Helpful tips for designing a landscape with trees

Helpful tips for designing a landscape with trees
Dec 9, 2019

When it comes to landscaping at your Rock Valley or Sioux Center, Iowa home; one of the most popular choices of flora, are trees. By their design alone, trees are sustainable, good for the environment and for us (thank a tree every time you breathe), and go a long way in making your home’s outdoor space vibrant and inviting. Best of all, if you plan accordingly and plant the right tree in the ideal location, it will live a long and healthy life and truly become part of your home.

But landscaping with trees isn’t as easy as just digging a hole and plopping in, say, a flowering crab. The most enduring designs are diligently planned and include local climate and other environmental factors to ensure the highest visual and functional success.

Consider the following proven strategies for tree landscaping at your Rock Valley, Iowa back yard.

Don’t plant without a plan

Before turning over a single shovel-full of dirt, be sure you know what you want. This is the most important step in narrowing down the enormous range of choices you have with tree species. Here are some of the most popular incentives to landscape with trees:

Privacy—Trees are excellent options to create privacy screens, soften harsh-looking backgrounds, or conceal a fence. Speaking of fences, trees also last a lot longer and are far more affordable. Many fast-growing varieties also bring near-instant gratification.

Shade—If your yard becomes a furnace under the scorching summer sun, trees are the antidote. Choose a species with a broad canopy to protect you from the heat and other harsh elements. Large trees are highly effective in limiting heavy snowfall on your patio as well.

Habitat for the critters—There’s something special about watching birds and squirrels and other wildlife feeding and living in and among the trees. Best of all, you can choose trees and shrubs that are almost guaranteed to attract specific animal life at various times of the year.

Food source—How great is it to stroll into the yard and pluck food from your own tree? Apple trees love it here and many dwarf species will provide bounty in 3-5 years.

Choose the right tree

Keep the details in mind when selecting trees for your yard. Hardiness zone is of course a critical factor but also consider location and sun exposure. In regard to location, you have to channel your inner Nostradamus and envision how big the tree will be when full grown. For example, don’t plant maple with a 50-foot canopy if you only have 40 feet of yard space.

Sun requirements are also important to determine what type of tree is ideal for your site. Too much sun can scorch a tree’s leaves and too little can deprive of light needed for photosynthesis. If your house blocks a new tree from sunlight for most of the day, consider a shade-tolerant species or a different planting location.

For more information on outdoor landscape design with trees, contact Outdoor Elements at (712) 476-5299 or