Tree selection for front yard and placement?

summiebee(44601)April 28, 2010

Everyone here was a great help here the year before last and we put in two provacy beds in our back yard to block neighbors on both sides. I really appreciated the help.

We'd like to add 2-4 trees to our front yard (we live in NE Ohio (Zone 6) and we are going to plant them ourselves and would like some help with what to select and where exactly to put them. :) We don't have anything really in mind as what to select. We just know we don't really want any pines as we have a lot of them in the back. We also have three river birch in the back as well. (We really like them) :) My husband likes the flowering pear trees. It could be nice to have some shade someday, but it is not essential.

Thanks for any help you can offer!

Sorry for the spring mess in the pictures. :)

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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

Hi. Nice house and landscaping. I envy you the porch! Two questions for you:

You mention the possibility of shade trees. What direction does the house face?

Where is the property boundary on the right? All the way over by the fire hydrant?

[Many years ago, my family lived on a curving street. Our lot was literally shaped like a piece of pie: almost no backyard, and there were five houses across the street from us. The house next door faced onto a cul-de-sac. It looks like you've got something similar?]

    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 9:48PM
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tibs(5/6 OH)

Flowering Pear have many issues. They have very close branch structure and are more likely to come down in a wind than other trees. While beautiful when in bloom, some have a very offensive odor. Others do not. A problem we had with pears we planted in the curb strip was that the root stock (most are grafted) began to send up shoots from the roots. It was a mess. You have quite a large front yard with no over head wires. You could plant two lovely large shade trees that could frame your door. Are there buried wires in your yard? I see a fire hydrant, you need to know where your waterline, sewer line, gas line are located. "Call before you dig" There is an 800 number in Ohio that you can call. Check out the Ohio State Extension website for good tree selections.

No Ash Trees!! The Emerald Ash Borer is moving our way, might even be in your county by now. These nasty little critters are killing Ash trees, and there is not a known preventive measure yet. Check out ODNR Urban Forestry website, they have a map showing what counties are affected.

I have certainly rambled on,but you are a fellow Ohioan, probably fairly close (i'm east central) and I am a proud member of my town's shade tree commission.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 9:54PM
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summiebee(44601)

We face east and you have it nailed. Our backyard is minimal. We are on a pie shaped lot! It's not so bad we soend more time out front to be honest with the porch. I just ordered some suoer fab porch furniture as well and my children love playing out there and we have no traffic.

We go over past the fire hydrant! At least a good 15 feet or so. We don't have many lines in the front yard that would hinder the digging. ( We were here when the home was built) We still plant to call before we dig.
We have a neighbor on each side you can easily see. And another whose backyard is against ours. We spent quite a bit one money enclosing our bacy yard in with pines, ornamental grasses and river birch to make it private. The neighbor whose backyard is to ours. (You cannot see their property in this photo) has a row of Arbor Vitae that runs along his back lot and you can see a few of those as well.

I agree on the pears smelling. I think they are very pretty when in bloom but to me they smell like a rotting corpse.

Tibs as far as Ohio and area. We are very near Canton, Ohio(just a titch East)What about you?

    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 10:17PM
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summiebee(44601)

Can you tell me pros and cons and what you think about this plan?

I was thinking two chinese pistache in the front as shade trees on each side of the door. (Far enough apart to not block the house entrance or view of the home)

And one or two crepe myrtle to the side of the neighbors where you can see their drive or two magnolias trees together? It/they would grow and block their driveway and comings and goings there? Does anyone have the means to photoshop?

Does this sound really silly????

    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 10:04AM
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mango_kush

i agree with two large trees to frame your yard.

personally i love flowering fruit trees so pears or cherry trees would be the first thing i put in the ground. two is perfect, get different varieties that are recommended for cross pollination. the drawback to fruit trees of course is pests and rotten falling fruit when the tree gets large if you dont keep it pruned.

another route you can go living in a temperate climate is picking trees that give Autumn color, there are alot of vibrant cultivars like Autumn Blaze red maple or yellow sugar maple.

you have a very beautiful colonial house, the trees would keep the traditional look

    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 10:47AM
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summiebee(44601)

Are there any flowering pears that get large and are not smelly? So flowering pears that equal good? My husband really like flowering pears? I just want some fast growing trees that get pretty tall and rather large in the front that are not bad. The smell is short lived I suppose correct?

