How To Pick The Right Tree For Your Backyard

By: albertaarb - July 2, 2014

Choosing a backyard tree is a decision that will have lasting effects, good or bad, on your home, and is therefore not one that should be taken lightly. Your backyard should be a place to which you can retreat when times are tough and you need a moment of peace.  It should be visually appealing as well as practical to your lifestyle.  Planting the right trees in the right locations is one way to create the space you desire.

Choosing a Backyard Tree

When considering which type of tree you’re going to include in your landscaping plans, the first thing you should take into account is the purpose of the tree.  Are you in need of a shady spot to unwind after a long day, or are you simply yearning for an aesthetic addition to your yard?  Are you seeking privacy from nosy neighbors? 

Once you’ve decided on a purpose for the tree, begin your research.  This will give you a good starting point; from there you can consider other characteristics of various trees to determine which ones best meet your needs.

Size and Growth Rate                             

The purpose of your tree will help you decide on size, as well as how quickly your tree should reach the desired size, or when it may need removal way down the road.  For example, if you’re looking for shade rather quickly, then you’ll want to choose a fast-growing tree.  These trees are generally smaller, don’t last as long, and are made of soft wood.  On the other hand, if you plan on being in your home for years to come and want to make a lasting impact on its value, a slower-growing, larger shade tree that will live longer is right for you.

When considering size, remember that a small tree is not necessarily a young tree.  Ask questions about the tree you are interested in before purchasing, and be sure it will not grow to be larger than your yard can handle, or that it will grow large enough for your liking.  An easy way to tell if a small tree is young or old is by the bark.  If not in good condition, its bark will be rough rather than smooth.  This is important because you should scale your trees to their surroundings.  In other words, if your space is less than one acre, perhaps planting several slow-growing, extra-large trees is not a good idea. 


Tree residue is found on the ground under trees.  For example, pine needles, messy fruit, and thorns can be a pesky problem.  Be sure you are aware of what happens to your tree when the seasons change.  Will there be more residue than you’re willing to accept? 


Although there are several factors to think about when making a decision, it will be well worth your effort in the end.  Your search for the perfect backyard tree may have started with a headache, but it will end with a beautiful, practical space that exceeds your expectations.             

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