architecture-clouds-daylight-259588Fall is the ideal time for gardening because the weather is just right-cooler temperatures, less rainfall, and still warm soil. How about sprucing up your yard with some ornamental trees? Here are some reasons to inspire you to put on your gardening gear and plant some trees in your yard. Apart from beautifying a place, trees add a visual strength that is awesome. The trees also provide shade and give privacy to a home by preventing those prying eyes. They detoxify the air around the house and mask noise from outside.

The outstanding features of ornamental trees and bushes are their flowers, foliage, and the bark or shape of the tree. For you to get all these benefits, you need to select the most suitable for your yard. These few pointers might help you to make that all-important decision.

Tips on Selecting Ornamental Trees

Consider the surroundings

The first thought to keep at the forefront of your mind when selecting ornamental trees or bushes is the size of your home and the yard. Some trees are small, medium and others are quite large. It cannot go without stating that if your house or yard is small, choosing to plant them near larger trees will stunt them. Another rule of the thumb is to plant smaller trees near the house, then increase the size as you move away.

Remember, too, to call before you begin to dig. This phone call can save you the danger of disturbing a water, gas, or power line.

Choose low maintenance varieties

Some trees special care in watering, spraying, and pruning. Others shed a lot of their leaves, which places a lot of demand on your time. One of the best low attention-seeking plants is the red maple tree. This ornamental tree grows very fast and has a beautiful oval shape. It lets you enjoy its brilliant red leaves in fall when most trees are bare. In spring its outstanding red flowers are absolutely fantastic. You also get to enjoy the birds that are attracted to its red fruits.

Your landscaping needs

You should consider why you want to plant the ornamental trees. Do you need a tree that is both ornamental and also bears fruits like the apple or pawpaw? Or do you desire to have flowers in spring? Are you more interested in the shade from the tree? Or you are looking for a tree that can give a combination of two or more qualities? For instance, you can enjoy Chinese dogwood throughout the year. It forms a canopy of foliage in summer that gives you a great shade. When it sheds its leaves in winter, you get an attractive branching. In the spring, the tree breaks out in white, pink, and red blossoms that add curb appeal to your home. Another example is the tulip tree that also gives you a pleasant shade.

The ideal site

The position of your yard relative to sunlight is a significant factor to consider when selecting ornamental trees. For a sunny yard that receives 6 hours or more of daylight, find trees like the California Juniper or peppermint tree. 

The California juniper is an attractive and hardy tree that has a bark that looks like pieces of thin shredded paper. It also has a profusion of blue-green foliage. If your yard is partially shaded, planting trees like incense cedar and sweet olive would be your best option. 

If your backyard is mostly shaded, consider the trident maple which has striking red and yellow fall color; or the Chinese plum yew.

Food for thought: the cons of ornamental trees

Although roses are beautiful ornamental bushes, they also have thorns! Some ornamental trees have a few negative characteristics that you should be aware of. Deciduous trees (shed their leaves in fall) like the umbrella tree and the jacaranda, have a deep root system and may cause some damage to foundations, walls or sewer lines. Other trees have thorns; others may be poisonous while others such as the mulberry attract pests. Other trees drop a lot of twigs and fruits that rot and produce a foul smell. You should put all this in mind when deciding where to plant a particular tree in your yard.

Final Thoughts on Planting Ornamental Trees in the Fall

Planting ornamental trees in your yard is a significant landscaping decision. This is because ornamental trees are practically immovable without damage, and you may not easily correct any mistake you may have made. Therefore, make sure you are equipped with the right information. When the ornamental trees flourish in your yard, be sure to give yourself a big pat on the back, “Yeah, I did this!”

And remember, fall is the right time for gardening, including planting ornamental trees. So, you don't need to hang up your gardening tools just yet! Enjoy the still warm afternoons and let the new additions to your yard flourish.

Deborah Tayloe

Deborah Tayloe is the publisher of DIY Home & Garden. When she’s not blogging, she loves cooking with fresh fall ingredients. She is particularly proud of her recipe for homemade apple butter.