You Can't Kill it: Trees


You need them for shade and even perhaps privacy. They add a certain aesthetic to your home, and a little bit of personality… but you just haven’t been able to keep one alive long enough to enjoy these benefits. We’re talking about trees of course. So which ones can you plant that won’t require a ton of TLC? Here are a few to start with.

American Hornbeam
This low-maintenance tree thrives in the shade of other trees, so if your yard backs up to other trees or greenery, it’s a fabulous choice to lend some shade to your yard. The American Hornbeam has thin bark with a muscled appearance and maintains a beautiful look in the winter months. In the fall, leaf colors will turn to beautiful shads of yellow, red and orange. It will grow to about 20 feet tall by 40 feet wide.

Bur Oak
A classic tree in the Northeast, the Bur Oak requires little maintenance. Acorns grow from this tall tree (80 feet!) and can be as large as 2 inches long. Perfect for large yards, if growing out in the open where roots can spread, the Bur Oak can grow as wide as it is tall.

A relative of the elm tree, the Hackberry takes similar form. They don’t require much attention, and soon grow and spread, providing excellent shade in your yard. They do also yield berry-like fruit in the late summer months, which welcome birds of many kinds. This tree will grow between 40 and 60 feet high by 40 to 50 feet wide.

Snowdance Japanese Tree Lilac
Growing as tall as 18 feet and 20 feet wide, the Snowdance Japanese Lilac Tree boasts a massive canopy that grows wider than it does in height. You’ll notice a lovely fragrance in the early summer months, which then fades, while still providing shade through lush green leaves.

Northern Catalpa
If you’re looking for a taller tree that blooms, the Northern Catalpa is the tree for you. It’s flowering blooms show in the early summer months, which then turn into cigar-like pods. It is because of these pods that the tree has inherited the name “cigar tree.” The tree grows well in urban settings, and can grow as tall as 60 feet (and 40 feet wide). Just don’t plant it near water features or pools in your yard, as the pods do shed a bit.