The first step in choosing the best backyard trees is to decide what characteristics you want the trees to have. For example, if your goal is to grow trees that will mature quickly, a fast-growing species such as maple, hybrid poplar, or tulip poplar will be a good choice. If you want to plant trees for privacy year round, a row of evergreens like cedar or leyland cypress will provide a natural screen. The next step in selecting the best backyard trees is to decide the proper size of tree that will fit in the available space. You want to make sure that you don’t plant a large tree in a spot that will necessitate frequent pruning, such as near power lines.
Choosing the best backyard trees is an important decision because these trees will be an important feature in the landscape for many years. If you are considering trees that will provide a source of food, fruit or nut trees are excellent choices, and they will have the added benefits of providing attractive blossoms and shade. Nut and fruit trees are available in dwarf as well as traditional varieties so even a small backyard can be home to one or more of these food-bearing trees. If the backyard is large enough, you can even plant a small orchard with different varieties of fruit and nut trees.
One reason that many people choose to plant backyard trees is for a source of shade. In warm climates, a large shade tree growing by the house can shield it from the hot summer sun and lower the costs of air conditioning. Being able to sit under the cool, verdant canopy of a shade tree on a hot day will extend the amount of time that people can enjoy being outdoors.
If a large shade tree with a spreading canopy is what you’d like to see in your backyard, oaks are good choices and very hardy backyard trees. Pin oaks are fast-growing oaks that reach a height of 60 to 70 feet (18 to 21 meters) at maturity and a spread of approximately 25 feet (7.6 meters). White oaks, on the other hand, grow slowly but have a more spreading habit, reaching a height at maturity of 100 feet (30 meters) and a spread of 50 feet (15 meters). Cottonwoods are also fast-growing shade trees that can grow as high as 90 feet (27 meters) with a 35-foot (10.6-meter) canopy.