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Make Your Tree Selection Among the Best Trees

If you have been thinking about planting a tree, the fall is the perfect time to plant that tree. Make Your Tree Selection Among the Best Trees will guide you to what you need to make your selection.

make your tree selection among the best trees 1-1 shows a red maple with a inset of its leaf


The above image is a red maple in my front yard.

There are many factors to consider when choosing the right tree for your yard or landscape.  The list is endless on the availability of what to choose, but you need to narrow that list to just a few that will meet your needs. Make Your Tree Selection Among the Best Trees will guide you along the way.

Some things to consider:  Suitability to your site, growth rate, broadleaf or needled, leaf characteristics, height, shape, deciduous or evergreen, growing requirements and insect and disease resistance, just to name a few.   Since this tree will be with you for a long time to come or as long as you own your residence, resist the temptation to buy the tree based on the price.  If you consider the price spread out over twenty years or more, you will realize that you are paying very little for such a precious asset to your landscape.

You will want to consider your needs and the needs of the tree you are contemplating on purchasing.  Plan ahead for the mature growth of your tree, because trees that are planted too close together do not do as well.  Consider their full-growth size.

This post concentrates on some of the larger species of trees that are well adapted to Southern Illinois.  There are many more, but these seem to do extremely well in our changing weather conditions.

My Recommendations:

Red Maple:  This tree is probably most known for its beautiful red-color leaves in the fall.  The tree would be perfect for someone needing a fast-growing tree.  It will provide shade quickly without getting messy.  This tree transplants easily and can reach up to 70 feet tall.  The tree adapts well to many different soil and climate conditions. Be sure not to plant the tree too deeply because this will affect its growth rate.

River Birch:  This tree is best known for its beautiful peeling bark.  Some would argue that it is too messy for your yard.  This specimen loves to have wet feet, but it can also survive during periods of drought.  This tree transplants easily and can reach between 40 to 70 feet tall.  The tree also needs a good amount of sunlight and will not do well in shady areas.  As an ornamental tree, this one is a knockout.

Tulip Poplar:  This beautiful tree is a close cousin to the Magnolia tree.  Its flowers resemble a tulip with orange and yellow petals.  The leaves turn yellow in the fall, adding to its beauty.  This is a fast grower that can reach up to 90 feet tall.  This tree requires a good amount of water and has a massive, shallow root system which can compete with grasses, walkways and driveways.  It is best to locate this tree some distance from those areas.  Because of its extensive root system, this tree loves rich, well-drained soil.  For the most part, this tree is very insect and disease resistant.

American Sycamore:  This is one of the oldest specimens in North America.  There were similar trees during the Dinosaur Age, so this tree goes way back.  This is a fast-growing tree that can live more than 250 years.  It prefers mostly sunny spots and can tolerate many different growing conditions.  It can grow to 140 feet tall and up to 8 feet across at the base of the trunk.  This is a very popular specimen that is used at city parks because of its beautiful multi-colored bark.

Make your Tree Selection Among the Best Trees

This Sycamore tree is located in my local park:

make your tree selection among the best trees 2-1 shows a sycamore tree with a leaf inset


The last tree variety I want to write about is the oak tree, because the oak tree is popular in many landscapes across Southern Illinois.  However, I have difficulty recommending this tree because in recent years this species has been very susceptible to gall.  These unsightly balls form around the limbs of the oak, which is where the predatory insect has burrowed inside the tree, and the tree is attempting to protect itself.   It is sad to see this happening to our beautiful oaks.  Many well-established streets are lined with these giant beauties.   I write this from experience because I have an oak with gall which has gotten progressively worse in the last seven years that I have owned the house.  It is rare for it to kill the tree, but it is quite unsightly.

So you see, with a little research and searching, you can Make Your Tree Selection Among the Best Trees. For more on gardening, see my post on Tomato Growing Secrets for your Garden.

Make Your Tree Selection Among the Best Trees

Image of oak gall from the oak tree in my backyard:

make your tree selection among the best trees 3 shows my oak tree with oak gall balls

If you like this post, please give it a like and share, and let me know in the comments!

About Renea–I have been an avid gardener for over 40 years. In addition, I have had extensive undergraduate-level horticulture training and have written several articles for my local newspaper.


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