If you’ve updated the exterior of your house–or are on a budget but still wish to transform the outside of your home–consider additions to your yard. One of the best ways to make a statement? Lining your landscaping with gorgeous trees that will provide interest to your home all year round.
When it comes to planting trees, consider a few points: your reason for wanting a tree (is it for shade? For privacy? For purely ornamental reasons?); a tree’s growth rate; and best area on your property to plant it. Check out the U.S. Hardiness Zone Map to see which work best in your location, then take a look at our list of show-stopping trees to add “WOW” to your home!
1. Japanese Maple (Zones 5 to 9)
If you want an ornamental tree for your yard, it doesn’t get much better than a Japanese Maple. They’re elegant, rich in color and offer year-round interest for your home. Growing 3 to 20 feet, use them to adorn your garden, pool or lawn for a decorative accent. The Japanese Maple will flourish in any well-drained, consistently moist soil except highly alkaline soil. They thrive in full sun, with six hours of direct sunlight per day, and dry out quickly in high winds.
2. Kousa Dogwood (Zones 5 to 8)
With white spring flowers and pointed petals, the Chinese Dogwood is a small to medium sized tree known for its delicate beauty. It’s somewhat drought-resistant but prefers average moisture and thrives in acidic, loamy, moist, sandy, well-drained and clay soils. Considered both a flowering tree and an ornamental tree, many homeowners look to Kousa Dogwoods for their visual interest as well as their abundance of spring flowers. They require full sun and partial shade, meaning they need a minimum of four hours of direct sunlight each day.
3. Saucer Magnolia (Zones 4 to 9)
Saucer magnolia is a small, low-branched tree bearing 6-inch pink and white flowers shaped like saucers. They grow about 20 to 30 feet tall with a 25-foot spread, making them serious showstoppers. The saucer magnolia blooms late February to April and can be trained to grow either as a shrub, small tree with multiple stems, or single-trunk tree. They prefer full sun and grow well in acidic, clay, drought-tolerant, loamy, moist, rich, sandy and well-drained soil.
4. Tulip Tree (Zones 4 to 9)
The tulip is a large, quick-growing tree that grows up to 100 feet tall. Adorned with visually interesting leaves and beautiful flowers with orange centers, they’re eye catching, to say the least. Tulip trees bloom in May and June and provide vibrant yellow color in the fall. They require full sun and thrive in acidic, loamy, moist, sandy, well-drained and clay soils. Tulip trees do double duty as ornamental and shade trees, and they will provide the shade you’re looking for in the summer sun.
5. Silver Maple (Zones 3 to 9)
Another tree known for offering plenty of shade, the silver maple creates a broad, leafy canopy for your landscaping. It will transform your backyard into a shady oasis in five short years. The silver undersides of its leaves give the tree a shimmering appearance when it blows in the wind. It prefers full sun and partial shade and grows in a wide range of soil types, but it thrives in deep, moist, acidic soil.
6. Weeping Cherry (Zones 4 to 8)
Weeping cherries are loved for their production of pink or white spring flowers. Their weeping branches are ethereal and romantic, providing beauty to your yard all year round. Their height ranges from 8 to 40 feet, and they’re one of the easiest trees to care for. They favor full sun and loamy, moist, well-drained soil.
7. Arborvitae (Zones 3 to 7)
If you are planting a tree to add privacy, consider the “green giant” arborvitae — a fast-growing evergreen with a beautiful conical shape. If you live in a subdivision where homes and yards are in close proximity, an arborvitae can provide separation you need. The arborvitae thrives in full sun and grows well in acidic, loamy, moist, sandy, silty loam, well-drained, wet and clay soils.
If you’re looking to add visual interest to your home, consider these 7 trees for their wow factor!