Beneficial Companion Plants for Fruit Trees

Prevent soil erosion, harmful pests, and hungry wildlife from damaging your fruit trees. Knowing which companion plants to grow around your fruit trees will keep them growing healthy and less susceptible to insect and animal invasion.

Beneficial companion plants include species that protect the soil from erosion gathered essential information on several highly beneficial companion plants to grow around your fruit trees.

What Do Companion Plants Do?

Planting companions to lure beneficial insects is called “habitat influence.” Companion plants attract beneficial insects so those bugs can feed on the bad, predatory, and destructive pests that would otherwise damage or destroy the fruit trees you want to protect. The practice of companion planting also benefits the surrounding soil by preventing erosion and – in many cases – fixing nitrogen. The most beneficial companion plants for fruit trees include:

Geraniums (Pelargonium)

Beneficial companion plants include geraniums

Geraniums are known for their aromatic, green foliage, with their fragrance varying from plant to plant. This flowering plant can be found growing throughout the temperate regions of the world.

Size at Maturity – This species reaches 5 to 36 inches in height, depending on the variety
Benefits as a Companion – Geraniums are known to repel highly destructive insects like earworms, cabbageworms, and Japanese beetles
Attracts – Geraniums attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds
Repels – Geranium repels a variety of insects, including mosquitos and leafhoppers
Hardiness Zone – 3 through 9

Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla)

Beneficial companion plants include chamomile

Chamomile, also spelled camomile, is any of various daisy-like plants from the aster family (Asteraceae). Chamomile tea, used as a tonic, an antiseptic, and in multiple herbal remedies, is made from English or Roman, chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) or German chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla).

Size at Maturity – This species reaches 24 inches in height
Benefits as a Companion – Its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties have been applied for centuries in herbal gardening to support the healthy growth of trees, vegetables, and other annuals. Using chamomile as a companion plant is easy, effective, and packed with benefits for you and your fruit tree
Attracts – Hoverflies, beneficial wasps, ladybugs, and honey bees are attracted to chamomile
Repels – Chamomile repels ticks, mosquitoes, and flies
Hardiness Zone – 3 through 9

Wildflowers (Multiple species)

Beneficial companion plants include wildflowers

Wildflowers are flowers that grow without any help or intervention from people, growing naturally in their environment. Some may grow wildflowers in their garden, but most wildflowers are native plants and grow in woods, meadows, wetlands, or anywhere they adapted to grow.

Size at Maturity – Wildflowers reach a few inches to a few feet in height, depending on the species and variety
Benefits as a Companion – Wildflowers provide critical habitat for pollinators, beneficial insects, and wildlife, which is crucial for ecosystem function and pollination. Wildflowers can also improve soil health, prevent erosion, and improve water quality
Attracts – Bees, butterflies, hoverflies, and ladybugs which help to increase harvests and keep common pests like aphids under control
Repels – Flowers like daisies, red clovers, poppies, and wild carrots can act as natural pesticides by attracting useful (predatory) insects to repel nuisance pests
Hardiness Zone – All zones have cold-hardy wildflower species

Lavender (Lavandula)

Beneficial companion plants include lavender

Lavender is one of the most beloved floral scents we use today. Its soft purple buds symbolize grace, calmness, and even luxury. Lavender is so synonymous with serenity that it is associated with the crown chakra, known for its spiritual connection.

Size at Maturity – This species reaches 2 to 3 feet in height
Benefits as a Companion – Lavender attracts a variety of pollinators and deters rabbits and deer
Attracts – Lavender attracts butterflies, bees, and other beneficial insects to the garden, making it an excellent choice for a fruit tree companion
Repels – beetles, moths, fleas, mosquitos, flies, nematodes, rabbits, and deer
Hardiness Zone – 5 through 9

Marigolds (Tagetes)

Beneficial companion plants include marigolds

Marigold flowers consist of multiple overlapping petals that get smaller and more condensed towards the flower’s center, similar to a carnation. The blooms may be single or double colored and can appear in varying yellow, orange, red, and maroon hues.

Size at Maturity – This species reaches 6 to 24 inches in height, depending on the variety
Benefits as a Companion – Marigolds attract bees, butterflies, and other pollinators. They attract predatory insects, like ladybugs, that feed on aphids and other pests. The limonene in marigolds can deter whiteflies, and the plant’s roots secrete chemicals that kill nematodes
Attracts – Spider mites, snails, bees, Japanese beetles, butterflies, and other beneficial pollinators
Repels – Whiteflies, nematodes, mosquitos, cabbage worms, squash bugs, tomato worms, wasps, and spiders
Hardiness Zone – 2 through 11

Best Companion Plants for Fruit Trees

In this article, you discovered species information on some of the most beneficial companion plants for your fruit trees.

