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How to Make an Impact with Big Trees

A society grows great when old men plant trees that they will never sit under ~ Greek proverb

There’s nothing like the impact of a large and graceful tree on your property. It’s an iconic image, whether it’s a landmark, a climbing tree for multiple generations of kids, or simply a venerable old stalwart that’s stood the test of time.

But unfortunately, fully grown trees don’t just appear. They are the investment, quite literally, of a lifetime.

But, there are still a few ways that you can make an impact with a big tree.

How To Get a Mature Tree

The easiest way is to purchase a property with the kind of tree you like. There are many areas where mature trees are a fixture in yards. Those homes don’t come cheap (an attractive mature tree can add as much as $20,000 to the property’s resale value,) but that certainly is the easiest way to go about it.

The second easiest way is to transplant a mature tree. This is a specialty job, and not a lot of companies do it, but it is possible, and they are around. Make sure to do the research to find a reputable company, and don’t skimp preparing the site. It will mean success or failure for your new tree.

The third way to do it, if you have a little time on your hands, is to plant a fast growing tree. You’ll have fewer options, and you might not get the black gum or bur oak of your dreams, but you’d never live long enough to see it grow up, anyway.

Fast-Growing Large Trees

As with all tree plantings, you must choose what will do well in your soil. For instance, a weeping willow or saucer magnolia likes deep, moist soils and full sun. These two specimens will only grow 30-40 feet tall, but for most homes that’s quite enough to make a statement.

Maples generally grow quickly and are extremely striking in the fall. Tuliptrees or birches are graceful additions.

You can also try evergreens. The Dawn Redwood (also known as the “Dinosaur Tree”) has a very interesting growth pattern, and with the name and lineage, it’s quite the conversation starter. Bald Cypress, though slower-growing than the other trees mentioned here, has flaming foliage for a long period of time in the fall.

Although magnolias are largely slow-growing, you can get the same antebellum feel with a Northern Catalpa, with its big, heart-shaped leaves and orchid-like flowers.

If you have the room and the desire for a large tree, you have all kinds of options.

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