Popular Trees for Landscaping

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Crape myrtle trees are one of the most popular trees in the United States.
Crape myrtle trees are one of the most popular trees in the United States.

Popular landscaping trees are versatile, adaptable and provide fashionable accents to any lawn or garden. When purchasing a tree for your lawn, it is important to know which trees are best for your climate, soil type and area size. Many of the most popular trees do not take up much space; however, bigger land areas may benefit from a larger tree size. Before choosing a tree, consult your local gardening expert and have your soil tested.

  1. Mimosa Tree

    • The mimosa tree, also known as the silk tree, has over 100 species native to Asia, Africa or Australia. It grows up to 35 feet high and has multiple trunks. The puffy, pinkish-white flowers resemble silky pom-poms. They blossom in mid-summer and have a sweet fragrance that appeals to honey bees. The canopy, with its feathery, frond-like leaves, extends like an airy umbrella.

      It performs best in full sun, but tolerates partial shade. It is drought tolerant and grows in most soil conditions, including alkaline soils. It is a popular tree in the southeastern United States and has been cultivated in this area since the 18th century. Its versatility and adaptability are reasons for its popularity. Because of the light shade it provides, it does not block out the sun as other shade trees might. This makes it a popular choice for use in landscaping with lawns.

    Common Juniper

    • The common juniper was first cultivated in 1560, according to the experts at Rook. It is one of the most widely distributed trees in the world. It can be found in North America, Greenland, Iceland and parts of Europe. The tree either grows as a low, creeping shrub or as a tall, columnar tree. It is a popular landscaping tree, and provides ground cover where needed. Cultivated for height, it provides privacy or shape where needed.

      The berries of the common juniper are blue. This is the berry that gives gin its flavor. It performs best in dry, rocky slope areas but will grow in a variety of soil types, including acidic and calcareous sands, loams or marls. The tree is slow-growing, so it is best to plant bare rootstock rather than starting from seed.

    Southern Magnolia

    • According to Floridata, southern magnolia, or Magnolia grandiflora, is one of the most popular landscape trees in the southern United States. According to Texas Forest Service, the southern magnolia is one of the most ancient flowering plants -- extending back more than 130 million years. It thrives in heavy, well-drained soil and prefers the banks of rivers, the edges of swamps and other moist areas. It is cultivated extensively outside of its native area due to its large, fragrant white flowers.

      The southern magnolia is large, growing to heights of between 60 to 90 feet. The tree is an evergreen, with large waxy green leaves and thick, creamy flowers. The flowers are cup-shaped, with measurement of 6 to 8 inches wide. The leaves are a rich green with a glossy texture. When the tree is fully mature, its shade is extensive.

    Crape Myrtle

    • The crape myrtle is a common sight throughout the warmer regions of the United States. It produces flowers in the summer but also holds up well in winter months. It is native to China and Korea, but has been cultivated in the United States since 1747. The tree comes in many varieties, but none grow above 25 feet high. Home owners use this small tree as part front lawn landscaping, and cities plant them along streets for a dash of color.

      The flowers are thin and bloom in bunches. Some specimens have single trunks. Others have several trunks that branch out close to the ground. Smaller varieties more closely resemble shrubs than trees. They grow well without much fertilizer and can tolerate a variety of soil types, another reason why the tree is a popular landscaping choice.

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  • Photo Credit white crape myrtle image by tomcat2170 from Fotolia.com

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