Knowing what to plant around your fruit trees can help you improve soil structure, attract beneficial pollinators, and deter pesky insects and wildlife.

Not knowing about companion plants can leave your fruit trees susceptible to soil erosion, insect infestations, and reduced crops from poor pollination.


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5 Trees with Non-Invasive Roots

Avoid planting a tree that will destroy your driveway and cost thousands of dollars to your home’s foundation. Knowing which trees have non-invasive roots will help you plant the right species in your yard.

Many tree species are not known to have invasive roots gathered essential information on five tree species that have non-invasive root systems and can be safely planted around your home and hardscape.

What are Non-Invasive Roots?

Non-invasive root systems (as the name implies) are less likely to grow beneath and interfere with sidewalks, sewers, or your home’s foundation.

Even trees with non-invasive roots should still be planted 8 to 10 feet from your home or other structure that could interfere with the tree’s growth or care. While the following tree species are not known to have invasive root systems, they should still be planted with sufficient space to permit their growth to full maturity:

1. White Oak (Quercus alba)

Trees like white oak are not known to have invasive roots

White oaks are large, strong, imposing trees. They have short, stocky trunks with massive horizontal limbs. The wide-spreading branches form an upright, well-rounded crown.

Mature Size – At maturity, this species reaches heights of 50 to 80 feet with a spread of 50 to 80 feet.
Sun – This tree species prefers full sun but has a moderate tolerance to partial shade. It is more shade tolerant in its youth and less tolerant as it grows larger.
Soil Type and pH – White oaks can adapt to a variety of soil textures but prefer deep, moist, well-drained sites. This species thrives in soils with a pH of 5.5 to 8.0.
Water Requirement – Young and mature oak trees require little watering, only once a month.
USDA Hardiness Zone – 3 through 9

2. Eastern Black Walnut (Juglans nigra)

Trees like black walnut are not known to have invasive roots

This species is a tall tree of the walnut family (Juglandaceae). It is native to eastern North America and prized for its decorative wood. Black walnut’s dark, fine-grained wood is commonly used in furniture, paneling, and gunstock production.

Mature Size – At maturity, this species reaches heights of 50 to 75 feet with a spread of 50 to 75 feet.
Sun – This species thrives in full sun with at least six hours of direct sunlight every day.
Soil Type and pH – Eastern black walnut grows best on deep, well-drained, nearly pH-neutral (6.5 to 7.2) soils that are fertile and moist but not wet.
Water Requirement – Water well-established walnuts every two to three weeks.
USDA Hardiness Zone – 4 through 9

3. Crabapple (Malus)

Trees like crabapples are not known to have invasive roots

The crabapple is a small, deciduous, fruit-bearing tree found primarily in the temperate zones of the Northern hemisphere.

Mature Size – At maturity, crabapples reach heights of 10 to 25 feet with a spread of 10 to 25 feet.
Sun – This species needs at least six hours of sun a day to guarantee ample blossoming and fruiting.
Soil Type and pH – Crabapples thrive in rich loam-type soil (a combination of clay, silt, and sand). Good drainage is a must for tree health, and the soil should be moist, slightly acidic, and with a 5.0 to 6.5 pH.
Water Requirement – Once established, crabapples are drought tolerant and should not need any supplemental watering unless the season is considerably dry.
USDA Hardiness Zone – 3 through 8

4. Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum)

Trees like Japanese maple are not known to have invasive roots

Small deciduous Japanese maple trees are highly prized for their delicate and colorful foliage throughout the growing season and fall.

Mature Size – At maturity, this species will reach heights of 15 to 25 feet with a spread of 20 feet.
Sun – Japanese maple trees prefer to grow in partial shade with about four hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight per day.
Soil Type and pH – Japanese maples grow in acidic (5.5 to 6.5 pH), loamy, moist, rich, sandy, silty loam, well-drained, and clay soils. The species prefers moist, well-drained soil conditions but is somewhat drought tolerant.
Water Requirement – It’s good to water your Japanese maple tree a few gallons every other day.
USDA Hardiness Zone – 5 through 8

5. Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia)

Trees like crape myrtle are not known to have invasive roots

Crape myrtles are deciduous, small to medium-sized trees with a variable, moderately dense habit, often multi-stemmed form. The tree’s showy flowers have wrinkled petals like crepe paper. The species’ foliage is typically dark green changing to yellows, oranges, and reds in autumn.

