Types of Landscaping Trees and How the Pro’s Use Them in Their Landscape Designs

There are many elements that go into a landscape design. Different shaped trees give off a different mood. Such as a tall upright perfectly uniform tree will give a feeling of structure and elegance; where as a tree with a twisting and winding canopy will bring a level of excitement and adventure to your landscape. As colors add to the overall feeling of your design, shapes play the same role. Here you can see examples of some different shaped trees and how they can be used in your landscaping plans. pergola


As the name suggests these are pyramid shaped trees that are wider at the bottom and narrower at the top, much like a Christmas tree. Many evergreens fall into this category. Many times these trees are used as a backdrop to the home and give the backyard a bit of seclusion and privacy. Some examples are Bald Cypress, Spruce, Cucumber Magnolia, Fir, and Pin Oak.


Columnar trees are just as it sounds; these are trees that have limited horizontal growth and are generally tall with a slender and uniform branch pattern. Using trees with this shape are very popular in areas with limited space. They can get very tall without taking up a lot of yard space. Popular places to plant these trees are parkways strips, the area between a street and sidewalk or driveway, parking lots islands, sidewalk planters or pits, smaller home landscapes, or near a corner of buildings or deck with a confined planting space where a conventional tree with wide-spreading branches would not be appropriate. Some examples are European hornbeam, Emerald Green Arborvitae, Columnar Norway Maple, Columnar Blue Spruce, and Paper Bark Maple.


Great for formal landscapes these trees have a symmetrical and uniform appearance with their elegant round shape. Stately rows provide a strong linear feature, softened by the billow of their canopies. Placed either by themselves or as a focal point of a bed; if used right, these trees can make a very worthwhile investment. Some examples are Eastern Redbud, Royalty Crabapple, Globe Willow Tree, Dwarf Korean Lilac (on standard), and China Snow Lilac.


Weeping trees and shrubs can make a great focal point in a garden, especially if placed in an uncluttered and visible location. The key features of weeping trees are their drooping branches which are covered with graceful, cascading foliage. Some also develop irregular, unique branch structure. Because of their unusual form many weepers are considered a collector’s plant and their unique shape can be a major asset in the landscape as a centrepiece specimen or an unexpected accent. Some examples are Royal Frost Birch, Weeping Crabapple, Weeping Mulberry, Weeping Cherry, Weeping beech, Weeping Willow, and Weeping Norway spruce.

Horizontal Spreading

These are the ideal shade trees; they are wide trees with long horizontal branches. A great addition to a large backyard, this is a tree that you can put next to a play area out back or a nice tree to lie under while you read a book and relax on a nice spring day. These trees usually get very large and can make single story homes look small, so their location and use must be thought out ahead of time. Some examples are Beech, Honey Locust, White Oak, Crimson King and Sugar Maples, and Elm

Follow this link: Garden Centers Milwaukee [http://www.treetransplanters.org/small1.html] to see pictures of a lot of these trees as well as a detailed explanation of the trees listed in this article. Give your local landscaper a call to show you how these trees can be worked into your landscape plans. Or if you are from the area, feel free to make me your Milwaukee Landscaper [http://www.treetransplanters.org] of choice.

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