Landscape Trees For Your Property
Landscape trees will make any garden look special. Their size creates a sense of scale while special features, such as flowers, make them very striking.
I love landscape trees. They are so majestic, and there are so many different types of trees to choose from. Each have their own special places in a design. You might select a tree for its colorful flowers. Maybe you love weeping trees. Perhaps the tree has beautiful
leaves. And then, of course, there are those that provide spectacular
Landscape trees at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
Trees are also lovely lit up at night.
There are 3 main categories of trees. Here you will discover some of their attributes and also specific ways to use them in the landscape.
- Ornamental Trees
- Evergreen Trees
- Shade Trees
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I consider ornamental trees to either be flowering trees or to have
some other special feature, such as interesting bark. In addition, these
trees are usually smaller than shade trees. There are so many wonderful
uses for ornamental trees.
- These landscape trees can be used at house corners or near the
front door. It's very welcoming to approach the front door and walk near
a beautiful tree.
- Ornamental trees can be used as driveway entry trees or as an allee along the driveway. They form a "frame" to go through.
- When creating plantings for privacy, they can be
used in front of evergreen trees as a focal point. Multi-stemmed
ornamental trees can be used for privacy themselves. These trees have
numerous stems or trunks emerging from the ground, rather than a single
- Ornamental trees are lovely near a patio or close to a water feature.
Birch trees always seem to belong near water and look great there.
Birch trees can also be set right in a patio as shown in the landscape
photo (done in Sketchup) below.
White Birch trees are set into this patio design. 'Whitespire' is a
recommended variety as it is known to be disease resistant. (White Birch
is susceptible to borers). River Birch are beautiful also with tan and
rust colored peeling bark. 'Heritage' is a great variety. For more
detailed information on Birch Trees see this article by Bartlett Tree
Birch Trees are actually one of my favorite to use in a landscape
design. They have lovely foliage that is not too dense. All of them have
beautiful bark, but I would recommend the Heritage Birch which is a
variety of River Birch.
More Recommended Ornamental Trees and Information:
Clump River Birch Tree
River Birch Tree - Read more about the River Birch!
- If you are looking for a small ornamental tree, see the Star Magnolia
tree, particularly Magnolia 'Jane' with its lovely pink flowers.
Japanese Red Maple Tree
- This is another small tree and has absolutely beautiful foliage. The
'Bloodgood' Japanese Maple has striking red leaves all season long.
Flowering Plum Tree
- With its reddish-purple foliage that lasts all season long, and
pretty pink flowers, this is a great choice if you are looking for a
Weeping Cherry Tree
- This is one of those landscape trees that is a true focal point in
the landscape, even when it is not showing off it's lovely pink
cascading flowers in the spring. Its weeping form is both graceful and
striking. The flowers are, however, amazing!
- Lovely native trees that have some of the prettiest pink or white
flowers. This tree also produces berries which attracts birds. It's a
great tree with features in all seasons.
Pink Flowering Landscape Trees - Here is a list of trees offering pink flowers.
Evergreen trees have wonderful features and uses in the landscape. Here are a few:
- They stay green all year, as their name implies. When winter
arrives, it's nice to have them in the landscape. And snow on the
branches creates a lovely scene. Some even produce berries, such as the American Holly tree (one of my favorites). It will grow in sun or shade too.
- They can be used as screening along a property border to block a view or create privacy.
Three of the best evergreen trees for this use are:
Green Giant Arbovitae
When using this type of landscape trees for screening, those that
have a wide, pyramidal shape can be placed in a straight line or
staggered. More narrow trees look better in a straight line. You can
actually plant evergreen trees much closer than their mature size would
allow for; as they grow, they will fit the space. There are a few fast growing trees that I would recommend.
I often space Norway Spruce 10' to 15' apart and Arborvitae just a few feet apart depending on the variety.
- They form one of the best backgrounds for other plants,
causing flowers, textures, berries and leaves of ornamental trees and
shrubs to stand out. Picture a mass of Red Twig Dogwood, with their
winter time red stems, in front of the dark green trees.
- An evergreen tree can be used at the corner of a
house for framing and strength. Cryptomeria or Nellie Stevens Holly are
nice choices as they are narrower than many others...especially Nellie
- Evergreen trees can also be placed in the landscape
as a focal point. The location might be in the backyard towards a rear
corner. American Holly, with its red berries, is one that I like to use
in my designs.
The National 9/11 Memorial used only three different types of plants. The beautiful shade tree Swamp White Oak (416 of them were used), grass and Ivy. This is quite notable since the area encompasses eight acres.
It also shows how simplicity can be striking.
Is there anything as beautiful as a stately shade tree? (I know, there was a poem about that!) Here are some ways to use them and tips on placement.
- As a specimen in the lawn (a group of three can be striking!). Read about the beautiful Chinese Elm tree
- Shade trees
are wonderful near a patio, terrace, deck, pool or anywhere to provide
relief from the sun. They also produce an interesting contrast between
light and dark in the garden.
- They can be used as an allee of trees along the sides of a driveway. Red Maples or Chanticleer Pears are great landscape trees for this look.
To further help you with information on trees, I encourage
you to get my FREE ebook
Trees For Landscaping where you will find the following:
- The trees I use for my clients...tried and true
- My favorite flowering trees
- Best shade trees for shape and fall color
- Most beautiful and hardy evergreen trees
- Tree information you need to decide - mature sizes, plant zones, sun and shade requirements and rate of growth
- Placement tips - how to position them so the landscape looks professionally designed
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