One of nature’s most beautiful and practical creations is trees. They not only provide much-needed shade on your property but also protect gardens against forceful winds and enrich our atmosphere with oxygen. If you have a garden, you’ve wondered if adding a tree would be a welcome addition or cause harm to your budding crops. The answer to this question depends on a variety of factors, including the type of plants you’re growing, soil, region, and space.

You also have to decide the purpose of your new trees and whether you want to grow from seedlings or purchase a younger tree to transplant. The latter can be a costly option which is why many garden enthusiasts turn to a plant and tree nursery to supply any necessary seedlings and saplings for their growing space.

Whatever approach you choose, make sure to do your research first! Below are some trees you might consider planting in your garden to increase soil health, provide needed shade, and a touch of beauty:


This popular tree is a common sight in many backyard garden areas. Their gentle hues of red, pink, and white blossoms create a beautiful contrast to the horizon. Dogwoods are also quite hardy and can adapt to most climates they’re placed in, just make sure to pay attention to planting season recommendations for this species to maximize growth.


If you love waxy leaves and don’t mind cones, a species of magnolia is a great option for a larger backyard garden space. However, if you love magnolias but need a bigger area for them to grow, there are smaller options available for ornamental garden zones.


For some gardeners, adding a mix of fruit plants and trees makes for a great variety while still meeting important shade requirements. Peach trees are great if you want an option that serves as more than an ornament in your garden. While it isn’t a requirement that you live in the Southern regions of the U.S. for this tree to survive, it’s important to be aware of any special climate and soil requirements to help it thrive.


Trees aren’t all about shade and soil enrichment. Some come with a natural scent during the Spring that came your garden smell divine and creates a relaxing environment while you weed. Serviceberry trees are one such option, but instead of a single tall trunk, this grows more like a shrub with many branches that hold white blossoms. The berries are a great distraction for foragers, and you can make your own jellies with this fruit!

Silver Birch

Have you ever admired the stark winter landscapes in oil paintings with shiny bright white trees in the background? You were probably seeing a Silver birch in that artwork, and these trees are famous for their bright trunks and peeling bark that keeps them looking gorgeous year-round.

Weeping Cherry

Much like Japanese Maples, Weeping Cherry trees are prized for their ornamental value. If you like the look of larger willow trees and how their branches bow down toward the ground, you’ll love the similar aesthetic of this species! These bloom in the spring, adding a splash of pink blossoms to your garden’s look.

Crab Apple

If you need help keeping birds away from your garden plants, consider planting a crab apple tree nearby. The fruit from this tree is a favorite of foraging animals. Plus, it adds a timeless aesthetic to your growing space. Live in a cold climate? No problem! This tree adapts well to Northern winters.

Seven-Son Flower

Another multi-branch tree that is growing in popularity among gardeners is the Seven-Son Flower tree. It’s a stunning arbor that offers fragrant blossoms which attract pollinators to your growing area. It maintains its beauty year-round and sheds its bark, offering additional composting options to enrich your soil.

Crepe Myrtle

If you live in warmer climes, consider the Crepe Myrtle, an icon of Southern landscapes. Its leaves have a glossy appearance against its darkly-hued bark. In the fall, its leaves burst with color, and in Spring, it yields a flowery halo. The shade of these blossoms will depend on the species you purchase, as will its size. These trees come in a wide range of options, so be sure to speak with a knowledgeable arborist before purchasing.

Japanese Maple

If you own a small backyard garden in a suburban area, you can’t plant a towering oak or walnut tree alongside it! Fortunately, smaller ornamental trees like the Japanese maple can add year-round beauty without crowding out your crops. In addition, because they don’t lose their foliage in the winter, you can enjoy a wide variety of colorations throughout the year as seasons change.

Ready to Add a Tree to Your Garden?

As you can see, there are a great many tree types that are beneficial to a backyard garden, and because of the variety, there’s an option for every garden size. Remember to plan ahead before impulsively buying one, however.

Remember what purpose your new tree will serve as part of your garden. For example, if you want birds to keep away from your tomato plants, you might want a fruit-bearing species to attract them. Need to increase the natural pollination of your crops? Plant a Dogwood or Seven-Flower Son to attract more bees.

Also, consider carefully whether you want to spend money on a young tree you can transplant or grow from seed. It takes little effort to start your own tree and plant nursery, which could provide significant savings in the long run.


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