By Paul Epsom
"By Paul Epsom from The Victory Garden
Posted on July 30, 2010
We're talking about planting trees in your yard. A wrongly planted tree can be a disaster and can end up costing you a small fortune.
When planting trees in your yard—first and foremost—make sure you have enough space. Those trees will grow and they need the room to do that.
Also, look around for potential obstacles like power lines. Any tree that gets taller than the power lines—usually about 20 feet or so—will likely be in the way and will need to be trimmed down, so I'd recommend going with a smaller tree.
One good choice is magnolia trees, they usually only end up getting to about 15 feet or so. I also like compact crabapples, they flower beautifully in the spring and have bright red fruit in the winter months.
Another fruiting tree that works well is the Hawthorne, not the English one, but some of the American varieties. Japanese Maples, some of the broad-leafed ones, are pretty, but can sometimes get too big. Purple Plums might not be as long lived as you want but they are certainly within the small tree range. Even one of my favorites—the Smoke Bush—can be trained up to a tree that is within that 15 feet as well.
In terms of Evergreens, there are lots of them out there. Blue Spruce is a good choice.
It is also important to realize that some shrubs can actually get quite large. Viburnums and some larger hydrangeas can easily be in that 10 to 12 foot range and certainly do a lot to fill a void.
Sign-up for WGBH Food & Wine updates, WGBH promotions, and previews of what's coming up on WGBH TV.