Best Trees for Your Yard: Complete Guide

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If you’re like me, you enjoy bringing your personality out of yourself and onto your things… things such as your house or your yard… essentially, your property.

There are a variety of reasons to take the time, energy, and financial investment that it takes to devote to sprucing up your yard.

But we’re not here to talk about those reasons… we’re simply here to give you the information of a good selection to choose from!

The information here has been gathered from decades of experience from many different people.  I hope you, your yard, and whoever is graced with its presence benefit greatly from the information laid herein and that this information also simplifies your process of which trees to choose for your yard.

I hope, as well, maybe you learn something new and get to be inspired by all that nature has to offer us.  The great, beautiful complexity it contains to entertain and delight us as human beings on this lush, dynamic, gorgeous earth.

Here’s to sprucing up your lush garden of a yard!


Mimosa trees were introduced to the United States in 1745.  These trees are tough and beautiful monuments to nature’s ability.  They smell good, too.  It has a fern-like foliage.  They serve as a good pollen source for hummingbirds and wild bees.  They do well in almost any landscape.

This tree has stood out to me, personally, since my childhood.  It stands out in that it is adorable.  It has pink little puff flowers adorned its leaves.  I’ve seen it in the suburbs mostly.  This tree was also my mother’s favorite tree in her lifetime.

Although, I will say, she also is a major fan of the Japanese Maple, which we will get to later on in this list.  This deciduous tree grows fast, which is nice, as it will more often than not be lush, due to this.  It originates from Asia.  It’s most commonly found along the southern United States.

One thing to consider with this plant is that the roots are uniquely resilient.  Therefore, they are difficult to get rid of.  This is a strength if you enjoy the tree!  A nuisance if trying to get rid of it.  It can grow in almost any soil.

Weeping Willow

Weeping Willows seek water.  If you live in a low altitude/ near or bellow sea level, your yard is prone to flooding, or you live in a swampy area, this tree will solve your swampy yard problems.  If not, this tree is still good for you.

Planting times for a willow tree are in cooler times, like early spring or fall.  This reduces stress to the tree and increases chances of success of the planting.  Especially near a pool setting, these can create warm relaxing-type environments.

For those who are less familiar with these trees (while, I imagine most people are), these are the trees that grow tall, higher than a one story house, and have long limber, wavy, flowing, vine-like branches that hang low, even reaching the ground.

This tree has been featured in many romantic, zen-like movie scenes… oh yes… this ambiance can come through in your yard, too… creating those perfect zen movie-esque moments for you and your loved ones.

Moringa Olifera

This tree is literally a superfood!  How exciting.  All parts of it are edible:  the leaves (which are noted as quite tasty!), the bark (used as a spice in Africa & Asia today), the pods, and roots, too!  Particularly for those living in warmer regions, this tree does very well.

It has been called “the tree of life”.  Them some bold words.  Tons of health benefits are noted from this tree, including:  cholesterol reduction, protection against arsenic poisoning, increase in antioxidants, reduce inflammation, and lower blood-sugar levels!

They have three times the potassium of a banana, and four times the Vitamin A of a carrot, too!  How cool would it be to walk out your door & snack on your yard tree… all the while increasing your health!

They can reach 35 feet in height, so make sure there’s room.  Start seedlings inside.  Transplant to your yard in warm seasons.  Throw the leaves in a salad once grown!

Autumn Blaze Red Maple

This brilliantly colorful fall display will be an eye stopper, for sure, in your neighborhood, for all to see.  They are tolerant of many soil types (wet or dry), which is convenient for this list.  They reach 40-70 feet high and 30-40 feet wide at the top.

Since this tree can get so y’all, please make sure it is planted at least 15 feet from your home to avoid possible destructive problems.

Water consumption needs for these are about 10 gallons per trunk diameter inch, once per week; unless in drought, in which case, double frequency.  With larger trees such as this, upheaval of sidewalks and such can be worth consideration.

This breed’s roots are not as aggressive as some, but they can do such things; so, best to plant them away from ground cover like cement and such of the sort.

Tulip Tree

This tree, as the name alludes, is covered in beautiful larger flowers, which resemble tulips a bit.  This tree is in the magnolia tree family, to give you further imagery.  There is quite the range in height of these trees, being 50 to 150 feet high in differing cases.

It’s deep roots spread wide to support the weight.  The leaves turn yellow and/or brown in the fall.  The flowers are an adorable yellow and orange, blooming in spring!

These trees like slightly acidic soil.  This means, maybe putting coffee grounds out every so often for support with this.  These trees sprouted from seeds can take up to ten years to bloom flowers… worth the wait, I assure.

It does well in almost all areas of the US.  It will love you and grow beautifully for you if you place it in sun or partial shade.  This tree grows fast, at 25 inches per year.  Beware of sudden-wilting leaves.  This could be a sign of the dreaded verticillium wilt fungus, which attacks at the roots.

It has beautiful six pointed rounded star-like, larger leaves, which enable the yellow bloomed flowers to pop amongst them.

Eastern Redbud

This bright pink and purple beauty is fun indeed!  During flowering seasons, its vibrance can be seen from a mile away.  The leaves are larger and heart-shaped cuties.  It is a deciduous small tree native to North America.  It is Oklahoma’s state tree, so you know it’s good.  It reaches 20-30 feet high and 26-33 feet wide!

One of the few trees that is slightly wider than it is tall.  It’s bark is dark in color.  In winter seasons, it is adorned with dark purple buds.  It’s fall leaves are the more typical yellow and brown.  It likes a good amount of water, so dryer climates can prove a bit more difficult to support this small tree.

The fun part, besides the color, about this tree… edible flowers!  Fresh or fried.  Add to salads or atop a smoothie for friends and family.  April and May will be fun culinary months for you!  Also, green twigs from the tree can be used as a meat seasoning.

It likes full sun to partial shade.  You will love the colors you get from this tree.  There are few trees that come close to this one in this regard.  And the low maintenence and minimally invasive roots make this one top of the charts!

This Eastern Redbud tree will tolerate alkaline or acidic soil, so this means, it’ll get along with almost any other plants around it… AKA, it plays well with others.

They grow 13-24 inches per year, not a bad growth rate.  It also can handle heavy clay areas.

Japanese Maple

Full circle here… my mother’s second favorite tree in her lifetime… the colorful, gorgeous Asian native does well in United States as well!  This is an adorable smaller tree, reaching typically 20-30 feet.  It’s 7-pointed star leaves are sharp and appealing.

A fun contrast to more  common rounded leaf shapes in nature.  While green in warmer seasons, during the fall and winter months, this beautiful gem displays all that lies beneath… gold, orange, bright red, and/or deep burgundy/purple. Flowers are red, purple, and/or white.

The branches and even leaves have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries.  Most of these prefer partial shade, as far as placement goes.  Make them happy, and they will make you happy, indeed.  Its roots are minimally invasive, so should not disturb things around it much.

They enjoy being well watered, but do not wish to be waterlogged.  Avoid any nitrogen fertilizers, if any are being used at all near it.  It prefers little to no fertilizer, anyway.

No pruning is needed, but you may if space is limited.

Hollie Carter

Hollie is a life-long gardener, having started helping her Dad work on their yard when she was just 5. Since then she has gone on to develop a passion for growing vegetables & fruit in her garden. She has an affinity with nature and loves to share her knowledge gained over a lifetime with readers online. Hollie has written for a number of publications and is now the resident garden blogger here at GardenBeast. Contact her at or follow on twitter

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