May 17

3 Trees That Will Invigorate Your Landscaping



Let’s be clear: we think that all trees are beautiful trees. However, that doesn’t mean that you have to think that all trees are beautiful or that you have to put all trees in your landscape design. Instead, we think that you should be able to find a tree that you connect with and something that you will want to look like at every stage of the year and at every stage of growth.

Trees can change quite a bit as they grow and go through different phases, so it is important to look for trees that you really appreciate and ones that you will love and take care of, regardless of what happens. Remember that some trees require quite a bit more work than others, so you have to weigh the pros and cons of each one.

Still, if you are stuck on where to start, here are some of our favorite options for landscaping trees:

1. Honest Locust Tree

Honey locust tree
Credit: Leonora (Ellie) Enking
  • An extremely hardy tree
  • Adds a beautiful, unique yellow color to your yard
  • 30–70′ at maturity

The honey locust tree has an interesting history and pattern of ending up in homes all across the United States. The Arbor Day Foundation tells it best: “The thornless honeylocust is native from Pennsylvania to Nebraska and south to Texas. The first scientific observations of this species were made in 1700. The tree derives the name “Honey” from the sweet, honey-like substance found in its pods. The Cherokees in Tennessee made bows from the tree’s durable and strong wood. It has also long been a favorite for fence posts.”

If you are looking for something that grows quickly, this is the one. It is a delicate, open silhouette tree with some of the most fragrant spring flowers and beautiful colors, no matter the time of the year. While it certainly prefers full sun, it is a tough tree that will adapt to many different types of environments. It is great for urban areas and along roads because it is salt tolerant. It does grow quite tall but there are some different varieties to choose from when it comes to height. The thornless honeylocust grows to a height of 30–70′ and a spread of 30–70′ at maturity.

As for where to put this tree, you should know that it can tolerate many different types of soil, including dry and wet sites. This makes it a great option for lower areas of your yard or even on hills. Some clean up is required when the tree drops its leaves; however, it is rather low on the maintenance scale when it comes to watering, pruning, and other general care.

2. Sugar Maple

Sugar maple tree
Credit: Peter Linehan
  • Adds immense fall interest
  • Grows quite tall: 60-70′
  • Considered a shade and ornamental tree

One of the top trees in America, according to Bob Vila, is the sugar maple tree. This tree puts on a vibrant show of color each fall, turning yellow, burnt orange, red or a combination of the three. The crown is quite dense, making it an excellent shade tree. You may want to rake and bag the leaves when they fall in autumn.

The sugar maple is popular because it tolerates shade and plays well with other trees. However, it is important to know that it cannot be planted in confined areas or near the road because of salt (and larger root systems). The tree itself grows to 60-75′ with a 40-50′ spread.

If you are interested in bringing animals to your yard, Sugar maples can attract white-tailed deer, moose and snowshoe hare. Squirrels feed on the seeds, buds, twigs, and leaves.

Sugar maples grow slowly, sometimes less than a foot per year, but they are worth the wait.

3. Slender Hinoki False Cypress

Hinoki False Cypress
Credit: Perry Quan
  • Fits in almost every yard
  • Grows tall but thin
  • Can be pruned into shape

One of the most versatile trees that you can add to your landscaping, the Slender Hinoki False Cypress can be used in many different ways, including as a privacy shrub, in containers, and in urban areas. It is a hardy tree that doesn’t grow too big or too wide, meaning you can use it in many different types of yards. It does need full sun and weekly watering, but other than that, it doesn’t need much attention. If we do have extreme heat, it will need more watering. Since it is an evergreen, it will be a beautiful deep green color during all seasons.

Why should you choose this tree? HGTV explains: “Meet the evergreen tree that’s suitable for any size yard. This slender beauty grows to 15 feet with a spread of only 5 feet. The arching branches offer an elegant appearance, especially with the drooping tips. Why we love it: It brings grace and beauty to the landscape in a plant that fits most front yards.”

All trees have their own kind of beauty to offer. The best thing you can do is research the types of trees you like best, and then determine which will work best for your yard.

Contact Menchhofer Tree Care for all of your tree care needs – we can help you at any stage of the tree process, from planting and taking care of your tree to pruning and cutting it down – and of course, any seasonal problems that you might have with your trees. If you are having trouble making decisions about how to best care for your tree, we are here to help. Remember that acting sooner rather than later will help you to get the most out of your trees and keep your home safe.

Call us today at 317-661-4240.

Header photo courtesy of  Spencer Means on Flickr!

Menchhofer Tree Care

About Steve Menchhofer

Steve Menchhofer has been caring for the trees of the Indianapolis, Indiana metro area for over 40 years. Steve and his team of experienced, certified arborists are members of the International Society of Arboriculture and the Indiana Arborist Association.

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