Pick the Best Trees for Your Home

In recent years, we have lost many varieties of trees due to pests and diseases. Some of the notable ones include ornamental flowering pears, Bradford pears, elms, oak, and ash trees. There are many more, but these were the most prevalent in central Illinois.

The sudden loss of so many trees can have a huge impact on the environment, and we need to do our part in planting more trees to replace the ones that we have lost. With so many different types of trees, you may not know which tree is best to plant in your yard.

First, let’s talk about why we love trees!

Photo of a line of mature evergreen trees

Health Benefits of Planting Trees

We may not think about the impact that a single tree can have, but each tree creates a small ecosystem around it. This provides lots of benefits for you and your family. It also benefits your home’s environment. Trees provide habitat for birds and other animals they absorb carbon dioxide and other harmful gases and provide oxygen that we breathe.

Fun Fact: one large tree can provide a day’s supply of oxygen for up to 4 people.

Economic Benefits of Planting Trees

Trees can even provide economic benefits if they are planted effectively around your home, resulting in cost savings for you and increase the value of your property.

  • Cool Your Home: A nice shade tree that blocks the afternoon sun can help prevent those sun rays from heating up your house in the summer. A planted windbreak can block those blustery winter winds. Surfaces shaded by trees can be 20-45 degrees cooler than areas without a shade tree. In the heat of the summer, that really makes sitting under a shade tree inviting.
  • Increase Your Home's Value: A beautiful tree (or trees) can even make your home more valuable to potential buyers! According to canopy.org, homes with trees are worth 5% to 15% more than homes without trees. Homes on a street that is lined with trees may be worth up to 25% more.
  • And don’t forget …
    Let’s not forget the beauty of trees- the way they sparkle in the winter with a thin layer of ice or frozen frost on them, the gorgeous blooms in the spring, the leaves turning colors of red, orange, and yellow in the fall. Isn’t that a great way to come home?

Best Trees to Plant in Your Yard

Now that you know the benefits of trees, let me show you a few of our best yard trees you might consider adding to your front yard or back yard.

Shade Trees



Sugar Maple

For a shade tree, you cannot go wrong with a Sugar Maple. They grow 50-70 ft tall and maintains an oval to a rounded shape. They have hard and strong wood- making them a very durable tree. You’ll enjoy the bright fall colors of yellow, orange, and red that show up all on the same tree! It's like winning the tree lottery!



Green Giant Arborvitae

Evergreen trees can be used for many purposes – either as a single focal point of your yard (known as a specimen tree) or a windbreak. Windbreaker trees not only block the wind, but they can hide something you don’t want to see and provide a sound barrier against traffic noises.

A good selection for a windbreak but could also be used as a stand-alone tree is Green Giant Arborvitae. This arborvitae is a fast-growing evergreen, with a broad, pyramid form. It makes an exceptional hedge or screen plant. The foliage is fragrant, dark green, and deer resistant! In winter, the foliage darkens a bit, some with a bronze shading. Once established, it is both wind-resistant and tolerant of heavy snowfalls, unlike some arborvitae then to split during times of heavy ice or snow.

Windbreaker Trees /Trees for Privacy

Ornamental Trees

An Amur Maple tree


If you’re looking for a beautiful blooming ornamental tree, a Serviceberry tree is hard to beat. They can be single or multi-stemmed and grow only 15 ft tall, making them a good small tree for your yard. Snowy-white clustered blooms in early spring, often before leaves appear. Berry-like fruit that is red to purplish-black and 1/4"-1/3" in diameter. In fall, it turns orange and red. The Serviceberry grows fairly fast. They can handle shady or sunny situations, which makes them very versatile. They are among the best medium-sized trees for your front yard or back yard. Try it as a small decorative tree.

Want to know why they call it Serviceberry? Read about the Serviceberry in our catalog!

If you prefer an ornamental tree choice that does not bloom, try the Amur Maple. Here is a tree that stands out. Despite being small, it has a huge dramatic presence in its fall coloration, of red and orange. It is a multi-stemmed tree that reaches 15 feet tall, so it is another good choice tree for front yards or small back yards. It loves sun but can handle part shade. It can also be used as a privacy screen- when planted along a property line, it would make a beautiful “living fence”.

Disease-Resistant Trees

While there is no such thing as a total disease and pest-resistant tree, I do have my favorites that top my list that I recommend to my customers.

A photo of a large Bald Cypress tree

Bald Cypress

They grow fast and reach 50-70 ft tall. It has delicate, fern-like foliage, light green needle-like leaves. Come fall, the leaves turn coppery-bronze. You’ll see bald cypress growing around ponds and lakes as they can tolerate moist conditions. It’s a favorite tree among some of our clients!


Prairiefire Flowering Crab

This crab is a good selection for disease and pest resistance. It grows about 15 ft tall. In early spring, it produces beautiful shades of pinkish-rose blooms. Later, small berry-like fruit, dark red-purple 3/8" 1/2" in diameter replace the flowers. The leaves are purplish-green with purplish-green bark, making the perfect backdrop for the growing season. It’s a good tree choice for medium-sized lawns.

lilac tree

Ivory Silk Lilac

These trees are oval in shape and compact. They have large, showy, and fragrant flowers that appear at a young age, along with deep green leaves. The flowers are creamy-white and fragrant and appear in June. Besides bringing sheer pleasure for the senses, this serves well as a windbreak and as a nesting stopover for songbirds. It also attracts butterflies and hummingbirds! They are a good tree for small front yards or a backyard corner.

Plant a Tree!

These are just a few of our favorite beautiful trees that can make your home a welcoming place for you, your neighbors, and your community. If you’ve lost a tree in your yard because of pests or diseases, we can help you replace it with one of these or one of the many beautiful trees we have at our garden nursery. Check out our catalog for even more options.

We can help you pick the best trees for your front yard or back yard and plant them for you, too! That will give your trees the best chance to last for decades to come. Contact us to schedule an estimate.

Plant a tree today!


Here's a small sampling of our most popular trees! Search for trees in our catalog for more ideas!

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