Originally Published on February 19, 2021. Last Updated on August 31, 2022.
If you’re looking to improve your backyard in the new year, you should consider planting the right trees to create an outdoor oasis. Your yard will look more beautiful than ever and it may even help get your kids to go and play outside more. Planting trees takes a bit of time and effort, but it’s worth it in the end. If your schedule is too busy with work and family, you should at least consider hiring your preferred landscaper to help plant the perfect trees for your yard. In this blog, we discuss why you should plant trees, how you find the right ones, and where to place them.
Why Plant Trees This Year?
There are several benefits to planting a tree in your yard, but the following reasons give you the most bang for your buck:
1. It’ll Save You Money
Trees are a great way to provide shade during hot summers when you’re hosting outdoor barbecues, as well as a shelter when those brisk winter winds come around. As a result, it can save you money on your energy bills because much less heat and cold are entering your home, which takes a load off your HVAC system.
2. Trees Capture Rainfall
When trees capture rainfall, it provides many environmental benefits. For one, it helps keep pollutants out of the ocean because as the tree absorbs rainwater, it filters out many of the pollutants through different layers of sediment. Trees also help the sewers from getting overloaded and prevent flooding from happening around your home.
3. It Increases Your Home’s Value
If you ever decide to sell your house, trees help boost your home’s curb appeal. According to Management Information Services/ICMA, landscaping with trees can increase property values by as much as 20%. At the very least, planting some gorgeous trees in your yard will make you the envy of the neighborhood.
4. Trees Clean the Air
Trees absorb harmful carbon dioxide, remove the carbon, and release it back into the atmosphere as oxygen. They also take in pollutants and odors such as sulfur dioxide, ammonia, and nitrogen oxides. Whether the kids are practicing soccer in the backyard or you’re having a much-needed happy hour on your patio, you and your family will breathe in way cleaner air.
What Trees are Right for Your Area?
The trees you choose to grow in your yard depends on where you live in the country. That’s why you should refer to the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map to help you determine the right trees for your yard. When you research trees, each one should have recommended growing zones next to it. For example, if you look up the Sawtooth Oak Tree, the growing zones are 5–9, which means this tree can grow in Zones 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9.
There are over 1,000 species of trees in North America. That’s a lot of trees! Since you’re short on time, we’re here to help narrow down your options. The trees below are excellent choices for adding color, shade, privacy, and value to your home.
- Red Dogwood — Zones 5–9
- Sugar Maple — Zones 3–8
- Eastern Redbud — Zones 4–9
- Prairifire Crabapple — Zones 4–8
- Yoshino Cherry — Zones 5–8
- Chinese Fringe — Zones 5–9
- Tulip Poplar — Zones 4–9
- American Holly — Zones 6–9
- Emerald Green Arborvitae — Zones 3–8
- Jane Magnolia — Zones 4–8
- Weeping Willow — Zones 4–9
Where Should You Plant Trees?
Determining tree placement is a strategic decision, especially if you want to lower your energy bills. Consider planting your trees at these locations around your home.
Near the Air Conditioner
One of the best places to plant a tree is one that shades your air conditioner. You can cool down your AC unit as much as 18°F with shading protection from a tree. Your unit will perform much more efficiently for a longer time, costing you less money.
Symmetrically In Front of Your House
Whenever you view the front of your property, you want it to look like a picture or painting. The best way to do that is to “frame” the left and right sides of your house with foliage. Dogwood and crabapple trees are excellent front yard trees that make perfect photo opportunities for family holiday cards or graduation pictures.
In Front of Your Deck or Patio
If your deck or patio is located where the sun shines on it during the hours you use it, plant a tree to add some shade. Birthday parties, barbecues, and other outdoor events you host will be much more enjoyable for your family and guests. What trees work best? Weeping willows and sawtooth oaks are good choices that provide plenty of shade for your needs.
Way Back in Your Backyard
Planting large, towering trees — e.g., emerald green arborvitae — in the back of your backyard is a great way to make your landscape look more nestled and defined rather than open and barren. Do you have close — and perhaps nosy — neighbors? A row of tall trees and shrubs can add extra privacy while also boosting your home’s curb appeal.
Budgeting, Costs, and Effort
When it comes to budgeting for tree planting, time and money are your two main priorities. That’s why you need to ask yourself some of the questions below when planning on planting trees for your home:
- Will you be planting and maintaining the tree yourself? If you already have the tools and equipment needed to plant a tree, then going the DIY route will save you money. However, you’ll spend more time and effort. With client meetings, your kids’ soccer games, and everything in between, your busy life may not allow you to focus on yard work.
- Do you have the time to plant and maintain a tree? If not, it’s best to hire a landscaper to do the work, which will add to your costs.
- What tree/trees are you planning to grow? Some trees are fast-growing, while others grow slowly. Some trees are easy to maintain, while others need extra care and attention. Plus, the larger the tree, the more expensive it will be. When shopping for trees, think about these factors. It’s also a good idea to talk with a gardening expert at your local nursery because they’ll recommend trees and plants based on your area’s climate.
Trees add value, shade, privacy, and beauty to your home. If you’re unsure what trees to plant or where to plant them, you can always visit your local nursery. A gardening expert should give you sound advice tailored to your area and climate. Once you find the right trees for your home, call your landscaper to plant them and schedule him or her to come over regularly to maintain your growing trees. That way, you can focus on your busy work and home life while still reaping the benefits of planting trees.
Check out the POLYWOOD blog for more articles relating to plants and gardening.