House to House: Best and Worst Trees for an Arkansas Yard
We had some beautiful weather here in central Arkansas last weekend and I was finally able to do some much needed yard work last weekend. During my fight against the weeds in the yard I started thinking about planting a tree or two. Last fall, two trees in my front yard died and were cut down. Now I’m trying to find some pretty ones to take their place. Since I don’t have the greenest thumb, I thought it would be best to do a little research on which trees are pretty and can sustain in my yard.
My go-to website for all home improvement information and ideas is www.houselogic.com. There, I found the 11 trees you should never plant in your yard and 9 that will boost your curb appeal. I’ll share a few of each with you, especially the ones that were surprising to see.
Trees you should steer clear of:
- Ash (Fraxinus) – Ash trees are sturdy and tough but they are threatened by the emerald ash borer, a tiny beetle that’s on track to wipe out the species. If you want something long-term, ash isn’t the way to go.
- Willow (Salix) – Willow trees are beautiful, but they have aggressive, water-hungry roots that interfere with drain fields, sewer lines and irrigation pipes. Not to mention the wood is weak and prone to cracking.
- Bradford Pear (Pyrus calleryana)- This one surprised me because I know plenty of people that have bradford pears in their yard, but according to HouseLogic, they are highly prone to splitting and cracking when they reach maturity. With as many storms as we see in Arkansas, it’s a risk to plant them, you never know when they’ll come falling down.
- Black Walnut (Juglans nigra) – This tree produces lots of shade but along with that shade, there’s pollen and fruit that you have to clean up in the fall. It also produces growth-inhibiting toxins that kill nearby plants.
Boost your curb appeal with these trees:
- Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia) – These might just be perfect for Arkansas, droughts and hot and sunny weather don’t bother them. They even bloom in the summer after most trees are done blooming. Just make sure you give them plenty of room to grow and prune them lighter than other trees.
- Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum) – The sugar maple can sustain in most soils and wide ranges of temperature. It’s a good replacement for ash or elm trees and their foliage is beautiful.
- Northern Red Oak (Quercus rubra) – Red oaks mature at 150 years old and can live to 300, so if you’re looking for long-term this is what you need. They provide lots of shade and their branches are very sturdy.
- Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana) – Red cedars can thrive in just about any soil and it loves sun. Not to mention, birds love them!
Local plant nurseries should be able to help you with what trees would work best for your needs. More of the best and worst trees to plant can be found at http://www.houselogic.com/ along with a wealth of other helpful information on how to boost your home’s curb appeal.
House to House is distributed weekly by the Arkansas REALTORS® Association. For more information on homeownership in Arkansas, readers may visit www.ArkansasRealtors.com.