Skip to content

Looking for help?

Find answers to your questions

How to Select Your Trees

Selecting the Right Trees for Your Project

Some people tend to stress over tree selection thinking, "What if I choose the wrong tree? I am not an expert." Luckily, has you covered there. Every single tree variety we offer was specifically chosen because they are particularly well suited for Chicago landscaping use, and grow healthily in our climate. Furthermore, every single tree we sell is a locally grown tree of the absolute highest quality, hand-picked as superb specimens by the growers themselves. We partner with growers that use sound conservation practices in their growing operations, and all our trees are guaranteed to not only meet but exceed, the American Nursery and Landscape Association nursery stock standards. Starting with a healthy, well-branched, locally grown tree will ensure your tree's success.

The most important thing to remember when deciding which trees are right for your yard is simple: common sense! Just walk around your yard and imagine where trees would look good. Try and identify what your goals are for your landscape, and if there are any specific reasons why you could need certain trees. As you look around your yard, there are three basic tree features which you must consider:


This is one of the main reasons people add trees to their landscape. Shade trees provide energy savings, property value boosts, psychological benefits, and they help to turn your house into a home. When choosing the right tree for your yard, make sure to consider if you need shade and where.


Most trees provide color to the landscape in one way or another. Whether it is spring flowers or fall foliage, make sure to consider where you may need an extra boost of color, and what time of the year the tree will color up.


Along with shade, this seems to be one of the most important reasons why people want to add trees to their home landscape. When people think of privacy trees, they often think of large evergreen trees; however, all trees add privacy and it doesn't take a solid block to achieve the boundary effects you are probably looking for. Perhaps the best word to think of when trying to achieve a privacy barrier is screening. You just need something between homes, whether it is solid or not because your eyes will not look past that object and focus on your neighbors in the next yard. Also, many people worry about deciduous trees losing their leaves in the winter. What those people do not consider is the fact that they are rarely in their yards in winter, and the times of the year that they need privacy most is also the time of the year when the trees have leaves. It is also important to note the height of any privacy fences to help determine if you will need screening under the 6 to the 8-foot mark.

If you do have a fence, then really any tree will do the trick. Oftentimes people will choose shade trees, Ornamental Pear, or River Birch because they are larger to start and grow faster than other alternatives.

If you do not have a fence, you may want to consider using lower branched ornamental trees, clump trees, or evergreen trees. Shade trees will still provide screening however they are typically branched at around 5.5 to 7 ft off the ground, so you will be able to see under them. Ornamental trees, such as Hawthorn or Crabapple, are lower branched and provide a mass of foliage at eye level. Also clump trees, such as River Birch and Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry, provide foliage from the ground up. These are really the best choices for screening. Finally, evergreens provide a year-round block from the ground up making them an excellent privacy tree. Just remember that many evergreen trees get extremely large at maturity, so make sure your lot can handle them.

After deciding what type of tree is right for your yard, it is important to choose a tree that will be the right size. It is absolutely imperative that you consider the mature height and spread of each tree, and make sure to identify any trouble areas in the landscape. For example, if the back end of your lot has power lines along the edge you must be careful to plant trees that will not grow larger than approximately 20ft tall. Also, if you are looking for a tree for the front landscape you want to be sure to choose a tree that will not spread too much and cause future problems. Maturity can often be much faster than you expect, so correct tree size and placement are necessary to obtain the benefit of your investment.

Updated on 28 Nov 2023