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Planting Guide: Best Trees and Bushes for Your Yard

Here's our planting guide for homeowners. It will help you choose the right trees, shrubs, and the best planting locations to avoid damage to your home’s foundation.

Planting Guide

One of the most cost-effective ways to improve the “sellability” of your home is by enhancing its curb appeal. It makes sense. You only get one chance to make a first impression. Making improvements to your home’s exterior helps add value and attracts buyers. 

Landscaping is a quick way to improve your home’s curb appeal. But before buying trees and bushes for your yard, you’ll need to do your research to choose the varieties that grow best in your area. 

planting guide

Choose These Common Trees When Planting in the U.S.

You will see some of these common trees for purchase at your local nurseries and home improvement stores. They are smaller tree varieties, ranging from 12 to 35 feet tall when fully grown. Some of the trees that grow best are crabapple, flowering dogwood, white fringe tree, hawthorn, American holly, pawpaw, and the Japanese maple.

Crabapples are flowering trees that can be planted in many types of yards, including urban landscapes. The flowering dogwood is a good food source for songbirds like cardinals and robins. It should be planted in well-drained soil. The hawthorn grows dense and thorny, so it is best used for borders around a yard. It also offers a good place for birds to build their nests. The American holly attracts birds and small mammals. It is best planted in small groups.

The pawpaw is a small tree that grows well in shady conditions and produces fruit that attracts a variety of wildlife. Its leaves turn deep red in the fall. If you’re looking for new landscaping that does not attract wildlife to your yard, the white fringe tree is a good option. It is best planted in groups or near, but not too close to, large buildings in moist soil conditions. The Japanese maple has scarlet-red leaves and a non-invasive root structure. It can be planted near walkways and patios.

Protect Your Home’s Foundation

While you’re improving your home’s curb appeal, you don’t want to cause new problems. That’s why it’s important to research the type of trees, shrubs, and plants offered in your area before you add them to your lawn. 

Roots from trees with invasive root structures can damage a home’s foundation over time or crack driveways and concrete walkways. Some of the types of trees to stay away from are hardwoods, including oaks and elm trees, willows, honey locusts, and silver maples. While it can take a long time for trees to grow, their roots are growing unseen underground. To protect your home from root damage, it’s important to choose the right trees to avoid future root damage.

  • Picking the Right Bushes To Plant

To improve curb appeal with new bushes and shrubs, check out several common varieties. Each of these plants is known for its disease- and insect-free qualities: William Penn barberry, buttonbush, sweet pepperbush, Tatarian dogwood, border forsythia, dwarf fothergilla, smooth hydrangea, and Chinese holly. These bushes provide different types of flowers along with changing leaf colors throughout the year. They add color and variety to your yard and improve curb appeal.

  • How Far Apart Should I Plant My Trees and Bushes?

Once you’ve chosen the right trees and bushes to plant in your yard, do the necessary research before planting to determine where they’ll grow best. Each type of tree and bush will grow to a different height and width during its lifetime. To protect the long-term health of your new trees and bushes, you’ll need to plant them far enough apart to grow and flourish.

Sun vs. Shade: What’s Best?

If you’ve ever killed a plant by giving it too much or too little sun or water, you know that different plants need different conditions to thrive. It’s the same for the trees and bushes you select for your yard. Some grow best in full sun, some in shady conditions, and some are robust enough to thrive just about anywhere.

The pawpaw tree grows best in shady conditions, so you’ll want to plant it close to other trees or in a portion of your yard that doesn’t get full, direct sunlight for most of the day. The trees that do best in sunnier conditions are crabapple, flowering dogwood, white fringe tree, hawthorn, American holly, and border forsythia. The Japanese maple will grow in shade or sunlight.

Seek Help With Foundation Issues

Even if you’ve been careful in choosing your landscaping options or you suspect an old tree’s roots could be impacting your basement, it’s important to address any issues that could affect the structure of your home.

A free inspection from the country’s leading foundation repair experts can help you learn what steps you can take to secure your foundation, basement, or crawl space, and protect your home.