The Best Trees for Any Backyard

Trees add much-needed shade, privacy, color, and interest to your backyard. Here is our list of trees you can incorporate into your landscaping design that will completely transform your backyard.

American Holly

The American Holly is a broadleaf evergreen tree and grows 15-50’ tall. They are pyramidal in shape and have striking red berries and deep green, leathery leaves with sharp points. Whether you’re looking to provide privacy or enhance the look of your backyard, the American holly delivers. Small, white springtime blooms give way to red berries in the fall, which remain throughout winter. Holly offers both visual interest and food for wildlife, attracting birds and other small creatures to your yard.


As one of the most popular decorative trees in America, Dogwood trees bring interest and beauty to your backyard all year long. With the ability to adapt to most any USDA Plant Hardiness Zone in the United States, dogwood trees bloom during spring in a profusion of white, pink, and red blossoms, and feature a lush and compact canopy of foliage in the summer. Most varieties of dogwoods display red foliage in the fall before dropping leaves to show off attractive branching in the winter.

Eastern Redbud

A sentinel of spring, the Eastern redbud breaks its winter dormancy with an explosion of purplish-pink flowering. However, its branching pattern makes this tree just as beautiful in winter as it is the rest of the year. Growing 20 to 30 feet tall, with a 30-foot spread, the eastern redbud will make a dramatic display in any backyard. The tree adapts to a wide range of soils as long as they’re not permanently wet and is susceptible to zones 4 to 9.

‘Green Giant’ Arborvitae

Homeowners value backyard privacy for various reasons, but it’s especially crucial between houses and yards in subdivisions. The ‘Green Giant’ arborvitae is a popular privacy tree because it’s a fast-growing evergreen, hardy, tolerates almost any soil, and has a beautiful conical shape. It’s great for a hedge, a screen, or as a single specimen in the backyard.

Red Oak

The red oak tree gets its name from the brilliant leaf color it shows off in the fall. Popular for both its hardiness and beauty, it’s also a fast grower. Red oak trees reach up to 75 feet tall in maturity and boast a rounded canopy. For larger backyards requiring shade, red oak is an excellent choice.

Saucer Magnolia

The saucer magnolia tree is a man-made hybrid, formed from two types of magnolia trees that both originated in China. A saucer magnolia will thrive in zones 4 – 9 and is a backyard showstopper. The tree produces large white and pink blooms that are shaped like a cup or saucer. It is a bushy tree that resembles a large shrub and can reach a height of 25 feet.

Silver Maple

Silver maples are popular in urban areas, lining streets and shading avenues with their broad, leafy canopies. The silver maple tree will transform your backyard into a shady retreat in as little as five years. The silver undersides of its leaves not only give the silver maple its name, but also lend the tree a shimmering silver appearance in the breeze. It has a vast root system and large trunk, so be mindful to plant it away from sewer lines and walkways. Care for them well and they’ll enrich the life of your backyard for 40 to 50 years.

Sugar Maple

If you’re looking to add fall interest and color to your backyard, the sugar maple tree is a great selection. Sugar maples are among the most-loved trees on the continent. Four states have picked the sugar maple as their state tree – New York, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Vermont – and it is also the national tree of Canada. While grown commercially for its sweet syrup and value as lumber, sugar maple also makes an attractive addition to your backyard. Growing 60 to 75 feet tall, the sugar maple boasts a spreading canopy that puts on a vibrant show in autumn.

Tulip Tree

The tulip tree doubles duty as a shade and ornamental tree. They live up to their name with spectacular tulip-shaped flowers in springtime and beautiful yellow leaves in the fall. Tulip trees can be grown in zones 4 – 9, making it an ideal choice for backyards throughout the country, providing they can handle its height. A fast-growing hardwood, the tulip tree can grow more than two feet in a year and should be taken into consideration when planting. Tulip trees prefer full sun locations with rich moist soil that drains well. Starting out in a pyramid shape, the tree is known to mature to an arching dome, except where limited sun is available. In low light situations the branches can get skinny and weak.

Weeping Cherry

Weeping cherry trees are ornamental trees and loved by many for their spectacular show of pink or white spring flowers. Their graceful and romantic weeping branches make them enjoyable all year round. They vary in mature height from 8 to 40 feet, depending on the cultivar, and are hardy in zones 5 – 8. Even though they look like they would be difficult to grow, they are one of the easiest trees to care for. A well-cared for weeping cherry will grow 1 to 2 feet per year, put on fresh, healthy green leaves each year and bloom in the spring.

but wait–what are those trees surrounding?

Did you know Dogwood is more than landscape design and supply? We offer a full range of services including pool and spa design and installation, retaining walls, fire pits and fireplaces, paver patios and more!

Stone & Paver Patios
Pools & Spas
backyard fire pit
Fire Pits & Fireplaces

Ready to get started on your landscape project? Let Dogwood’s team of professional experts help make the design, build, and maintain process an easy and enjoyable one. Contact us HERE or by calling 678-368-7000 to take the first step towards making your outdoor oasis dreams come true. And remember, Your Backyard Has Dreams Too!