Choosing the Right Tree

Pink Dogwood GardenChoosing a tree for your yard can be a big decision. You want a tree that will thrive in the location, look the way you would like, and perform the function you had in mind.

Here are some tips that will help you pick the right tree.

What You Want

First, it is important you know what you want from your tree.

  • Provide shade in the summer, sun in the winter?
  • Block the view of your house, a road or other structure?
  • Be an attractive garden focal point?
  • Planted in the ground or in a container?
  • Have showy flowers, berries or fall color?
  • Edible fruit?
  • Fit into a special garden design or theme?
  • Be a certain size to fit into a particular location?
  • Grow fast? Slow?
  • Easy maintenance – pruning, spraying, tree litter?
  • Near your house, swimming pool, septic system, power lines?

Trees with SnowWhat the Tree Needs

Second, you must understand what your tree needs from you. Pick one that will thrive under the conditions in your garden.

  • Climate: snow, spring freezes, hot summers.
  • Soil texture: the right amount of organic matter to hold moisture and nutrients.
  • Exposure: sun or shade.
  • Water: even the most drought-tolerant trees need water the first few years to get established.
  • Drainage: many trees don’t like to have their feet wet.

If you know what you want from your tree and what kind of environment your yard presents, we’ll be happy to help you chose a tree that will meet your needs and will do well in your yard.

Once you get your tree home, make sure to plant it right! Reference our Tree and Shrub Planting Tips article for advice on everything from digging your hole to staking your tree.