    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 11:43AM
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duluthinbloomz4

Yes, the smell is shortlived (as is the tree itself oftentimes) and you have to deal with the modest mess left by the fruit.

From various sources... "The angle of the pear's branches is generally too narrow, and as the tightly-crowded branches grow in girth, the tree begins to push itself apart. At the first strong wind or heavy ice storm, the tree self-destructs."

    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 12:42PM
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karinl(BC Z8)

What is it about the pear trees that has made them so popular? If you don't mind the mess, is there any reason you wouldn't just go for another type of fruit tree, given the legendary problems of the bradford pear? There are so many, at least for our climate, perhaps fewer for yours. If it kind of functions as your back yard, then why not a fruit tree that can be a healthy long lived tree, provide lovely flowering, no smell, no danger of falling on your car, and nice fruit to boot?

Cherry, apple... and quince trees are beautiful, though the fruit is only for jelly, not edible (but beautiful). Note this is not the flowering quince shrub, chaenomeles, which I would never plant anywhere due to its invasiveness, but Cydonia, an actual tree.

There are so many great trees; I think it's a pretty personal choice. Research what's available for your zone (beyond your local big box store - go to good nurseries, look at tree books for your region, maybe the Renegade Gardener books would be helpful?), pick your favourites, and then think about placement. I'd say you can go big, so think branch structure, trunk appearance, climbability... In fact, you could even fit a weeping willow out there. Not that I'm saying you should - if you think you've got a spring mess now, the willow would be intolerable to you, and would reduce the perfection of your lawn - just saying, you could.

KarinL

    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 1:02PM
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unprofessional(5)

I would consider a catalpa if you like flowering trees but want something of considerable size. They're quick growers, too.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 1:16PM
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lupins4

I'm a big fan of the American redbud tree. Beautiful purple or white flowers (more like buds) in the spring followed by nice heart shaped leaves.

Here is a link that might be useful: American Redbud Tree

    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 3:30PM
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tibs(5/6 OH)

I am south of Canton, next county down, Dd goes to Walsh, so up your way alot! I don't think Crepe Myrtles are hardy in our area, even with globel warming. I have seen tthem in Marietta, but never this far north. Catalpa's, apopular Victorian tree are messy, they drop long "bean pods". red buds don't get that big. I love Aemelencher (Service berry, shadblow). There are some that are more tree like than others.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2010 at 6:34AM
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pondwelr(z5 WI)

There isn't any thing more beautiful than an Oak. White,
(swamp) oak is particularly fast growing. In the shade of the Oak, plant some serviceberry clumps. Make a large bed for these treasures, and group them together. My white oak grew from 9' to 20' in 10 years. Serviceberry will remain small. It is a bird magnet, and the first to bloom in the spring.
A huge bare yard like yours is daunting, so start at the edges and define the borders, then work your way in to the
rest. You may want to consider some hardscaping, like a
front yard patio in your plans.

I defined my large backyard that way. Hauled in soil to form raised beds, then planted trees and shrubs on the perimeter. After about 7 or 8 yrs, it was so private, in spite of being just one in a row of yards.
Good luck to you. Pondy

    Bookmark   April 30, 2010 at 2:53PM
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wellspring

Take a look at Â
Acer griseum

These comments are from Missouri Botanical Garden:Probably the greatest tree in the world, or at least in everyone's top 5. 4 season interest and then some.
Showy cinnamon to reddish-brown exfoliating bark; slow grower does best with afternoon shade; fall color is fiery red.

If you want a beautiful large maple, consider Acer Saccharum ÂFall FiestaÂ. Lives up to its name and is fast growing.

I truly love my Amelanchier x grandiflora ÂAutumn BrillianceÂ. Common name, service berry, as mentioned above. At three yrs old, it takes center stage with spring bloom and again in autumn with that "brilliance" thing. It has a nice form in winter. As stated above, itÂs an understory specimen or plant group.

Just stuff off the top of my head. Stay away from the pear. Really not a good choice. You might get statistically lucky, but with so many gorgeous choices that are way better, why chance it?

    Bookmark   April 30, 2010 at 10:41PM
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