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Lawn & Garden

Ingar’s Top 10 Trees for a Landscape in the South.

Each tree on my list has its own individual purpose and function in a landscape. Although each of these trees are different, they have made the list due to things like size, disease resistance, insect resistance, brilliant fall color and faster growth rate. These trees are also different than my “favorite trees of all times” list. These trees present well in a landscape and will not necessarily get so large as to kill the lawn or impede the view.

Japanese maple

With so many color and texture options available with these trees, the possibilities are endless. Japanese maples are known for their beautiful colors and textures. They are a slow to moderate growing, medium sized deciduous tree that will become the primary focal point in any landscape. The lace leaf Japanese maple (dissectum atropurpureum) is also a brilliant, lower growing option, for smaller spaces.



Not many trees define the south more than the dogwood tree. It is a great addition to a landscape, as a specimen tree that blooms red, pink or white. This deciduous tree can also be included into a landscape to provide a natural, less landscaped look. This tree prefers full to partial sun but grows native in the woods, under the canopy of large hardwoods, on shady hills.


Crape Myrtle

Perhaps the fastest grower in the bunch, the crape myrtle is unmistakable in the summer when it starts blooming. This medium size tree is very adaptable and prefers full sun and well-drained soil. This tree is also the highest maintenance tree in the bunch and requires pruning periodically. Coming in all different color pinks, reds, purples, lavenders and white, this tree will fit into any landscape. These trees grow 20 to 30 foot tall but also come in dwarf and semi-dwarf varieties.


Red Maple

This is a great shade tree and one of the bigger ones on the list, getting up to 75 feet tall. It is great at producing shade and has amazing fall colors. Varieties like Autumn Blaze or October Glory are guaranteed to put on quite a show. This tree is a quick grower and does not get the dead wood in it like the silver maple does.


Okame cherry

The Okame cherry is one of the most delicate looking of all the cherries. It has an upright, vase shape and will not shade a lawn, killing grass nearly as bad as Kwanzan or Yoshino cherries. It is one of the first trees to bloom in the spring and also has a beautiful, showy purplish bark to go with its delicate pink flowers. Okame will not get as big and wide as other cherries and makes a great addition to the landscape.


Deodar Cedar

This beautiful pyramid shaped evergreen has great drought resistance and has brilliant silver and green color. It is a relatively fast grower, making it ideal for a screen.  This trees brilliance makes it a great focal point in any landscape. Its toughness and ability to grow just about anywhere also makes it a must have for the yard. This tree also requires no maintenance once it is planted, other than watering.


Green Giant arborvitae

In a time where Leyland cypress have been overused like Bradford pears, The Green Giant  arborvitae is a fresh alternative to the Leyland with less potential problems down the road. Leyland was only good for a screen but the tapered pyramid shape of Green Giant makes it a great specimen plant or screen. It holds a tight uniform shape, grows quickly, prefers full sun to partial shade and requires no pruning.


Saucer Magnolia

This early bloomer marks the beginning of spring and will get loaded with beautiful pink flowers. It will be one of the first things blooming and makes a gorgeous specimen tree or backdrop in your landscape. Its medium size will not overwhelm a landscape and will grow at a moderate pace. This very showy tree is a must for any landscape. This tree has great pest and disease resistance.


Willow Oak


No landscape is complete without a great shade tree and all landscapes need oak trees. The Willow oak is the oak of choice in urban areas because of its great shape and fast growth rate but ideal in a landscape setting. You can expect 2 feet of growth or more each year (fast for an oak). This trees abundant acorn production makes it a favorite for many different animals. Most often found in lowlands and along streams, Q. phellos can survive harsh urban settings as well. This tree is very resistant to insects and disease.


Japanese zelkova

This tree was adopted to replace the American elm because of its resistance to Dutch elm disease. This vase shaped tree makes a great specimen tree but is also considered a street tree because its ability to do well in unfavorable urban settings. This tree has a beautiful texture with its heavily serrated leaves.

Other related articles:

Types of Maple Trees

Types of magnolia trees

Why wont Grass Grow Under My Trees

How to Grow Plants Using the Color Spectrum of Light

12 great live Christmas trees for the landscape

Types of pine trees

25 plants and trees with great fall color

8 Water Loving Trees

Types of Oak Trees

Fastest Growing Trees

15 Types of Evergreens Landscaping

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Posted 2015-05-07T20:29:40+0000  by Ingar_HD_ATL Ingar_HD_ATL
Great info.  Very helpful!
Posted 2015-05-09T09:03:41+0000  by Cree
Not what you were looking for ? Try posting a question