A patio is considered a valuable outdoor living space in addition to your home or business structure that provides an area for enjoying the outdoors.
An array of the right trees on your patio landscaping will provide extra shade and a cooler environment during summer. Talk about the comfort and calm that natural beauty brings.
In addition to the comfort that trees can give you and your guests, you are showing support to the 1990 Clean Air Act which recommends planting trees in locations around your home to help clean the air.
Landscaping architects also include trees in their designing awesome to support sustainable landscaping through energy conservation. Utilizing trees in landscaping lowers a home or business establishment’s heating or cooling costs by as much as 50 percent in the summer and up to 8 percent in the winter.
You can positively do much for the environment when you incorporate trees in your patio landscaping for your home or commercial space aside from the added value and curb appeal that it brings to your property.
Selecting the Right Trees for Outdoor Spaces like your Patio and Front Yard
Trees grow more beautiful as the ages pass, but others have the potential to create trouble, too. In selecting the right trees for your patio and front yard, consider important factors so that you get the best combination of benefits you and your guests will enjoy.
When in doubt choosing from hundreds of types of trees in America, contact a professional landscape contractor in your area, while considering these factors:
Physical Traits of the Tree
- Height. Think about how the tree will impact the view or other plants and structures when it grows to its full size.
- Width. Similar to the impact of a tree’s height, the full-grown width of a tree can provide ample shade but can also impact your view.
- Canopy. Know what the canopy of your tree will be like because it may conflict with other outdoor space functions.
- Debris. Trees come with certain droppings like pods, fruits, nuts, slender branches, and leaves and they can be messy. These are useful considerations where you will place your trees.
Your selection process should answer the question: “Why do I want a tree?” Think seriously about whether you want a tree in your landscape for shade, privacy, as an ornament, or for whatever other reason.
This will have much bearing on the type of tree that would serve its best function for your landscape.
Hardwood trees live longer but grow slower. Softwoods don’t live as long but are fast-growing and establish shade and have flowers relatively faster.
Here are trees that typically grow faster than the average while they add quick curb appeal, shade, or privacy:
- Hybrid Poplar
- Weeping Willow
- Quaking Aspen
- October Glory Red Maple
- Arborvitae Green Giant
- River Birch
- Dawn Redwood
- Leyland Cypress
- Paper Birch
- Pin Oak
Deciduous or Evergreen?
Deciduous trees are bare all winter because they lose all their leaves in the fall but give a final show of beautiful colors before they drop.
Evergreen trees show lush green leaves all throughout the seasons. Some have broad leaves like southern magnolia and others have needle-like foliage like the pine varieties.
Other Tree Classifications
- HARDINESS – a critical requirement that determines the tree’s survival in the yard. Take a look at the hardy fast-growing trees recommended to grow in New Orleans:
- American Elder
- Crapemyrtle (Crape Myrtle)
- Elberta Peach
- Hybrid Poplar
- Kieffer Pear
- Leyland Cypress
- Loblolly Pine
- Princeton Elm
- Red Rocket Crapemyrtle
- Silver Maple
- Tuscarora Crapemyrtle
For all the above trees, you may check gardenology.org for the specific growth characteristics, cultivation and propagation practices, pests and diseases, and varieties of each tree.
- TOLERANCE TO TYPICAL URBAN CONDITIONS – atmospheric pollutants, compacted soil, poor drainage, and night lighting can affect the proper growth and development of a tree. Consider varieties that do best in this kind of environment especially for business establishments along the highway:
- Norway maple
- Washington hawthorn
- Honey Locust
- Sweet gum
- CONTAINER TREES – with limited space on your patio, you may want to select trees that can thrive well when planted in containers. Bear in mind these important factors:
- Available light or amount of full sun
- Overall height and width of the tree
- “F” attributes: Flowers, Fruit, Foliage Color, Fragrance
- Water and soil requirements
- Droppings of the tree like seeds, flowers, fruits, and leaves
- Special needs like fertilizers and pruning
These container trees can also be pruned into tree forms because many of them are grown as bushes. Nowadays, these shrubs and bushes can be planted in containers to create a “standard” tree:
- Patio Rose Tree
- Hibiscus – Tropical Variety
- Hibiscus – Rose of Sharon
- Bougainvillea Tree
- Fuchsia Tree
- Brunfelsia – Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow
- Jatropha Integerrima
- Citrus – Lemons, Calamondin, Limes
- Japanese Maple
- Crape Myrtle
- Olive Tree
Tree Placement in your Home and Commercial Landscaping
Blending the right landscape design with planting techniques will increase the lifespan of a tree where it is well established and will thrive. Successful planting and establishment of trees in your landscape need attention in five areas:
- Functional design
- Plant Selection
- Pre-plant handling
- Planting techniques
- Post-planting care
Trees are the major plant structures in a landscape and they give architectural form and organization to your space. It is important that there is adequate growing and rooting space for every tree you include in your landscape design.
Tree placement will determine how you will enjoy the benefits of landscape trees like shading, solar heating, summer cooling, ceiling effect, frame and mask views, noise abatement, and other environmental benefits.
For example, trees can be placed as close as possible to the house walls to provide efficient shading during summer while providing solar heating during winter. However, experts suggest the complete absence of trees near the south side because passive solar heating is sensitive to shading.
Practical and Aesthetic Landscaping with Trees
A worthy goal for landscaping is how you use elements like trees to their practical and aesthetic advantage.
The quality of your physical surroundings at home and your business has a real and profound impact on a person’s attitude and performance as well as their enjoyment of the place according to the American Society of Landscape Architects.
You can definitely improve your, your guests’ and employees’ quality of life by integrating trees to beautify and define your home and business outdoor space.