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How to Select a Tree for Your Yard

Are you curious about how to select a tree for your yard? This guide to tree selection will help you consider your yard’s sunlight, soil quality, and more. Read on!

1. What size and type of tree am I looking for?


Plan ahead when buying a tree, it is an investment that requires care.

Shade Tree:
40-60' x 40-60'
Bur Oak, Hackberry, Siouxland Poplar

10-30' x 10-30'
Japanese Tree Lilac, Crabapple,Schubert Chokecherry

20-40' x 20-40'
Maple, Linden

All year interest!

Pine, Spruce, Arborvitae

Fruit Trees
10-15' x 10-15'
Apple, Pear, Cherry, etc.

2. What if I have mostly shade?
Trees for wooded or shaded areas:Pagoda Dogwood, Eastern Redbud, or Hemlock.

3. Is it a very wet or very dry area?
Trees for wet areas: Swamp White Oak, Pagoda Dogwood, Willow, or River Birch.
Trees for dry area: Amur Maple, Theves Poplar, or Pin Oak.

4. Any obstacles in the way of tree growth?
Consider power lines, house, other trees, neighbors property line, fence line, etc.

5. Fall color, fruit, flowering?
Trees for fall color: Red Maple, Sugar Maple, Honey Locust, Pagoda Dogwood.
Trees with ornamental fruit: Serviceberry, Hawthorn, Crabapple, Mountain Ash.
Trees with ornamental flowers: Catalpa, Newport Plum, Eastern Redbud, Schubert Chokecherry.

Tree Planting Checklist

  1. Long handled digging shovel
  2. Root stimulator
  3. Peat Moss
  4. Mulch
  5. Hose for watering
  6. Staking Kit for potted trees
  7. Tree wrap for fall

When moving trees and shrubs, handle the plant by the container or root ball. Never lift plants by the trunk or branches. Never drag plants by the trunk or branches. Do not drop plants.