Best Easy-to-Maintain Trees to Plant In Your Yard

Planting trees in your yard can beautify the overall landscape. The best trees to plant in your yard are fast-growing, low-maintenance, and do a good job of providing shade from the sun during the summer months.

Native trees have vibrant, unique leaves and colorful flowers that add uniqueness to your yard and make it visually appealing. These characteristics make them the best backyard trees you will ever find.

From American Sycamore to Red Maple trees, you have many options to choose from, which will complement the beauty of your outdoor flowers. However, you must also consider specific factors before deciding what are the best trees to plant in your yard.

American Sycamore

One of the best trees to plant in your yard is the American Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis), which requires a lot of space to grow. Due to its immense size, this tree provides excellent outdoor shade. The American Sycamore trees are usually 70 feet high and 50 feet wide.

This tree’s leaves are also large and contribute to cleaner air. In addition, they shield indoor spaces from direct sunlight exposure, leading to reduced energy bills during the summer. However, the leaves shed as cooler months of the year approach.

Sycamore Tree

The American Sycamore grows quickly and can handle many soil types during planting. It also easily adapts to total sun exposure, wet soil, and extreme droughts. This tree doesn’t require constant pruning or overfertilization, making it easy to plant and low-maintenance.

Platanus occidentalis is a native tree that symbolizes strength, with green leaves in the summer and yellow leaves in the fall. Its massive canopy allows property owners with big backyards to admire the beauty of this tree under its tough shade.

You can come across the following varieties of the Sycamore tree:

  • Mexican Sycamore Tree (Platanus mexicana)
  • California Sycamore Tree (Platanus racemosa)
  • Arizona Sycamore Tree (Platanus wrightii)
  • Old World Sycamore Tree (Platanus orientalis)
  • English Sycamore Tree (Platanus acerifolia)

Dogwood Tree

Dogwood trees (Cornus Florida) are ideal for front yard spaces due to their vibrant and inviting appearance. However, you can also enhance the beauty of your backyard by choosing a Dogwood Tree with white, pink, or red blooms.

Compared to the American Sycamore, Cornus Florida is 20 to 30 feet wide and tall, which makes it suitable for small backyards. This is one of the best trees to plant in your yard because it provides good shade during the afternoon hours but exposes the property to the sun in the morning.

Dogwood Tree

Dogwood trees can handle droughts and clay soil. But, they grow best in well-drained but moist soils and require regular pruning. These trees can hardly tolerate intense heat and salinity. Despite these factors, dogwood trees are easy to plant and maintain.

Since the flowers of these trees bloom fully during springtime, the species symbolizes rebirth or new life. Its flourishing indicates that the coldness and darkness of winter have passed and bring the freshness of spring to your backyard.

Choose one of the following dogwood tree types for your yard:

  • Kousa Dogwood Tree (Cornus kousa)
  • Bunchberry Tree (Cornus canadensis)
  • Cornelian Cherry Tree (Cornus mas)
  • Gray Dogwood Tree (Cornus racemosa)
  • Mountain Dogwood Tree (Cornus nuttallii)

Eastern Redbud

The Easter Redbud trees (Cercis Canadensis) are smaller, with colorful blooms with rose-to-purple hues in the summer and red-to-orange leaves in the fall. Similar to the Dogwood species, their width and height are 20-30 feet.

This native tree symbolizes hope. It needs much water to grow and can tolerate high salinity levels, shade, and clay soil. However, it shows the blooms fastest during spring in moist soil when planted in direct sunlight.

This tree type requires regular watering to retain the soil’s moisture and pruning to maintain the Eastern Redbud’s overall health. Besides ensuring the soil doesn’t get too dry, and the leaves don’t become too weak, you can easily care for this tree.

