Your front yard makes an impression on people. It’s what everyone sees when they come to your house or drive by. Choosing the right front yard trees can help make your home more inviting.
You might be considering adding a tree to your landscape for a variety of reasons. Perhaps you want a splash of color to liven up your house and make it a more enjoyable place to come home to.
Maybe your house has a little less privacy than you want.
You might even be considering a new tree to help with your home’s energy efficiency as front yard trees can help reduce temperatures by about six degrees both around and inside your home. This means spending more time enjoying your home and garden and less time (and money) spent trying to cool down your home with electricity.
Or maybe you’re thinking of adding a new tree simply because you have the perfect place for one.
No matter the reason, with so many options out there, choosing the right tree for your space can be a challenge. That’s why we’re here to help as these six trees might be perfect for your Portland front yard.
A dogwood tree may be the ideal choice, especially if your house gets hot during summer months. These are great shade trees and most grow to be 20 to 30 feet tall. There are multiple species to choose from, though Pacific dogwoods might be of interest if you want to stick with native tree species.
Pacific dogwoods grow throughout the Pacific Northwest and they do well in partial sun. As an additional benefit, dogwoods bloom in the spring, which means you can enjoy your tree’s flowers every April or May.
Though they have specific needs that require some consideration before planting, a dogwood can make a great addition to your front yard.
2. Japanese Maple
These trees are known for colorful leaves and an elegant shape, and one could be the perfect choice if you’re looking to add visual interest to your landscaping.
Japanese maples work well near houses as they do well in partial shade. Though Portland doesn’t generally have extreme weather, planting your new front yard tree near your house will give it some protection in case the weather does become too hot or cold.
Japanese maples come in many varieties, which means that you can easily select one that is the right size for the space you have. If you have a small front yard area to work with, some Japanese maple varieties look more like shrubs and are small enough to keep in a pot. A larger variety might work better if you have more space. Most varieties don’t grow particularly tall, so your tree won’t overwhelm your house in the future.
No matter what you go with, Japanese maples provide a unique, elegant complement to your yard.
Without the leaves on your trees, your yard might look a little dull come winter. For you, an evergreen tree might be just the tree for your front yard as they will provide extra green to your landscape year-round. Plus, you won’t have to rake leaves in the fall.
Coniferous trees are good at providing privacy since they don’t lose their needles. Douglas fir is one of the most common trees in Portland and is also the state tree of Oregon. They are attractive and live well in Portland’s climate, though they do grow to be tall.
Another good option is a cedar, such as the western red cedar. These sturdy trees tend to be hardy against drought and pests. If you have a large space to fill, a Douglas fir, a cedar, or another of the many species of coniferous tree could work well.
4. Evergreen Oak
Another evergreen option that goes beyond coniferous trees is oak trees. Two of many such options are Silverleaf oak and Oregon white oak. Silverleaf oak, as the name suggests, have unique silvery-green leaves. Oregon white oak grows slowly, but is native to the west coast and can tolerate both flooding and drought. They are also hardy and are not prone to breakage during storms.
Most trees in Portland are not evergreen, so planting one in your yard can help to add interest and diversity among your neighborhood’s plant life. Leafy evergreens can also help reduce flooding, making them beneficial year-round.
5. Cherry Tree
Spring in Portland means getting to enjoy the pink flowers on all of the cherry trees around town. If you enjoy this seasonal sight, why not bring a splash of color to your own home by planting one in your front yard?
Having a cherry tree on your property will provide you with a few weeks of beautiful blossoms, which you will be able to admire from your own window each year.
Plus, they make good trees year-round by providing your front yard with shade and they need minimal care outside of yearly pruning.
6. Crabapple Tree
Crabapple trees are an option that can work for many yards. They come in ornamental and edible varieties and in a variety of sizes.
If your yard is a space for you to harvest food, a crabapple tree that bears edible fruit might be the perfect choice. Crabapples can be made into preserves, pastries, and other tasty treats.
If you don’t want a fruit-bearing tree in your yard, an ornamental species might work better. The fruit is smaller or nonexistent.
Crabapple trees have beautiful spring blooms that last for weeks. These flowers attract pollinating bees, which can help both the bees and the rest of your garden flourish.
Which tree will work best for your space? No matter the reason you’re planting new front yard trees, selecting the right one takes thought and care. But it’s an investment that can benefit your house for decades.
Make sure to have a professional maintain your front yard trees and your plants will remain healthy for many years to come.