First, I wonder why gardening is hidden under "home". I had a hard time locating this great hobby.
But my question is this, we need a large tree between our neighbors. We have narrowed the choice, we believe (still open to suggestions) to either a Dogwood tree or an Ash tree. Ash might be nice for fast growing but the majesty of the tree.
Along the property line we have planned the pink dogwoods and red bud trees.
Calling all gardeners and lovers of trees - suggestions?
Dogwoods are lovely trees, but they're not large. Ash are large, but I would be a little wary of planting one right now with the Emerald Ash Borer still causing problems, especially if you're in the Eastern US.
I like oaks because they're so magnificent to look at and such good wildlife trees, but some people consider them too "messy." By mulching under it as far as the dripline and planting a shade garden, you can hide the acorns without having to clean them up, though.
The same is true of other great wildlife trees such as hickory, walnut (be wary of black walnuts, since they can kill nearby plants), beech, apple/crabapple, plum, and chestnut. I consider most maples to be messy without the beauty and sturdiness of hardwoods, and the Asian elms that replaced our beautiful American ones are little more than weeds.
kerryg is correct, dogwoods do not grow large and if you can get them to grow more then 20 feet then that is something. Red Buds too are not large at least not the ones here in California. The Tree of Heaven grows large and fast but it seeds a great deal and can be invasive. Pine trees also grow rather quickly but not much grows under them and they tend to be very sappy and drip turpentine. I would consider planting a maple tree such as a silver maple. They grow fast (ish) and give the added benefit of change of season leaf coloration. Birch trees make beautiful boarders too. A small grove of birch would act like a single large tree and they tend to grow fast too. Hope this helps.
I second the opinion of an oak tree. They are magnificent, strong, excellent shade trees in the summer, and animals love them.
In response to an above poster, I would caution against weeping willows if you have any pipes or septic tanks near your yard. Willows have thirsty roots and have been known to clog pipes and tanks in order to reach water.
Gardening is part of home activity I believe. Tree is good part but not recommended. You need to have a plan in getting your wonderful landscape.
I could help you get to a simple and easy steps about gardening and landscaping below. I have tried and was successful.
I recommend this hubpages.com pages:
http://expertgardener.hubpages.com/hub/ … -Gardening
http://expertgardener.hubpages.com/hub/ … -of-Plants
http://expertgardener.hubpages.com/hub/ … -Gardening
http://expertgardener.hubpages.com/hub/ … ing-Poison
Western Garden Book will help you - I don't know where you live, but personally I've always favored evergreens since they are green year-round - Spruce, Pines, also Bay trees - if you live in the American West there are many evergreen fast-growing trees and bushes. You might want to combine some low growing hedge/bushes with taller trees to make a real barrier between properties. Just be careful not to plant things like Maples and Cottonwoods that are constantly shedding buds and leaves and are a real mess and grow far too large. and no Eucalyptus - it poisons the ground. Many trees only do well out in the country, where they don't bother people. It is good you are really thinking over this decision, because trees are big and important and beautiful! but sometimes also ugly - there I said it!
I work at a Garden Centre, and fruit trees are always very popular. But whatever you do, do not get a Leylandii. You buy them small, and they grow into giants, that block out sunlight and annoy the neighbours. Before you know it, you're having to pay someone to cut it back, and even then it'll grow back. I also want to echo earlier comments recommending Oaks, wonderful trees and rich with Wildlife.
Tree for backyard is fine. The question is time. You need to wait more time to grow trees. But if you have that budget, you can purchase a good tree.
We have a Holly tree in our garden. It is varigated and at least 14' high. Holly trees grow in a perfect christmas tree shape so adding lights over the holidays would be a bonus for you.
Have you considered a Holly tree? They are not too dense, therefore it is possible to grow many different plants at its foot.
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