Trees give every home an aura of elegance and stability. They’re wonderful additions to any landscaping job, not least because they help keep soil erosion at bay. In hot climates, trees can provide shade to protect your house from the sun’s harsh rays, all while freshening up the air around your home. Follow these tips for choosing new landscaping trees for your yard.
Understand Your Growing Zone
The US Department of Agriculture has divided the country into several growing zones designed to help people choose plants appropriate for their climate. For example, you can usually plant an oak tree if you live in zones four through eight. The growing zones are based on average low temperatures during winter, which is important since some trees cannot survive below a certain threshold. Keep in mind that the map was last updated in 2012.
Watch Out for Frosts and Droughts
It’s important to note that the Plant Hardiness Map doesn’t take into account the extreme temperatures in each zone. For example, in the last couple of years, Texas has seen an ice storm and greater snowfall than what is typical for the region; this information isn’t reflected on the map.
Given these extreme conditions, some plants that would normally thrive in Texas have not been able to survive. Therefore, it’s always best to consult a local garden center for recent frost and drought information.
Get a Soil Test
Just like people have favorite foods and places they like to dine, trees have preferred growing locations and conditions. Knowing your property’s soil type can be crucial in ensuring you pick trees that will enjoy living in your yard. If you don’t have ideal tree-growing conditions, a soil test can indicate which adjustments you may need to make.
Know the Local Pests
Just because you’re familiar with how a particular tree behaves in one part of the country doesn’t mean your experience will be identical elsewhere. Sometimes, there are regional pests that make growing certain trees a bad investment, no matter how well the tree is suited for the climate. And even when the pests don’t harm the tree, they may be dangerous to your health.
Test the Outdoor Air Quality
Trees are also like people in that they need good, clean air to survive. If you live in a dense, urban area, you’ll need to focus on planting trees that can tolerate the amount of pollution nearby. Many trees are sensitive to the outdoor air quality and may fare poorly in cities.
Choose Fruits and Nuts You Like
One way to narrow down your options is to think about the fruits, nuts, and berries you like cooking with. By planting a tree that grows things you like to eat, you’ll get more enjoyment out of your investment. Not to mention, you’ll have easy access to fresh produce.
Leave Enough Space
Always make sure your trees will have enough room to grow before planting them. This isn’t just about how large their canopies will grow—root networks also take up a lot of space. You don’t want your trees competing for soil, and you may also want to avoid having your tree’s roots reaching over to someone else’s property or your own home’s foundation.
We hope you find these tips for choosing new landscaping trees for your yard useful. With proper planning, your trees should last for many years to come.