Planting trees near your home gives you an attractive display and lower cooling costs, thanks to their ability to conserve energy by providing shade. However, large trees planted too close to a house can interfere with overhead and underground utility lines, and they may fall over in bad weather. When selecting trees for your landscape, choose small- or medium-sized trees that are more suitable to plant near a house.
The eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis) produces red or pink flowers in early spring before the heart-shaped leaves appear. It grows quickly in acidic soil and reaches a maximum 25 feet tall and 15 feet wide when located in full sun. For areas with alkaline soil, purchase the Mexican redbud, Texas redbud or Oklahoma redbud. In the fall, the redbud's leaves turn a bright yellow.
Dogwood (Cornus florida) trees grow to 25 feet and produce white bracts in the spring before leaves appear. They are an outstanding landscape tree and attract birds and other wildlife. They grow best in acidic or rich garden soil. Dogwood leaves turn dark red in the fall, and the tree's bright red berries attract birds over the fall and winter.
Little Gem Magnolia
The Little Gem magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora "Little Gem") is a dwarf magnolia tree with all the attributes of a standard-size magnolia but that only grows to 20 feet. It produces large, white sweet-smelling blooms and broad evergreen leaves similar to the standard magnolia. The Little Gem flowers at an earlier age than the larger variety.
The Japanes maple (Acer palmatum) has red or dark-green feathery foliage and only grows to about 12 feet with an 8-foot spread. It prefers bright shade and moist rich garden soil. Its leaves turn brilliant red in the fall.
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