Jordan Blonski
Sep 17, 2020

What Tree Should I Plant In My Seattle Yard?

There’s a lot to take into consideration when selecting a tree to plant in your Seattle or North Bend yard, such as the species, placement, intended function and common pests.

Using the following information to help make your decision can increase the chance that it will not only survive but thrive for years to come. 

Questions to ask before planting

Trees have a long lifespan and usually outlive whoever planted them.  For this reason, it’s best to put some thought into the decision before buying and planting one.

Before deciding what type of tree to plant, ask yourself the following questions.

  • Why are you planting the tree?
  • What (if any) function will it serve?
  • Do you have a specific spot picked for the tree?
  • If so, will the area accommodate a small, medium, or large tree?
  • Is the designated area near power lines (either overhead or underground), structures, driveway, or landscaping obstacles?
  • What is the soil like?

The reason for asking and answering these questions is to help you choose the right tree for the right place, which improves its chance of growing healthy and strong.

Will the tree have a function?

Large trees increase property value while adding to the aesthetics of your property.  Deciduous trees provide shade in the summer (and cooling effect on your home) but then sheds its leaves in the fall to allow the winter sun to warm your house. 

Ornamental trees have pretty flowers or leaves to improve the look of your landscaping while evergreens with their dense, year-round foliage offers privacy and/or a windbreak.

Trees that bear fruit provide you with produce to eat but may also attract wildlife, which may or may not be welcome.  All trees increase our quality of life by adding oxygen to the air we breathe while improving the overall appearance of your neighborhood.

Tree placement matters

Matching the right tree to the right site is beneficial as it usually decreases maintenance costs while increasing the tree’s value in your landscaping.  Therefore, you should select a tree that will thrive in the location you’ve picked. 

Site conditions are vital

The following are items to think about when selecting a tree as these site conditions are essential to it’s survival and usually result in reduced maintenance.

  • Soil conditions-test for pH (alkalinity/acidity) & see if soil is compacted or subject to drought.
  • Drainage-inadequate drainage limits much needed oxygen that roots need to grow.
  • Sunlight-consider the amount of sunlight as some trees need full sunlight while others prefer light shade & few do well in shade.
  • Wind exposure dries out soil making extra watering necessary, may damage crowns or uproot newly planted trees (if not staked).
  • Hardiness-pick a species that can survive the extreme temps in your area.
  • Space constraints-make sure there’s space for tree to reach maturity-both above & below ground (think buildings/power lines).
  • Pest & disease-some trees are more resistant to insects/diseases though some may or may not be life threatening.

Lastly, don’t overlook your responsibility.  Did you know the biggest reasons why trees die is from things people do?  Soil compaction, underwatering, overwatering, vandalism and planting the wrong tree account for more tree deaths than all insect- and disease-related deaths combined.

Right tree for the right spot

As you can see, there’s many things to consider when selecting a tree to plant on your property.  Taking the time to choose the right one for the right location will help ensure that it grows strong and healthy.

Eastside Tree Works is a full service tree company with many ISA Certified Arborists and other tree experts on staff. Serving a large area (Seattle & the Eastside, Snohomish & North Bend), contact us for your free estimate.