, in the fall they turn the vibrant yellow color shown above. Sit under one of these too long and you might accidentally become a poet.
Planting these around the edge of your yard will give you a nice sense of enclosure and privacy without being completely hemmed in, and they will grow and thrive even through harsh midwest/mountain winters.
These are best planted in an open lawn area where they can be easily maintained. They are tolerant of a wide range of soils, ranging from moist to drier mountain soils.
If you live out of the suburbs, they will also attract good wildlife. Elk and deer feed on the leaves in fall and winter, as do butterflies and caterpillars.
If you live in the suburbs, maybe you can plant these in the backyard and look at that vista rather than your neighbor’s deck. It’s up to you.
If you’re looking to turn your yard into a National Park, this may be the tree — see more here.
Sioux Crape Myrtle Tree (Lagerstroemia Indica)
This one goes out to all my people living down south. I’ve given you a versatile option and a northern option — if you live out of the green this is not your tree.
The Sioux Crape Myrtle is definitely the most vibrant of the trees discussed thus far, and arguably the most visually appealing. It has an insane pink bloom that lasts through the hottest days of the summer, and in the winter it still maintains its purple & red leaves.
This tree is hardy & dependable, grows to a height of 12–15 feet on average and prefers full & direct sunlight.
For those of you in the suburbs, these will easily fit under utility lines and can be the centerpiece of a nice garden. It’s tolerant of almost any soil type, and is heat, drought and disease resistant, making it ideal for drier and hotter climates.
The highlight are the flowers, which have a delicate, papery look to them.
For the first few years you’ll want to give them medium water but after that they need very little care. Let the rain do its thing! Just make sure this guy gets its water every once in awhile and let it ride.
Of the trees we’ve discussed, the Sioux Crape Myrtle is probably best for those with a yard in a more crowded area, although the Bald Cypress can also handle this.
If you can see yourself sitting on your front or back porch enjoying these colorful blooms, click here to get yourself one (or eight).
Shumard Red Oak (Quercus Shuardii)
Ah, the Shumard Red Oak. If you don’t know, you’re about to know. First check the map to verify this is relevant.
If you’re in the green range, get ready to get rolling. Out of the trees on this list, this is the one you want if you want a tree to be the centerpiece of your yard (see; small city).
While you don’t buy ’em this size, the Shumard Red Oak is the tree you’re looking for if you want something to dominate the landscape.
This tree is native to the southern coastal regions of the US, such as the Mississippi River Valley States and also up towards Virginia.
Upon reaching maturity, it’ll grow to be 75–90 feet tall and requires little maintenance to grow — the only thing you’ll need is space.
The tree produces a ton of acorns every year, attracting squirrels. This may be a good or bad thing for you. Make the decision you feel appropriate regarding this.
The tree will grow well above almost every other one in the surrounding area and gets the “red” in its name from its autumn bloom, as shown above.
Additionally, the wood is strong, and is commonly used in furniture, moldings, cabinets and flooring. If you have a large property and consider yourself nature’s Warren Buffet, this could even be an investment.
The Shumard Oak requires sunlight and grows fast so as to stretch above the canopy and soak up as much light as it can. Something to consider is that this tree is sensitive to movement after planting, so take care with the roots when you ground it and try not to relocate it after putting it in the ground.
If conditions are dry, also consider putting a few inches of mulch on top of the roots and watering regularly. If you want a big fella you’ve got to feed it. This is a tree large enough to host a barbecue underneath in the yard one day - get started here.
Having beautiful plants around is one of the true pleasures of life. While these are all relatively easy to take care of and incredible staples for the yard, there’s a lot of options out there.
All of these trees are available through NatureHills.com, which is America’s Largest Online Plant Nursery - for whom I am an affiliate. If you’d prefer using a local nursery, of course, that’s also your choice.
As the ancient Chinese proverb says, the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is today.
While this proverb refers to life in general, in this context, it refers to you clicking this link and getting started on your dream yard.