Easter Redbud Tree

The Eastern Redbud has many different species, including:

  • Forest Pansy Tree (Cercis canadensis)
  • Texas White Tree (Cercis texensis)
  • Western Redbud Tree (Cercis occidentalis)
  • Chain Flowered Redbud Tree (Cercis racemosa)
  • European Redbud Tree (Cercis siliquastrum)

Northern Red Oak

The best backyard trees are easily adaptable and fast-growing. One of them is the Northern Red Oak Tree (Quercus rubra). It has one of the fastest growth rates and can grow up to 75 feet in height and up to 45 feet in width. Thus, it offers excellent shade during sunny days.

This tree requires loamy, acidic, and well-drained soil to grow healthy and contribute to the overall beauty of your backyard. Known for its deep red leaves and nobility symbolism, the Quercus rubra is a native tree that can live for hundreds of years without requiring high-maintenance practices.

Species of this tree variety have fought many pests, diseases, abiotic stress, and fungi. However, the Northern Red Oak tree is strong enough to withstand droughts and air pollution while still remaining admirable.

Northern Red Oak Tree

Although this tree doesn’t need much care, there are a few things property owners should consider before planting it in their backyards. It requires direct sunlight exposure during the day and dry soil between waterings.

Are you ready to add the uniqueness of the Northern Red Oak tree to your outdoor space? If this is the case, make sure you don’t confuse it for the following similar varieties:

  • Cherry bark Oak Tree (Quercus pagoda)
  • Pin Oak Tree (Quercus palustris)
  • Scarlet Oak Tree (Quercus coccinea)
  • Shumard Oak Tree (Quercus shumardii)
  • Nuttall’s Oak Tree (Quercus texana)

Red Maple Tree

Still can’t decide what are the best trees to plant in your yard? You can never go wrong with a Red Maple Tree (Acer rubrum). This is the most unique tree on this list, with a fast growth rate, captivating red leaf color, and an appropriate size for larger backyards.

It can grow nearly 60 feet tall and almost 40 feet wide, perfect for partial shade in your yard. Although it looks best in autumn, the Red Maple Tree is also aesthetically pleasing during the warmer months of the year due to its vibrant red blooms.

Red Maple Tree

Droughts, wet soil, and air pollution cannot diminish its beauty. If properly planted, this tree is very easy to maintain. The Acer rubrum only needs well-drained and loamy soil to grow. You should avoid planting it in alkaline soil, as this decreases the vibrancy of the red color of the blooms.

To save your beautiful Red Maple Tree from dealing with pests and diseases, remove old branches. Apart from that, this tree doesn’t need immoderate pruning or heavy fertilization, especially if you planted it in highly fertile soil.

This tree is native, and it symbolizes peace. However, its species are not limited only to Red Maple. You can also find other similar varieties that are equally mesmerizing and low-maintenance. Here are a few of them:

  • Sugar Maple Tree (Acer saccharum)
  • Hybrid Maple Tree (Acer x. freemani)
  • Japanese Maple Tree (A. palmatum)

Things to Consider Before Choosing a Tree for Your Backyard

All trees on this list are eye-catching and may tempt you to run to the first local nursery and purchase one to plant in your outdoor space. However, check out these considerations before choosing the best trees to plant in your yard:

Planting Side Conditions

Despite needing enough space to grow in your backyard, your tree also requires good planting conditions. This includes the type of soil and area climate suitable for growing healthy and beautiful trees.

Type of Soil

A well-drained, highly nutrient soil is perfect for planting trees. This type of soil is often referred to as loamy, and it does a great job of holding water and supporting healthy tree growth.

Area Climate

Besides the type of soil, the humidity level in the air may also influence how a tree you have planted grows. Trees need direct sunlight to grow faster and healthier. They also require enough humidity to speed up the photosynthesis process.

Tree Function

You may have many tree ideas for backyard enhancement. But have you determined the purpose of planting the tree? While most people plant trees in their backyards to provide shade, you may prioritize adding colorful flowers and beautiful foliage in your outdoor space.

Maintenance Requirements

Most trees may need more maintenance, like regular watering, in the first few years after planting. But, after they grow big, they retain their beauty independently. So, examine the species of the trees you want to plant to ensure they are easy to maintain.