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How To Design A Landscape With Trees

House with a tree-lined garden

Trees provide a range of benefits to a landscape, making them an essential part of any garden or outdoor space. However, designing a landscape with trees can be a challenging task. With the proper knowledge and understanding of how to do it, you can create a stunning oasis right in your backyard.

The Best Trees For Your Landscape

There are many types of trees you can use for your landscape. The most common ones are maple, oak, birch, and dogwood trees.

Maple trees are known for their fall colors and are often used to add a touch of seasonal beauty to the landscape. The common ones used for landscaping are Bloodgood Japanese and Sugar Maples.

Oaks are another popular choice for landscaping because they can provide shade and withstand harsh weather conditions. Red Oaks, for example, work great as shade trees.

Meanwhile, birch trees have a unique white bark and make great accent pieces for any landscape. They’re one of the top choices of many arborists as they provide multi-season interest to your landscape.

Lastly are dogwood trees. These flowering trees bloom in spring and summer and can create a colorful and inviting atmosphere in your garden. Flowering Dogwood is one of the most commonly used in landscapes.

Knowing a few of the wide varieties of trees available is essential when designing your landscape. Equally important, however, is to use proper tools and wear safety arborist clothing such as chainsaw chaps to protect your legs while working.

House with tree-lined garden

Design Ideas For Incorporating Trees Into Your Landscape

Now that you have your tree selection, it may be time to start designing your landscape with trees. Here are some ideas to consider:

1. Place Trees Near Other Plantings For Contrast And Texture

When designing a landscape, it’s essential to consider the placement of trees around other plantings. Placing trees near other plants can help create visual interest and add contrast to your garden. It can also provide a vertical element that other plants may not be able to offer.

For example, a Japanese maple tree can be planted near a bright, flowering shrub like an azalea to create a stunning contrast. Alternatively, placing evergreen trees next to perennials will provide a consistent look throughout the year. Additionally, trees with textured bark such as birch trees can be combined with ornamental grasses to create a unique look. Finally, trees with attractive foliage can be paired with colorful annuals for a bright, eye-catching display.

There are situations when tree removal might be necessary when working on your tree placement around other plants. In this case, it may be necessary to chop them down. Always use tree climbing spikes, helmets, ropes, and harnesses when removing trees to avoid accidents.

2. Plant Trees Along Walkways Or Paths

Trees are an integral part of any landscape and can be used to define pathways and create a sense of direction. Planting trees along walkways or paths is a great way to make your outdoor space more inviting and serve as natural cooling from the shade.

When choosing trees for pathways, it’s essential to consider the size and shape of the space, as well as what types of trees will best suit your climate. Evergreen trees are famous for pathways because they provide year-round color and texture. Meanwhile, deciduous trees can add seasonal interest and create a more dynamic feel.

Moreover, consider trees with roots that won’t disrupt underground structures and don’t grow too large for space. You may also place trees at least two feet away from walls and structures to allow for adequate root space and air circulation.

Finally, having lighting in your pathways can also improve the appeal of your landscaping design. You may check this helpful article if you’re considering adding them to your garden.

3. Use Trees As Privacy Screens And Windbreaks

Trees can also be a great way to provide privacy for your outdoor space and act as a windbreak. Planting a row of evergreen trees or tall conifers along the perimeter of your property can create an effective barrier that provides both privacy and protection from the elements. Shrubs such as holly, yew, and juniper are also good options for creating a privacy screen as they have dense foliage and are relatively easy to maintain.

If you have an area that’s particularly exposed to the wind, you can use deciduous trees such as oaks and maples to break the wind. These trees provide excellent windbreaks while still allowing light and air to circulate. For maximum effect, plant these trees in groups of three or more.

4. Plant Trees In A Group To Create An Outdoor Living Area

Grouping trees together is an easy way to create an inviting outdoor living area that everyone can enjoy. When you plant several trees close together, they can form a natural canopy or shelter, giving the place a cozy, intimate atmosphere. This is ideal for creating an outdoor living space that you can relax in such as a patio or garden.

You can create seating and other features around the trees to enhance the atmosphere. Benches, swings, hammocks, and other DIY patio furniture can be used to make the area inviting. You could even place a fire pit in the middle of the trees, creating a great gathering spot for family and friends.

5. Taking Care of the Dead Trees 

Last but not the least, your landscape can suffer, especially when you are not taking care of the dead trees. In that case, knowing the proper techniques of cutting down trees with tools like chainsaws or pole saws can help homeowners maintain the beauty of their landscapes without compromising on their maintenance.


When designing a landscape with trees, there are many factors to consider. Yet, with careful planning and consideration of all these factors, you can create an attractive, comfortable, and functional landscape with trees.