It may be difficult to think about the benefits of including deciduous trees in your landscape with the fall season almost behind us and winter well on its way. Trees, however, are beneficial to your home’s landscape for different reasons throughout the year.
What to Consider?
You have to consider a few very important factors before deciding on a specific tree species to ensure the conditions allow for optimal growth.
Height and Width: When you plant the tree it will of course be a manageable size, but you need to consider the mature height and width of the species. Think about overhead utility lines, tree limbs extending over the road, property line conflicts, and even the potential root growth interfering with underground utilities.
Geography: The United States and Canada are divided into 11 different hardiness zones based off of annual average temperatures. The Twin Cities and surrounding suburbs are located in zones four and five. Be sure to inquire about trees and plants that grow well in your geographical zone. Arborday.org has a fabulous resource that allows you to pop in your zip code and search tree species that grow well in your zone.
After you address the aforementioned considerations for optimal growth you will still have a wide variety of tree species to choose from. You then can take into consideration the benefits of the species and placement.
Shade: Mature deciduous trees offer a great source of shade. Decide if you want to shade a patio area or offer shade to parts of your home for energy savings. Clean Energy Resource Teams suggests planting deciduous trees along the south side of your home creating shade from the sun’s rays throughout most of the day. If you are concerned about heating your home they suggest planting trees along the North/Northwest perimeter to create a natural wind-fence.Emerald Lustre Norway Maples are one of the more popular shade trees in zone four and one of our favorite to use in landscape design. This species is known for its beautiful fall colors, large stature at maturity and resilience in different conditions. Photo courtesy of itrees.com.
Visual Interest: Trees are amazing and grow in many different sizes and shapes. Whether you are looking for great fall foliage, uniquely shaped canopies, flower/fruit/berry-producing trees, we are confident that you will find something that meets your fancy.Incorporating a Royal Frost Birch in your landscape design is a bold move if you are looking for visual appeal. The bark changes from cinnamon to white and the waxy leaves provide excellent fall foliage. The white trunk looks great against a well-maintained green lawn. This tree type is a relatively new selection of birch and easy to grow. Photo courtesy of Hickory Grove Nursery.
Wildlife Attraction: Are you a bird watcher? Would you rather not have birds or squirrels nesting in your trees? These are factors you will want to take into consideration as you decide on a species.Candymint Flowering Crab is a deciduous dwarf tree. However, what they lack in size they make up for in ornamental features, which is why we love this tree if you are looking to make a big statement in a small space. This species produces fragrant pink flowers, deep purple fruit, flashy rich purple leaves and tends to have wide spread horizontal branching. We find this tree to be a great addition to any bird lovers yard, as it attracts birds and is relatively low maintenance having to be pruned once a year in the late winter. Photo courtesy of Hoosier Home and Garden.
Please plan ahead when you are looking to enhance your landscape. If you are a DIYer we suggest you visit www.call811.com and contact the correct agency. They will visit your property and mark the underground utilities. If you are working with a contractor they should call ahead before moving forward with any digging.