What kind of trees are the best to have around your house?
Choosing a Tree
I am a big fan of trees, not only for the many benefits they provide us with, but just for themselves. I can sit and watch a tree and unwind as my mind clears.
If you are looking to purchase a tree or trees for your property then you need to remember, this right tree, right place. This is a fundamental garden design rule. If you put a tree where it gets what it needs it will thrive.
Now, a tree, unlike a petunia, has the tendency to live a very long time and to get quite tall. Not all trees do this, of course but you do not to know what the tree will look like, in other words, how big it will be in 10, 20, 30 years and more, before you buy.
If you purchase a tree that is too big for the space that you have available, it will dominate the yard and you will find it difficult to grow anything else.
More importantly, as you can always find something to grow under most trees, is the potential damage that a tree can do to your house or any other structure on your property.
In addition to knowing how tall the tree will get as it ages, you want to know about its s branches, what the potential width of the tree will be.
The root system is also important, trees will compete with any other plants in your garden for water and nourishment and the tree is a fierce competitor.
Many a homeowner has found that those beautiful trees they planted to enhance their landscape have roots which grow on top of the lawn and these roots present a challenge to lawnmowers but can also damage sidewalks, pathways and driveways, plus you can trip over them.
The tree in my backyard was likely there before the house was built but it rules the yard and both shade and in the fall, leaves are plentiful. I appreciate the leaves they have many uses, make good mulch but the tree provides more than I can ever use.
There are roots along the surface and they are only a few feet from the garage; if I was considering buying this house, this would be a negative situation. The cost of removing this tree would be several thousand dollars and besides I am a big fan of trees and chopping one down is not something that I would easily do.
So if you are considering adding a tree to yoru property, do take the time to find out how much space it will occupy when it grows up.
I also recommend buying trees that are native to yoru area. They are adapted to the conditions and will be inviting to local birds, for example.
Why do you want a tree or trees? Shade trees are important in larger outdoor play grounds, schools and parks, and can help control the indoor temperature through the season. Trees can act as windbreaks and cool the house in the summer months.
This might be the point to ask yourself if a tree is what you actually want if shade or temperature control is not what you are seeking.
There are a number of shrubs that grow to a good size but not tree height that add beauty and can works both as windbreaks and privacy screens. I favour dogwoods, flowering crab apples and lilacs. There are many more that will do the job; but you will pick one that is native or at least adapted to your area.
1- Why do you want a tree or tress? What function(s) will it serve?
2- How big will that tree get, height and width?
3- How intensive is the tree’s root system?
4- What other functions does the yard serve playground, pets, garden, BBQ?
5- Have you looked at shrubs as a possible alternative?
When you are ready to buy, visit an established plant nursery or two, talk to the mange and tell her or him what you want and get their advice.
A tree is a long term commitment and when you decide to add one to yoru landscape you need to consider both time and space.