Garden trees help shape and set the stage for a well-crafted yard. Because they are the most permanent living elements in a property, they are often the anchors for a landscape design. Their placement can have a potent influence on the growth of other flora. Landscaping trees are also important for providing texture, mass, and shade to a garden. Moreover, they can serve as natural privacy screens, windbreaks, and sound barriers. Many varieties also provide food and shelter for birds and insects, which are essential for pollinating plants.
Trees are defined as woody perennials that have single trunks, stand on their own, and reach a minimum height of twelve feet at maturity. Unlike herbaceous perennials, which die back to earth seasonally, trees remain intact throughout the year, even though deciduous trees lose their foliage each autumn.
Unlike deciduous varieties, evergreen trees retain their leaves at least throughout a full-year cycle. However, not all evergreens actually remain green. Some yield leaves in other colors than merely green, which, if well selected, can add a deeper dimension of color to a yard. Like deciduous trees, broadleaf evergreens also have flat leaves. These include: magnolias, eucalyptus, hollies, olives, and live oaks. They can appear to lose their foliage, but actually hold their leaves for a year and produce new growth when necessary. Spruces, pines, hemlock, firs, cedars, arborvitaes are narrow-leaf evergreens that also maintain their leaves for a year or more.
Arboreal knowledge is vital when selecting the right trees to turn landscape design ideas into reality. Because the key to a successful garden lies in the wise selection of plants, choosing well-- including choosing the right trees-- involves understanding plants’ needs. For example, certain plants prefer acidic rather than alkaline soil. Others thrive best under moist, rather than dry, conditions. Still others will survive in shade as opposed to sun, while others will endure city air better than others. Thus, a knowledgeable landscape designer is vital when selecting the right garden trees and plants for you outdoor living space.
From Garden Trees to Landscape Plant Guide