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Trees are the largest plants for our landscapes and provide the greatest benefits. They add permanent structure to the design and can become the ceilings and walls of our outdoor living spaces.
Select trees for the function you want, whether it is providing cooling shade, screening for privacy, or enhancing views. Many offer seasonal interest, such as seedpods, flowers, or fall color. Others provide shelter and food for birds and wildlife.
As an added benefit, trees can help decrease heating and cooling costs for your home. Locate deciduous trees to shade the east- and west-facing exposures of your home during the summer. This will allow sunlight into the home during the winter when branches are bare of leaves.
Selecting the right tree is important because of the impact it has on the landscape and the length of time required to reach maturity. When considering placement, be sure the mature tree will fit safely, without interfering with overhead power lines, underground utilities, buildings, and pedestrian traffic.