Adding trees to your landscaping plans can complicate things, but it’s well worth the effort. Here’s how to choose which trees to plant in your yard.

Upgrading the landscaping around your home is the perfect way to boost curb appeal and increase your satisfaction as a homeowner. However, it’s very important that you understand which plants and trees work best, given your yard’s growing conditions. Here’s how to choose which trees to plant in your yard for the best results.

Know Your Growing Zone

Before you plant anything in your yard, look up your home’s location on the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map. This will tell you which growing zone you are in based on the annual minimum winter temperature. Once you know the zone you are in, you can look for trees that do well in your area.

Pay Attention to Annual Frosts

While knowing your growing zone is important, it’s also good to know when the first and last frosts of the winter season typically occur. The hardiness zone map is useful but has some limits because it uses data from 2012 and does not include record temperatures. Recent frost information can help you better gauge which plants will thrive in your yard.

How To Get Local Frost Data

In recent years, some parts of the country have experienced consecutive years of unusually cold temperatures and frosts occurring outside their normal ranges. If you don’t have this information on hand, check with a local arborist or garden supply store to see if they’ve been tracking it and are willing to share. You can also join an online gardening group for your zone to see if anyone has this information.

Think About Tree Function

There are many reasons why you’d want to plant trees in your yard. Some people like them for shade, while others are more interested in cultivating fruit and nut trees. Still others enjoy the colors that trees turn in the spring and fall. Knowing what you want out of your trees can help you select the right varieties to plant.

Pay Attention to Spacing

Trees generally need a lot of space in which to grow. Plus, you don’t want to put one so close to your house that it becomes a hazard when it’s fully grown. How close to your house can you plant? Most experts recommend placing trees at least 20 feet away, and you should also keep them away from utility lines and property boundaries.

Replacing Trees

Sometimes trees get old, sick, or become dangerous. If you need to replace one, the best time to have a tree removed is in the winter and spring, depending on your region.

Trees Are Investments

Like any other kind of renovation, planting trees is an investment that requires proper planning in order to be successful. Use this guide to help choose which trees to plant in your yard. When in doubt, talk to an arborist or find a contractor who can help you do it right the first time.