Shade Trees And Ornamental Trees

Learn about planting trees in relation to their size, type, and requirements for certain species of trees.

Choosing a tree depends on what its use will be, as well as the particular climate in which you live. Will it lend itself appropriately to your zone? Each tree will grow at a certain rate of speed; this also needs to be taken into account. How long are you willing to wait for a fully developed tree? Do you want "airy" foliage through which the sun can peek? Also, do you need large or dense foliage for shade? These choices will determine whether grass or flowers will grow under their shade. The roots of certain trees need to be carefully thought about; long, invasive roots may damage plumbing or inhibit planting of flowers and shrubs. Taking all of this under supposition will be helpful in the end.

The Time to Plant

Start by reviewing the zone where you live. Ask the local garden nursery for advice on your zone. Trees that are potted can be set out most anytime. In milder winter climates, winter is the best time, when trees are dormant. Trees that shed annually (deciduous) may be moved in early spring or late autumn in zone 6-7. There are trees that need to be planted in spring, such as the birch, flowering dogwood, magnolia, redbud, and the tulip tree. Evergreens can be moved or planted in early spring or early autumn. When planted in a container, anytime is appropriate. North, which is zone 5, requires spring planting for deciduous trees and plants. Evergreens need a long, cool, and moist growing season and should be planted in late August or in the spring.

Notable Flowering Trees

Chinese Kousa Dogwood

Weeping Higan Cherry


Mimosa (silk tree)

Crab-Apple (Floribunda)

Flowering Dogwood


Saucer Magnolia

Golden Chain


Fast Growing Shade Trees

Japanese Poplar

Wiers Cutleaf Maple

Weeping Willow

Red Maple

Decorative Trees with Unique Characteristics and Brilliant Foliage

Redleaf Japanese Maple

Newport Purpleleaf Plum

Fernleaf Beech

Crimson King Maple

Copper Beech

Trees with Attractive Bark

Cutleaf European Birch

American Beech

Paper or Canoe Birch

Paperbark Maple Korean Stewartia

Some trees may prove bothersome for various reasons as described below:

White Willow: the roots of these trees tend to clog water and drain pipes.

American Elm is prone to disease.

Carolina Poplar: roots obstruct drainpipes and water lines.

White Poplar: shoots from the roots or stems continually overrun the lawn, and the roots clog drain pipes and tiles.

Silver Maple Hefty limbs have a tendency to break and fall; the roots are rapid spreading.

The Size to Buy

It is best to buy the trees to be planted from a nursery because starting them from seed is a long procedure. Very large trees are expensive. Young trees with dense roots that are well developed will transplant most easily. The growing process will commence without difficulty, generally, and have the least shock and setback. Strangely enough, after a few years, the younger trees often catch up with the older transplanted trees. Large trees and all evergreens are moved with a ball of soil compacted, and the roots grow within.

The dormant, leafless, deciduous trees, in bare-root state, are the most reasonable to buy. These trees have been removed from the soil in late fall, and all of the loam has been dislodged from their roots and has been placed in storage. They are warehoused in a moist, cool, and dark area where they remain in an inactive state as far as growth. When planted, they start to grow immediately. The highest in cost are the larger trees.

If you require a larger shade tree that has obtained a few years of growth, then a good size in dormant bare rootstock is 8-10 feet. The trunk is about 1 ½ inches in diameter. This particular tree is strong and will not be easily damaged.

Potted trees make the job easier since they are easy to lug around. Potted trees can be transplanted most any time during the year. The roots are protected because of being compressed into protective containers and should not be injured.

Very large trees need to be moved with large spheres of earth. The ball of earth must have a satisfactory number of viable roots that have been pruned for over a year before the transplanting date. Employees at nurseries have the knowledge and expertise to prepare the tree for moving.


If it will be awhile before planting your tree, then lay it horizontally in a shallow ditch and cover the roots with damp soil. If the tree is deciduous and dormant, it may be stored for days in a cool, dark place. Cover the roots with moistened material. If the planting takes place in only one day, soak the roots in water for that time.

The hole must be prepared carefully. Make the hole at least 1 foot wider and deeper than the size of the present root system. The best soil should be at the bottom and should be firm. This is where the roots begin growing initially, and they need good earth. Add fertilizer and moist peat moss with some good topsoil to the hole to facilitate good drainage. Plant food should be incorporated according to the rate recommended on the package.

The tree will have a soil line from previous planting; the tree needs to be placed no deeper than the original soil line. Fill in good soil around the roots. With leftover soil, make a crest or ridge around the edge of the hole to help retain water.

Trees grown in containers need to be removed from the pots before planting. The roots need to be left intact and compacted with soil. A balled tree with burlap, after being placed in the hole, should have the burlap loosened and shoved down around the sides of the hole; it should decompose in the soil after awhile. Wind will affect trees. As they bend in the wind, the roots can be loosened. Any tree 2 inches in circumference or more should be secured after planting. Place the stake while the hole is yet to be filled; this will avoid the possibility of driving the stake through the roots. Fasten the stakes to the trees using an old garden hose with the wire laced through it; this will keep the wire from cutting into and damaging the tree.

© High Speed Ventures 2011