March 19

Ways to Incorporate Trees Into Your Landscape



At Menchhofer Tree Care, we truly believe that trees are some of the most beautiful things you can add to your yard. They always stand out and make your yard look absolutely gorgeous. Even better, trees can provide you with security, safety, and cleaner air to breathe. Springtime is one of the best times to plant many different kinds of trees, so if you are thinking about bringing a tree into your own yard, there are a few different ways that you can add them.

Here are some of our favorite ways to incorporate trees into your landscape:

5. Plant Trees for Shade

Shade tree
Credit: Gerry Dincher
  • Keeps your home cooler
  • Tend to be bigger trees
  • Work very well on large properties

One of the best reasons to plant a tree is to give your home and yard some shade. Shade trees tend to have bigger trunks and then branch out towards the top.

Another reason to consider shade trees is because it will cost you less to cool your home during the summer months. Rooms that are in the shade will be much, much cooler and require less energy to cool. According to Arbor Day, properly placed trees don’t just keep your home cool – they can actually keep your home warm in the wintertime.

Some popular shade trees include: paper birch, weeping willow, river birch, red maple, tulip poplar, bald cypress, dawn redwood and American sycamore.

4. Plant Trees for Privacy

Tree providing privacy
Credit: Micholo J Thanx
  • Give you more security in your home
  • Can double as other kinds of trees
  • Can even provide privacy in the winter months

If you find yourself in a community where your neighbors are a little too nosy for your liking, or you just want to have some privacy, trees are a great way to get some. Many people don’t like the look or feel of a fence, but some well placed trees can do the same thing for you. Planting one tree that is bigger, or several trees in a row can help people from seeing into your yard and even into your home.

Note that according to Fast Growing Trees, “When planting it is also a good idea to place your trees at least 10-15 feet away from your home or foundation. You will also want to stay at least 4-5 ft. away from patios, fences, and other structures. Remember if you are planting underneath a utility line you will want to select a short tree that will not reach more than 25 ft. high.”

Some popular trees that you can plant for privacy include: almost all evergreen trees, some deciduous trees, and semi-evergreens.

3. Plant Beautiful Trees

View of a beautiful tree.
Credit: whiteheart1882
  • Some trees are prettiest in Spring, but there are trees that are pretty in other seasons
  • Can find trees that are useful and pretty
  • Tend to be a little more  difficult to take care of

If you want to plant some flowering trees in your yard, there are going to have to be some trades. Of course trees that flower or that have beautiful colors will be quite the sight during the year – but they won’t always be that way. You have to remember that those flowers will fall and there will be some clean-up. In many cases, you have to be careful about staining and some of the color transfer that can occur. This is particularly problematic with hardscaping that uses light stones or concrete.

HGTV has a list of some of the flowering trees that remain beautiful all year long. Once again, it is important to do some research or talk to a professional about your yard and what kinds of trees that it can handle.

Some of the prettiest trees that you can plant include: Japanese maple, Chinese magnolia, sugar maple, northern red oak, bald cypress, royal poinciana, and wisteria trees.

2. Plant Fruit-Bearing Trees

Fruit growing on a tree.
Credit: Tatters
  • Require a lot of work
  • Need sun and plenty of water
  • Might not work in all soil types

If you enjoy fruits and what to plant a tree or two (or an entire orchard) that provide you with fruit, you have to do quite a bit of planing before you do it. You have to look at all of the different factors, including: the amount of sunlight the tree will get, how often you are willing to water the tree, what type of soil you have, how far the roots of the trees will spread, and if you are willing (or able to) spray the trees so that the fruit isn’t taken over by pests.

Planting fruit trees requires you to also think about the other plant life in your yard – some of the things you may have to do them will hurt the other things, according to Dave Wilson Nurseries.

Some of the most popular fruit bearing trees you can plant include apple trees, fig trees, lemon trees, avocado trees, mulberry trees, and olive trees.

1. When In Doubt, Shrubs

Flowering shrub
Credit: David Short
  • Easier to take care of than trees
  • Hardier than most trees
  • Fit great in yards of all sizes

If you aren’t willing to commit to a tree in your yard, shrubs are another great option. Planting a shrub will provide you with many of the other options on this list, just on a smaller scale. Shrubs can be beautiful and add decorative touches to your yard, can help with safety and privacy, and will even bear fruit in some cases.

According to Bob Vila, “that like most ornamental plants, shrubbery requires well-draining soil,” which is something that you certainly want to consider when thinking about your planting. You can even keep some shrubs in pots so that you can move them around, if you aren’t sure.

No matter what type of tree or shrub you want to plant, you want to contact a professional before you do any type of planting. This will help you get off on the right foot with your trees. 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. Call us today at 317-661-4240.

Header photo courtesy of Olha Didyk 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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