The Best Trees for a Front Yard
The best trees for the front yard should be determined by the size of your property. If you have a small yard, small trees--25 feet high and under--are best. If you have a large front yard, choose larger trees. Small trees also complement one-story homes, while taller trees are better for two- and three-story houses. Depending on your location and preferences, you can choose deciduous trees or conifers.
The average urban lot is about 5,000 square feet or 1/8 of an acre, according to Washington State University. The front of the lot that abuts the street is often narrow--an average of 50 feet. After adding the driveway, a walkway to the front door, and a sidewalk easement, there isn't much front yard left to work with. You would like a tree, but you want a tree that does not block the view of your home, and you do not want a tree that overhangs the neighbor's yard. Other considerations include the amount of sunlight available. The Japanese maple, weeping Alaska cedar, yew, mountain hemlock and flowering dogwood are small trees that work well in smaller front yards.
A flowering deciduous tree gives the landscape different looks throughout the year. In the spring, after budding, the tree blooms with flowers. During the fall, the leaves of most deciduous trees, especially maples, provide additional color to the landscape. In the winter, the bare branches form their own structural beauty. Another benefit of small deciduous trees is that the bare branches can be decorated during the winter holiday season. The fall leaves provide material for homeowners who make their own compost.
Conifers are evergreens, and they provide color throughout the year. Conifers that grow tall and narrow are perfect for smaller yards. Conifers that are bushier and larger in girth are best for larger yards. During the winter holiday season, conifers can be easily decorated. They also provide year-round food and shelter for wildlife. The pine cones contain seeds that many wild animals eat. Coniferous trees such as Japanese cedar, Rocky Mountain juniper, arborvitae and false cypress are also good to use for privacy hedges. A privacy hedge can be planted along boundary lines or along the sidewalk.