15 Best Trees for Landscaping Your Backyard

Landscaping your backyard can be a daunting task but with the right trees you can create a beautiful outdoor space. Learn about 15 best trees for any backyard including dogwood, saucer magnolia, sugar maple & more.

15 Best Trees for Landscaping Your Backyard

Landscaping your backyard can be a daunting task, but with the right trees, you can create a beautiful and inviting outdoor space. Trees provide shade, privacy, color, and interest in gardens of any size. When selecting the best trees for the backyard, it's important to choose trees that provide an elegant shape and attractive leaves with, if possible, beautiful flowers or fruit or fall foliage. The 15 best trees for any backyard include dogwood (Cornus), saucer magnolia (Magnolia x soulangeana), sugar maple (Acer saccharum), silver maple (Acer saccharinum), “green giant” arborvitae (thuya, “green giant”), weeping cherry (Prunus pendula), red oak (Quercus rubra), American holly (Ilex opaca), blue spruce trees (Picea pungens), Alberta dwarf spruce (Picea glauca 'Conica'), Lawson's evergreen cypress, sweet gum (Liquidambar styraciflua), deciduous magnolia 'Daybreak', river birch (Betula nigra), eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis), American marginal tree (Chionanthus virginicus), evergreen sweet bay magnolia (Magnolia virginiana), American low-crowned carp, thornless Hawthorne, small-leaved lime tree.

When thinking about choosing the best garden trees, one of the first questions you'll need to answer is whether you want a deciduous or evergreen variety. Deciduous trees are those that lose their leaves in the fall and winter months, while evergreens keep their foliage year-round. Deciduous trees can provide beautiful fall foliage and flowers in the springtime, while evergreens offer year-round color and privacy. It's important to check the descriptions and labels to ensure that the variety you choose meets what you need.

Consider the soil, traffic, sunlight, and water or drainage conditions of an area to determine which species might do best there. Then look at the specific habits of that tree or shrub, such as its growth expectations; the needs for sunlight, water and soil; and the fruiting or flowering habits. Combining these two things will give you optimal results for designing a school landscape. Native trees are some of the best trees for the backyard and they come in a variety of sizes. If you're looking for relatively small native trees for your backyard, consider the river birch (Betula nigra), the eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis), the American marginal tree (Chionanthus virginicus), or the evergreen sweet bay magnolia (Magnolia virginiana).The American carp has a slow growth rate of approximately 1 foot per year, but in its full size it can reach 20 to 40 feet tall and 20 to 30 feet wide.

This low-maintenance addition to your school's landscape design offers puffs of golden-yellow flowers in early July. The large, attractive seed pods then turn from pale green to brown and hang on the tree during the winter. The American low-crowned carp likes full sun and adapts easily to dry conditions or poor soils. With gray-brown bark and yellow-orange fall color, this multi-purpose tree adds shade and lower-growing vegetation to educational facilities in Northeast Ohio. Are you looking for all-season beauty products without painful thorns? Then the thornless Hawthorne meets the requirements. This easy-to-use variety is a specimen of a tree with dense foliage, so it can be used as a screen near a play area.

This tree brings white spring flowers, showy red fruits in early fall, and bright orange fall foliage in its mature 30-foot by 30-foot frame. Give this tree full sunlight and it will adapt well to all the landscape traffic on the school grounds generated by your site. The small-leaved lime tree has smaller leaves than other members of the lime tree family. This tree forms a tight pyramid with fragrant yellow flowers in early summer when few trees bloom. Its heart-shaped leaves are dark green during the growing season and turn bright yellow in the fall. It's also ideally sized for school grounds gardens, reaching just 50 feet tall at maturity with a 30-foot extension.

Give it full sun and it will tolerate the most difficult conditions such as pollution or drought. This popular shade tree is much appreciated for its fern-like leaf appearance which projects a delicate mottled tone. This tree offers green foliage during the growing season and then golden yellow in the fall bringing an upright and extended growth habit to your school's landscape design. This tall topped variety which grows up to 50 feet tall with a 50-foot spread is found high above the ground.

It also grows quickly in full sun and tolerates urban environments drought and even exposure to salt in winter. When landscaping your backyard with trees, it's important to choose wisely so that you get years of enjoyment from your outdoor space. With careful selection of species that meet your needs for shade, privacy, color, and interest you can create an inviting outdoor oasis that will last for years to come.