Plant a Tree in Honor of Arbor Day. Here’s What You Need To Know

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Spring has sprung and Arbor Day is here. The holiday is a reminder to appreciate the beauty of nature and ... plant some trees, too. Here’s how you can pick a tree to plant this spring:

3 Tree Planting Considerations

  1. Plant Native Trees. Be sure that you’re planting native trees in your area, and not invasive species that could clog up or even harm the local environment. I love using the NFW’s native plant finder to help make more informed decisions.

  2. Monitor the Environment. Does your area have the right essentials to grow a tree? Monitor sunlight patterns, check soil consistency, and be aware of irrigation or watering limitations.

  3. Be Sure the Breed You're Planting Is Safe. If you have young children or pets around, there are some species of tree you might want to avoid. Horse chestnuts, wild cherry trees, and the Pacific Yew are just a few, but you can check out other poisonous varieties for yourself.

3 Best Tree Types to Plant for Arbor Day

Whether you’re beautifying your property or the yard of a friend, honor National Arbor Day in style with these breathtaking breeds.

1Shade Trees

Give yourself some shade and summer respite with one of these lovely selections. 

  • Tuliptrees (Liriodendron tulipifera) are a unique specimen that look marvelous in a sizable backyard. With a height potential of 90 feet and a spread of 40 feet, they are best suited to larger properties.

  • Red Maple trees (Acer rubrum) provide all the beauty of fall at just the right size. At a max of 60 feet, they do best in full to partial shade.  

  • Quaking Aspen trees (Populus tremuloides) can be a lovely addition to your backyard. Ranging from 20 to 80 feet, they certainly don’t disappoint with their striking white bark and bright yellow foliage.

2Fruit Trees

Make your Arbor Day event even more rewarding by planting something that will give back. Note: Heirloom fruit varieties are always preferred.

  • Pawpaw trees (Asimina triloba) will make you want to sink your teeth into its strange yet delicious fruit. You might be surprised by how much you love it. 

  • Red mulberry trees (Morus rubra) are wonderful for a berry-like fruit. Their summer fruits pair wonderfully with homemade ice cream. 

  • Pecan trees (Carya illinoinensis) are great to grow in southern climates. Note: These trees can get extremely large. 

3Flowering Trees

If you’re looking to add some serious pizzazz to your property, flowering trees may be a perfect fit. These low-maintenance varieties create a pop of color in any lawn.

  • Redbuds (Cercis canadensis) are shockingly gorgeous trees that do well in a number of environments. They rarely grow above 30 feet. 

  • Smooth Blackhaw (Viburnum prunifolium) trees have white flowers that complement any landscape. Unlike many other trees, the Blackhaw flowers in June.

  • Hawthorn trees (Crataegus macrosperma) are a perfect choice if you live in a more urban area. 

2 Alternatives to Traditional Tree Planting

Not everyone has the space (or the right conditions) to plant a tree. If that’s the case for you, here are some alternatives to planting trees. 

  1. Plant a Dwarf Tree. Dwarf tree species do exceptionally well in pots and look positively beautiful to boot. Some varieties – including figs, limes, and oranges – will even fruit.

  2. Take Part in a Community Event. Everyone’s neighborhood looks a little different, but it’s not too uncommon to spot tree planting festivals, identification hikes, and local workshops all about shrub maintenance.

The Bottom Line 

Arbor Day is a special celebration that flies under the radar far too often. Instead of letting another wonderful season pass you by, take the time this year to celebrate the marvel and beauty that is the humble tree. And who knows? With enough time, care, and attention, your newly planted tree could live (and fruit) for decades to come. 

Tags: Environment, gardening, Sustainability

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Written By

Meagan Shelley

Meagan is a professional writer in VA who specializes in content marketing. See Full Bio

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