Whether you’re thinking of your yard, lining the streets of your neighborhood, or adding some character to your established greenspaces, adding trees to your home or larger community is almost always a good idea. And while spring is often the assumed time when one considers planting, you have no need to wait months and months to fulfill your foliage-filled dreams. Fall is a great time to roll up your sleeves, pull out the shovel, and plant a tree.
According to the Arbor Day Foundation, people who (we figure) really know their trees, planting trees in the fall affords them an extra season to grow before the potentially stressful summer season (due to heat and lack of water). Allowing trees to spend the fall months enjoying the cooler temperatures and increased moisture, gives trees the opportunity to fully establish their roots early on, which helps them to stand up to the heat of summer. The fear around autumn planting usually centers around the thought that young trees will not be able to survive the winter months, what with the cold temperatures and snow. Yet, the pros say that there is no need to worry your pretty, little head. Trees actually enter a state of dormancy, like hibernation, during the winter months. During this time, the tree's growth and consumption of energy slow down dramatically. So, with the blessing of the knowledgeable folks at the Arbor Day Foundation, let’s talk trees.
Made in the Shade
What are the best shade trees to plant in your space?
Quaking Aspen - Aspens are known for being incredibly fast-growing, which can certainly be nice if you are the type who does not like to wait for results. Not only does this variety deliver (nearly) instant gratification, but it also has a wide natural range, making it able to grow well nearly anywhere. The added bonus? In the fall its leaves turn bright yellow, giving you all of the cozy autumn vibes you could possibly ask for.
Oak - Did you know that the United States named a national tree in 2004? Yeah, neither did we. Well, who was it that won this prestigious title? The mighty oak, of course. There are more than 60 species of oak tree that are native to the US, so you have a wide variety to choose from, and will have a relatively easy time finding one that is best suited for your climate and soil type.
Maple - Maple trees are possibly some of the most iconic. Like oaks, there is a wide variety of maple trees to pick from when taking your specific location into consideration. The leaves of these trees provide shade, as well as quite the show of color once fall sets in. And while you will likely not be getting any syrup out of your maple, the other benefits of planting this stately beauty are motivation enough.
There is a reason that the idea of a “tree-lined street” is such a sought after part of the American homeowner’s dream. However, not just any tree is suited to stad along your neighborhood streets, greeting passers-by. Which trees are best suited for such an important job? Weel, let us dive in.
Cherry - If you're looking to make a real first impression, cherry trees truly deliver in the looks department. The fluffy white blossoms that emerge in the spring every year are truly what dreams are made of, with festivals all over the world dedicated to them. No doubt, if your climate is suitable for such a sight, then you would be hard pressed to find a more visually striking addition to your neighborhood.
Hickory - These majestic beauties have deep roots, which means that they are less likely to have their roots pushing through the surface at the base, which could disturb sidewalks or decorative walkways that line your streets. This fact, paired with the stately presence of the Hickory, make it a great option for lining community streets.
Elm - Odds are, that somewhere, within your city, there is an Elm street. In fact, according to the National League of Cities, it is one of the most popular street names in all of the United States. That being said, there is a good reason that the name has become so common. Elm trees are great for planting along neighborhood and city streets. This tree grows quickly, can handle a variety of climates, can hold up to the elements and requires little human attention. What’s not to love (nightmare excluded)?