Trees to cut down in front yard

j1planteMay 8, 2012

My goal is to have more curb appeal.

The left side of my front yard has 4 trees. At least 1 of the red leafed trees is blocking sunlight from getting onto my newly planted shrubs. I love the color of the red leaves but I feel that those trees just might be too tall for it's location.

Which tree(s) do you think should be cut down to enhance the appearance of my front yard?

Unfortunately, the last owners put a shiny white vinyl siding on my house so more sunlight does make it appear like a shiny plastic house but I can't afford to get new siding. I do plan on replacing the cement steps and rails with wider granite steps/no rails.

You can't see from where the photo is taken but I have planted a hydrangea bush in front of the porch and planted baby shrubs in front of the house and put up a very short rock wall on the corners of the shrub bed with creeping phlox plants in the middle.

Thanks for any suggestions.

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can you add another picture that is taken from a different angle--roughly from the vicinity of the arrow--that will show the approach to, and more of the face of the house?

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 3:28PM
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You should add a patio or other hardscape to coordinate the good trees and the shade.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 5:35PM
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Here is a photo from the right side of the yard. The 2 patches on the grass are from trees that were recently cut down after they were damaged in a storm but I like the look of the open grass area even though it far from balances the woody left side. The bushes on the right side are hiding a dog yard fence.

designoline6 - Thanks for your ideas. I will go with adding hardscape if I decide not to cut down trees but I am leaning toward cutting some trees, I think.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 1:20PM
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Too bad the red-leaved trees are not at the right of house where the space seems a little "vacant." I believe I would remove these two trees, not so much because they are close to the house or tall, but because they are close to, and compete visually so much with, the large shade tree. I'd let the large tree dominate.

Many people seem afraid of limbing up their front yard trees but I'd get right on doing it to that large tree. The longer you wait, the more difficult and expensive it will be. Don't worry about the canopy. It will right itself regardless of removing lower limbs.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 1:48PM
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Your problem should be soft the driveway line and the balances.The trees can soft the house line and the car shape too.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 3:30PM
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karinl(BC Z8)

You probably don't want curb appeal at the expense of quality of life. In other words, the primary driver of your decisions about trees should be how it feels to be inside the space, specifically inside the house, rather than what it looks like to strangers.

For example, it sounds like the house faces south? Without those trees, the house will bake in summer and if you have A/C, your electricity bills will likely go up. Even if the house faces east or west, those trees are giving you some good cooling, because the green trees aren't big enough yet to shade the house much - perhaps eventually they will. Shade on your shrubs would not bother me... you can choose shade-tolerant shrubs for those areas (and hydrangeas actually are) and plant any sun-lovers you want to grow somewhere else.

Another amenity you might want to consider is the views out upstairs windows. I say this in part because my views out of my house are similarly right into nearby tree canopies, and I take great pleasure in that - leaves, birds, bees. From that perspective, the contrast of red against green may also be nicer than just green at a distance.

For tree decisions, there are basically four considerations:
canopy (shade, view, seasonality, space),
roots (foundations, concrete surfaces, gardens nearby),
debris (type, timing, how easy to clean), and
hazard: if it falls, what will the effect be?

Five if trunk location is an issue...

These trees haven't reached the point where hazard is an issue, and roots and debris don't look to be big issues yet either, but consider and balance all the implications of canopy. For example, they might eventually be putting a fair bit of leaf debris in your eaves once a year.

Your concern about how it looks from the curb is just taking one aspect of the "canopy" issue into consideration. I'd need to know a lot more about how those trees affect you before taking a position on removal.

Karin L

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 5:21PM
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    Bookmark   May 13, 2012 at 3:17AM
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I would cut the maple off, leaving a 6" stump and let it come back as a bush. You'll have twice as much red leaves at eye level than you have now, and the shade problem for your other bed is sovled.
The 2 trees nearer the road frame the yard nicely so I'd leave them alone. Too bad there weren't trees like those on the other side of the driveway. :)

    Bookmark   May 13, 2012 at 8:44AM
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