Steve Nix observes that "the number one reason people plant trees in their yard is that trees have become 'necessary to maintain a public image of the appropriate setting for single family houses.' (Schmid) There are social pressures to plant a tree in one's yard."
While I recognize the importance of increasing one's property value (with an eye to selling one's home, eventually), I still can't help but feel uncomfortable with such a reason for planting trees. I see a new tree as a (hopefully) long-term companion in my landscape. Consequently, I feel that I should be planting a tree because its qualities excite me.
As I finish transplanting a tree, tamping down the soil and watering to eliminate any air pockets, I want to be looking ahead to enjoying such qualities as:
Of course, you should, by all means, make a list of unacceptable qualities, too, before planting trees, so that you may obviate costly problems in the future by making sound decisions in the present. For example, About.com's Forestry Guide notes that many avoid planting the following trees as being too messy: