Spectacular Trees for Landscaping

Top trees for landscaping divided by category. Best shade trees. Perfect tree to plant in a lawn. Most beautiful conifers and broad-leaved evergreens. Prettiest flowering trees. Tips for landscaping with trees.



Good lawn trees cast a light shade in which grass can grow.

Because mature trees are such large and permanent fixtures in the home landscape, it is important that they do the job you intend them to, and refrain from behaving in ways you had not anticipated and do not appreciate.

As the largest ornamental plants in your garden, their impact on its design will be enormous.  Trees form the permanent framework around which the rest of the garden is built.

A group of trees can be used to frame a structure, or a single tree can be planted to punctuate it. Dense evergreens can do you the immense favor of hiding unsightly elements from view.  Weeping trees can make a landscape seem moody and morosely romantic.


Landscaping with Trees
Practical Considerations

Tree Fact:

All trees create oxygen, have air cleaning abilities and make the garden a quieter, healthier space to enjoy.

In addition to bringing color, texture, and sometimes fragrance, into the landscape, trees perform some very practical functions.  They are the work horses of the garden.

Properly placed deciduous trees will shade the dwelling in summer and allow the sun's winter rays to enter, reducing your energy bill while increasing your comfort.

A row of conifers planted cheek-by-jowl in the right location will act as a windbreak, protecting more tender plantings from cold and desiccating breezes.

Broad-leaved evergreens, holly trees for example, provide you with year-round privacy and shade.


The Best Lawn Trees

American Red Maple Tree

These trees cast a light, dappled shade that is not too dense to allow grass to grow beneath them.  They tend not to produce surface roots or messy litter which would make mowing difficult.

Flowering Crabapples

White Kousa Dogwood

Crape Myrtle Trees

River Birch

Honey Locust Tree

Red Dragon Japanese Maple

Beautiful Evergreen Shade Trees


Southern Magnolia

from: Fast Growing Trees Nursery

Although you can plant these trees in a lawn, it may be better not to.  They cast a dense shade which most lawn grasses will struggle in.

Some exhibit a low branching structure which would make mowing beneath them difficult.  While you could raise their canopies by limbing them up, you might ruin their natural silhouettes in doing so.

Another thing that may make broad-leafed evergreens undesirable trees for landscaping lawns is their habit of shedding leaves, cones, and other debris, throughout the growing season.

So why grow evergreens?

  • To keep the landscape green and alive during the winter when everything else is brown and dead.
  • To create a permanent view where there is none or to hide an eyesore.
  • To outdoor living spaces more private.
  • Their dense foliage muffles the noise of street traffic.

Underplant them with shade-loving groundcover plants that will disguise the litter they drop to keep maintenance to a minimum.

Bracken's Brown Beauty, a Cold Hardy Magnolia
Aromatic Eucalyptus Tree
Dwarf Little Gem Magnolia

Grapefruit Trees

Fragrant Spring Flowers and Tasty Winter Fruit!

Fragrant Tea Olive Grows to 10'
Nellie Stevens Holly

Live Oak Tree

from: Fast Growing Trees Nursery

Live Oaks are commonly called evergreen oaks as they retain their old leaves until just before the new ones grow in, but they are not truly evergreen.


Low Maintenance Conifers
Needle-leafed Evergreens

Blue Spruce trees frame this painted lady.

Conifers are, mostly evergreen, cone-bearing trees and shrubs.  Some of the largest trees are numbered among them.  They are typically long-lived plants, and the variety of color and form that the group exhibits make them fascinating additions to the landscape.

The most popular of the conifers is the noble spruce.  There are several varieties which are used as trees for landscaping, and these can be expected to grow to a height of 40-60 feet in the home garden.

The most widely planted of these is the Norway spruce (Picea abies).  Its rapid growth, adaptability to sun or shade, and cold hardiness (it performs best in zones 2-7) make this species a favorite among landscape gardeners.

Spartan Juniper, Heat, Cold & Drought Tolerant!
Arborvitae - Green Giant
Bald Cypress, 4 Seasons of Color!


Columnar Trees for Landscaping

Sky Pencil Holly

These majestic columns of foliage play a dramatic role in the landscape whether they are lined up along walls or used as windbreaks. A group of tall, pointed Italian cypress set into a sweep of lawn becomes a living sculpture.

Europe's famous Lombardy poplars make a statement when lining a long or curved driveway.

Smaller cultivars take center stage in small landscapes, and can even be planted in containers where there is no soil at all.  Use them to dress patios and wooden decks.

Fast Growing Lombardy Poplar

Juniper 'Skyrocket'

Drought Resistant Italian Cypress Grows 3' Per Year!

The Prettiest Flowering
Trees for Landscaping

Silk Tree, Summer Chocolate, Fast Growing & Spectacular!
Lily of the Valley Tree
Redbud Tree, 1 Cent Sale!

Flowering trees make a bigger impact on the landscape than any other type--when in bloom.  Because the bloom season is brief (even long-flowering summer bloomers, like the crape myrtle, spend more days out of bloom than in flower) choose species that possess additional assets.

The aforementioned crape myrtle often features attractive peeling bark and colorful fall foliage.  The showy flowers of the crabapple are followed by bright, useful fruit.


The Most Elegant Weeping Trees

Weeping Willows are lovely trees for landscaping ponds.

Weeping trees add grace to planting schemes, especially when sited where the wind will dance through their pendulous branches or beside a body of water which will reflect and amplify their beauty.

A single specimen placed in an expanse of lawn can elevate a small landscape to new heights of sophistication all by itself.

Weeping Pussy Willow
Pink Weeping Cherry Tree

Weeping Willow Tree

Walker Weeping Caragana
White Weeping Cherry
Summer Cascade Weeping River Birch


Low Care Palm Trees for Landscaping

Cabbage Palms, South Carolina's state tree, adorn a Hilton Head mansion.

A palm tree is the perfect ornament for a tropical or tropicalesque landscape.  Gardeners in the subtropics or tropics have numerous species to choose from, but there are a handful of palms which can survive temperate zone winters.

Palm trees have smaller root systems than most other trees, so large specimens are fairly easy to install and establish.  By ordering large palms, you can achieve that lush, tropical look almost instantly.

Fast-Growing Queen Palm Trees

Cold Hardy Chusan Palms

Bismarckia nobilis

Have Large Palm Trees Shipped to Your Home



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