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Posted in: Homesteaders

Plant Trees in Your Yard Like a Pro with This Guide

Create a beautiful landscape and plant these 6 kinds of trees that will support wildlife, contribute to the environment, and build a permanent food-producing sanctuary in your yard this year.

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Permaculture teaches us that plants and trees are capable of growing just about anywhere and in any climate—and once they’re there, they can take care of themselves, requiring little to no maintenance. With the suitable trees planted in your yard, you’ll never have to go outside and water them—they’ll be able to rain-water themselves or pull up moisture from the ground instead. So if you want to spend less time watering and more time enjoying your outdoors, keep reading to find out which trees you need to plant in your yard this year!

This post is all about the six types of trees that you should plant in your yard this year.

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Plant These 6 Types of Trees

As the weather warms up and spring sets in, now’s the perfect time to plant fruit trees in your yard or garden! Whether you choose to grow them from seed or purchase them as saplings, these ten fruit trees will provide you with delicious, and natural summertime treats like apples, cherries, and lemons. If you want to add these trees to your yard or garden but don’t know where to start, here are the six types of trees that we recommend to help you get started on this fun and rewarding project!

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Why You Should Plant Trees in Your Yard

Trees have a powerful impact on everything from air quality to rainwater management and are essential members of any permaculture system. In short, they make for a healthier environment.

They provide a space for recreation and entertainment, including things like swings, tree houses, and trampolines. They also increase property value by creating unique curb appeal.

More importantly, if you’re interested in sustainable living, keeping a few trees around can be incredibly beneficial to your health and well-being. Fruit-bearing trees are perfect because they require minimal effort on your part.

There are many reasons to get some fruit trees planted in your yard. Not only do they offer excellent shade, but some of them also produce delicious fruits!

For example, apple and pear trees will give off fruit as a sustainable food source for many years to come. Peach trees produce enormous amounts of delicious peaches.

Plum and cherry trees are rich in polyphenols and can be preserved in many ways for year round use.

100+ Backyard Projects for Self-Sufficient Homesteading

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The Permaculture Approach to Planting Trees

Permaculture is a branch of ecological design and engineering which seeks to create self-sustaining human environments. It is a farming method that works in sync with nature.

With permaculture in mind, trees are best known for their fruit. Similarly, they add nutrients to the soil, mitigate climate change, reduce air pollution, and work well as windbreaks and barriers. 

Gardeners who embrace permaculture focus on perennials—trees and shrubs. Fruit-bearing plants are some of the best choices for your backyard orchard. Hence, they provide a sustainable food source while improving soil quality and supporting local wildlife (especially pollinators).

From apples and pears to peaches and plums, plenty of options are easy on space but big on productivity!

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Which Trees Should You Plant in Your Landscape?

There are many different trees for your landscape, each bringing a different look and utility. When planning out which ones will be best for your space, consider what you want from them and how much time, money, and care they’ll require.

Types of Trees to Consider for Your Yard

  1. Native Trees
  2. Nut Trees
  3. Fruit Trees
  4. Shade Trees
  5. Ornamental Trees
  6. Privacy Trees
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1. Plant Native Trees

It is best to start with trees that are indigenous to your area. They are adapted to the climate and will thrive. That means more pest resistance and less work for you to do.

Before you buy or plant any trees, first make sure it is not invasive.

By planting trees that are native to your region, you are promoting health within the surrounding ecosystem. These trees provide homes and food for wildlife of all kinds. Of course, without native trees, bird and butterfly populations would disappear. Try this guide to find the perfect trees native to your area.

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pecan trees

2. Plant Nut Trees

So long as you have the space, you can’t go wrong planting a few nut trees! We live in the southern United States, so the most popular nut trees are pecans and black walnut.

Did you know that pecan trees are the only native nut tree in the USA?

The pecan trees we have on our property bring us so much joy. They taste amazing and we save so much money. Also, I know that no pesticides have been sprayed on those trees!

The benefit of nuts are endless. They can be used to make all kinds of foods and nut milks. They provide lots of healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and protein. Not to mention, the store well!

Wonderful Edible Nut Trees

  • Pecan
  • Almond
  • Walnut
  • Hickory
  • Hazelnut
  • Chestnut
  • Beech
  • Sweet Acorn

If you’re looking for a permaculture project, consider planting nut trees. Tree crops like pecans and walnuts require minimal intervention from humans once established and can grow in a range of soil types.

They also are highly productive. On top of these benefits, nut trees have an aesthetic appeal: most will bear beautiful fruit or gorgeous foliage, making them excellent landscape additions.

If a food crop is what you have in mind, choose a nut tree. Hazelnuts (Corylus), pecans (Carya illinoinensis), black walnuts (Juglans nigra), and hickories (Carya) produce nuts that offer substantial benefits.

Nut tree saplings are relatively easy to find at local nurseries and big box stores, but plant these with care since they can be susceptible to root rot if too much water settles around their roots.

Did you know? On average a pecan will begin producing nuts around 3-4 years after it’s been planted. However, these trees can produce for a hundred or more years!

Use this quick garden companion planting reference to save time!

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apple trees

3. Plant Fruit Trees

Not all nut trees are grown for their nuts. Like mulberries and pawpaws, some of them are used more as shade and ornamental plants than for their fruit, but these species still provide year-round structure to an otherwise spotty yard.

