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Readers Respond: Best Trees to Plant?

Responses: 30

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From the article: Top 10 Landscape Trees

Earlier, I asked you what your favorite small trees were. Now, let me ask a broader question: What are the best trees, overall (regardless of size) that you can plant in your yard? The best trees excel in function and/or form. For example, some of the best trees function as shade trees or as windbreaks. But others may be purely ornamental. Indeed, to warrant "best tree" status, showiness is a must for some of us, who may even demand multi-season beauty (e.g., spring flowers, fall berries). Other folks will be content to rely on the constancy of evergreens or to wait for the spectacle that the maples put on each fall. Tell Us Your Favorites

A Favorite for Sentimental Reasons

Chinkapin Tree. I am 77 yrs old now but when I was a child growing up between the Depression and during WWII, all candy [drinks, snacks, etc.] was banned from stores, so as a child we had to improvise for our snacks The Chinkapin nut was our only choice of nuts. All peanuts went to the government for our military. We were always getting into trouble over these nuts. We could only find one tree in Central East Texas but it was large and supplied everyone plenty of nuts to eat. They were and are delicious (I don’t remember where the tree was). I agree that it is one the most overlooked nuts to grow. The other favorite was the sugar cane. Every boy had a knife just to cut the cane and play mumbletypeg. Very good old days and would love to live them over, even without television and all the new “stuff” today.
—Guest John Eady

Favorite: Pink-Flowered Cassia Javanica

I always look forward to the month of January to see the pink cover of my Cassia javanica (some call it Senna Javanica or Java Cassia).
—Guest Guest Alphonso

Tulip Trees

The most beautiful tree you could plant is a poplar tulip tree that grows upwards of 90 feet and straight as an arrow. During the blooming season you will see the most beautiful yellow flowers from top to bottom, and the most beautiful sight anyone could ever see. The leaves are much larger than a maple tree leaf and seems to stay greener longer than other leaves in the fall, although last year it seemed to be the first to show autumn colors. It is a fast growing hardwood tree and with the most beautiful flowers you could ever see in a tree. Look it up on search (tulip tree) and see the flowers from this tree, you will want one for sure. It is supposedly a shade tree, but mine is exposed to full sun, but perhaps it is meant that it will block the sun and give you shade, and not that it grows only in the shade.
—Guest ART NADEAU

Chinese Fringe Tree

I love my Chinese Fringe tree! It blankets itself in beautiful white flowers that have a wonderfully sweet vanilla aroma. The foliage lasts a long time, as well -- it kept its leaves long after my maples, oaks, and ashes had dropped theirs. The wonderfully compact size makes it perfect for both small and large yards; it's the perfect tree!
—Guest Alabama Baby

Best Trees for Warm Climates

Start with a Royal Poinciana, then a white orchid. Jacarandas, retamas, and golden huisaches offer incredible colors as well.
—Guest David Dierlam

Best Trees to Plant

I'll nominate Italian cypress. It grows 60-80 feet tall and 3 feet wide. It looks good planted in a row, and it tolerates cold down to 10 degrees Fahrenheit.
—Guest thomas

Bloodgood Red Japanese Maple Tree

This is my favorite tree, because it has beautiful red and green colored leaves all seasons and it never outgrows itself. Wonderful landscaping tree that just keeps looking better year after year. Love it!
—t10002

My Dawn Redwood Tree in Hanover Park, IL

I planted my dawn redwood tree in October of 2010. This was a bad summer for Illinois, with temperatures close to 100F and very little rain. But, with soil testing, watering every four days and wood chips at her base - our Dawn Redwood has survived and grown another 3 feet this past year. I've had several people ask me about her. She's the only tree (there are 3) in the Sequoia Family that can grow in the Midwest (inland). She likes when the sun goes down for me to mist her as well as keep her watered during drought. Our water bill has shot up but it's worth it. Now that the weather is turning cooler she is recovered from the high, dry summer here in Illinois.
—Guest BigTrees4ever

Best Tree Is Saucer Magnolia

I like saucer magnolia tree. It has flowers in spring and gives shade thereafter.
—orchidmd

Favorite Tree Is Chinese Pistache

One of my favorite trees is the Chinese Pistache. It is a little awkward when young, but give it a few years and its perfect rounded umbrella form will "knock your socks off." It is also extremely disease and insect resistant. The wood is very hard and resists wind and ice damage. It turns beautiful shades of red, orange, and yellow in the fall. And it is one of the first Texas Superstars. It is just an all-around great tree.
—Guest Tim

So unique!

I have many trees. My two corkscrew willows take my breath away especially when there's a breeze. The twisted branches make great displays.
—Guest Nana

Goldenshower Best Tree

Cassia fistula or goldenshower is my favorite tree. It is blooming at the end of spring and full of flowers when there are no leaves. It has medicinal use also.
—Guest Sharaf Malik

Yellow Flowering Specimens the Best Tree

Any yellow flowering tree, but I would like to see pictures of Caribbean trees.
—Guest cintra

Best Tree

Hemlock is my favorite as it is so clean, graceful or formal (clipped). Birds love it, so I have 100 on my small plot.
—Guest George

Best Trees

It is hard to pick just one tree, but the bur oak is one of my favorites because it is a great shade tree, has large leaves and acorns. The leaves are great for composting when they fall. The deer, squirrels and other animals enjoy the large acorns. However, I like all trees, other than 'trash' trees.
—Guest Gracie

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