From Dean Dowd on May 05, 2009 in Landscaping
My mother was a staunch supporter of the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, IL—near the Chicago suburb where I grew up. Mom had a profound love of trees, and I learned about trees in an up-close-and-personal way from the very beginning of my life. I carry this knowledge and appreciation forward, and gladly share it. Although Im not a tree professional, I know quite a bit about the types of trees that add beauty and value to a residential property. Here are some of my favorites for your consideration. (If you find any of them ringing your bell for your property, I recommend checking with a tree expert in your area for more information—such as suitability for your region, best time and how to plant, things to know about root expansion, irrigation requirements, etc.)
Photo Credit: One man’s perspecitve
Japanese Maples come in a wide variety and grow all throughout the US. Graceful, with a touch of the exotic, they add beauty in the spring, summer, and fall. And the fall color of many varieties is stupendous! One grower recommends that Japanese Maples have less stress and grow more vigorously when planted in full sunlight for the morning and early afternoon, with the tree being in the shade the rest of the day. Japanese Maples are healthier and have better color retention with shade from the hot afternoon sun.
Photo Credit: nautical2k
For fast growth and evergreen beauty, this tree is hard to beat. It has a pyramid shape and will grow to 40-50 tall and 20 wide, so youll want to give it plenty of growing room. A native of the Himalayas in India, it is now one of the most popular landscaping trees in America. Its a member of the pine family. The needles are dark green, but new growth has a silvery-blue color that adds texture to the plentiful branches as they blow in the breeze.
Photo Credit: dcJohn
Dogwood trees are beloved for their showy spring flowers and they often take pride of place in a homes landscape. They are not noted for fast growth, but your patience will be rewarded lavishly with the passing of every year. While Tennessee nurseries grow about 75% of the dogwoods produced in the US, this tree thrives in many regions of the country—California and Oregon being notable examples from my firsthand experience. Legend has it that the word dogwood comes from a custom in England to wash dogs with a concoction made from dogwood bark to cure mange.
Photo Credit: geocam20000
If you want to plant a legacy tree, the Oak will serve you in good stead. Oak trees can live 200 years or more. These magnificent trees provide shade in the summer, glorious color in the fall, and zillions of acorns for squirrels and other wildlife to eat. Bluejays and woodpeckers are diligent acorn collectors and will often bury them in the ground as a potential future food source, thus propagating the growth of new oak seedlings.