And whether or not they bear fruit, many of these ten nut trees can be invasive, so keep that in mind before you plant them.

Fruit-bearing plants are an excellent investment for any property. Likewise, not only do they beautify your landscape and add value to your home, but they also help purify air and water, among other benefits.

When choosing which type of fruit tree(s) will be right for you, think about where on your property would best accommodate each one, how much sunlight it will receive (or how much shade), how much time and effort you’re willing to invest in its upkeep, etc.

If you’re lucky enough to have a big backyard, consider planting a fruit tree or two. More importantly, it will it be fun and educational for your kids. Not to mention, having fresh fruit on hand is convenient and healthy!

Otherwise, consider starting small with a dwarf citrus tree like a kumquat or lemon. They require less maintenance than other types of trees and provide tasty, bright-colored treats all year long.

Types of Fruit Trees to Plant

Not all nut trees are grown for their nuts. Like mulberries and pawpaws, some of them are used more as shade and ornamental plants than for their fruit, but these species still provide year-round structure to an otherwise spotty yard.

Opt for dwarf, shallow-rooted varieties that can be grown in pots and smaller spaces.

  • Apple
  • Peach
  • Jujube
  • Medlar
  • Cherry
  • Plum
  • Nectarine
  • Pawpaw
  • Persimmon
  • Apricot
  • Pluot
  • Quince

4. Plant Shade Trees

If you have a spot, consider planting a shade tree. There are so many options. Imagine your children or grandchildren climbing it one day!

Southern Shade Trees

  1. Live Oak
  2. Pin Oak
  3. White Oak
  4. Post Oak
  5. Magnolia
  6. Beech
  7. English Walnut
  8. Tulip Poplar

Northern Shade Trees

  1. Ash
  2. Beech
  3. Birch
  4. Sugar
  5. Oak
  6. Willows
list of trees to plant

Midwestern Shade Trees

  1. White Oak
  2. Chestnut
  3. Sugar Maple
  4. American Hop-Hornbeam

Deciduous broadleaf trees make up much of our forests, and they tend to be shade-tolerant species.

Desert Shade Trees

  1. Oak
  2. Ash
  3. Honey Mesquite
  4. American Elm
prettiest trees to plant

5. Plant Ornamental Trees

Ornamental trees offer a variety of benefits, including adding structure and color and removing air pollutants. But, we love them for their beauty!

Try adding two or three different trees into your landscape that provide a pop of color and interest to the space.

There are plenty of popular ornamental tree options; however, here are ten ornamental species that will dazzle your landscape!

The Prettiest Trees for Your Yard

  1. Eastern Redbud
  2. Crepe Myrtle
  3. Lilac
  4. Dogwood
  5. Magnolia
  6. Hydrangea Tree
  7. Jacaranda

This is a great book to read as you plan your landscape!!- Tara

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6. The Best Trees to Plant for Privacy

We love the look of a nice lush evergreen in the yard! There are several varieties available in all gardening zones.

From adding texture and interest to creating a wall of privacy or protection from the wind, an evergreen is a safe bet.

Trees for Privacy

  • Arborvitae (Thuja sp., Emerald Green)
  • Cypress (Leyland, Arizona, Lawson)
  • Juniper
  • Spruce
  • Hemlock
  • Holly (American Holly produces a tall hedge)
  • Pine

Plant a few of these around the front garden for interest and curb appeal. Plant thuja with a holly for a beautiful privacy fence.

Evergreens are very low-maintenance once established. Also, planting new trees on your property will bring people joy for years to come.

Planting trees has so many benefits to the ecosystem, your health, and your property value. I recommend planting trees even if you don’t intend to live in your home forever, because they add so much curb appeal and value to the home.

So, go ahead -reduce your carbon footprint and plant trees!

This tree pruning kit from Amazon has everything you need to keep your trees healthy and shapely. Pro-tip: Sterilize the tools before using and in between trees in order to prevent spreading any diseases between trees. I use a solution of 1:8 bleach to water. – Tara

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In conclusion, planting trees will give your home a facelift and increase the biodiversity around you. The post was all about the 6 types of trees you need to plant in your yard this year.


Learn About Sustainability

Knowing your food and taking responsibility for how it is produced is the best way to make a positive ecological impact.

You are reducing waste and resources while relying less on conventional agriculture and its use of pesticides and herbicides like glyphosate.

Most importantly, you will be eating the healthiest way possible!

Find out how to be more self-sufficient by gardening for sustainability.

Are you on a journey to be more self-sufficient?

Have you checked these essential gardening components off the list, yet? I would love to hear how it is going! Let me know about how gardening for self-sufficiency is working for you and your tribe by commenting below.

Improve your gardening skills, learn new ones, and find the best gardening inspiration!

Gardening is a great way to become healthier, more sustainable, and self-sufficient!

Discover amazing ideas you cannot live without! Whether you are an aspiring gardener, a beginner, or well-seasoned, you will find some awesome inspiration below.

Just how important is learning how to grow your own food? Read why Staying healthy depends on whether we take steps towards a more sustainable lifestyle or not.

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Comment (1) on "Plant Trees in Your Yard Like a Pro with This Guide"

  1. Bradford Pear trees are invasive and not a good tree structurally, smells terrible in bloom and is pushing out native plants that provide sustenance and shelter to the pollinators, birds, animals that have co-evolved together. It is an ecological disaster.

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