Mature Size – At maturity, this species will reach heights of 15 to 25 feet with a spread of 6 to 15 feet.
Sun – Crape myrtle trees need full sun (6 or more hours per day) to thrive.
Soil Type and pH – Crape Myrtles can be grown all over the USA in any soil type and will thrive in an acidic to slightly acidic soil ranging from 5.0 to 6.5 pH.
Water Requirement – This species needs at least one inch of water per week.
USDA Hardiness Zone – 7 through 10

Tree Species with Non-Invasive Root Systems

In this article, you discovered five tree species that can be safely planted in your yard without worrying about your driveway, sidewalk, street, or foundation being broken up by invasive roots.

Planting trees with non-invasive roots allows you to grow a beautiful yard and benefit from your trees, providing shade and shelter from bad weather conditions.

Planting trees with invasive root systems will have you repairing costly damages as they will lift and crack driveways, foundations, sidewalks, and streets.


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How To Care for a Bonsai Tree

Prevent your bonsai trees from withering and and avoid its premature death. Knowing how to care for a Bonsai tree will help you enjoy a thriving miniature of your favorite tree species for years or even decades.

Bonsai tree watering repotting pruning and fertilizing gathered essential information and tips on how to care for your Bonsai tree and help it thrive disease and pest-free.

Bonsai Tree Care

Though Bonsai trees are more delicate than regular trees and plants, a few simple pointers should help you successfully take care of your miniature. Consider the following care information and tips:

1. Bonsai Tree Location

In most homes, the only place where a Bonsai will thrive is at a South facing window. A lot of light is essential for your tree’s health. If your Bonsai is placed just a few feet away from a window, the light intensity will drop significantly, slowing down or stopping its growth and ultimately killing it.

2. Watering a Bonsai Tree

The most crucial element of Bonsai tree care is watering it. How often a tree needs to be watered depends on:

  • The tree species
  • Tree size
  • Soil mixture
  • Climate
  • Pot size
  • Time of year

Do not water your tree if the soil is moist, but avoid letting the tree dry out. As a beginner, you can use your finger to check (one centimeter deep) the soil moisture. If it’s dry, water your tree. With time, you’ll be able to see rather than feel when it’s time to water your tree.

Tip: Your tree’s soil-mixture influences how often your trees will need to be watered. Bonsai trees typically thrive on a mixture of ½ akadama, ¼ pumice, and ¼ lava rock. For those unable to water their plants regularly, use a soil mixture that retains more water. This can be accomplished by using more akadama or including compost in your soil.

Note: Akadama is a naturally occurring, granular clay-like mineral used as a soil component for bonsai trees and other container-grown plants.

3. Fertilizing a Bonsai Tree

Trees growing normally will naturally extend their root system in search of water and nutrients. Since Bonsai tree root systems are confined to pots, fertilizing them regularly during the growing season is essential for them to thrive.

Typical indoor Bonsai trees can be fertilized year-round, while older and more developed trees can be fertilized during the species’ growing season (typically early spring through mid-fall). Tree fertilization varies depending on:

  • Tree health
  • The tree species
  • Time of year
  • Tree development

All fertilizers contain three fundamental elements; Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potassium (commonly labeled as NPK):

  • Nitrogen increases leaf, stem, or “above ground” growth
  • Phosphorus encourages healthy root, fruit, and flower growth
  • Potassium is known to enhance a tree’s overall health

Growers and gardeners will use different ratios of NPK for different tree species and during different seasons.

Tip: Look for fertilizers containing micronutrients like Iron, Manganese, Boron, Molybdenum, Zinc, and Copper for increased growth and health.

4. Repotting a Bonsai

Bonsai care includes repotting and root pruning

All bonsai trees need to be repotted and root pruned to maintain continued good health. Keep in mind that as the top of your tree grows, so shall its roots. Root pruning will encourage new growth, while repotting offers an excellent opportunity to replace old, depleted soil.

Here’s how to repot your Bonsai tree:

  • Lift the tree from its pot – The root mass will likely match the contours of your pot
  • Use a root hook – Gently loosen and comb out the tangled bottom third of the root ball
  • With sharp and clean pruning shears – cut off the bottom third of the root ball

Tip: Shorten the large, heavy roots. A bonsai tree’s most essential roots are the more delicate feeder roots.

  • Prepare the pot – Add a light layer of fresh soil to the pot, with a mound of soil in the middle
  • Replace the tree – Place the tree in its original position and spread the roots out evenly
  • Add soil – Add more soil and gently work it in around the roots with the root hook

Tip: After repotting, let the tree recover for 10 to 15 days out of full sun and wind, avoid fertilizing until new growth emerges, and water only to keep the root/soil moist – not soggy.

5. Bonsai Tree Pruning

When should a Bonsai tree be pruned? Regular maintenance, damage removal, and shaping pruning can be done anytime year-round for Bonsais kept indoors.

Major branches should be carefully trimmed with clean pruning shears or sharp scissors, while very small growths can be cleanly pinched away with your fingers.

Trim away any dead leaves or overgrown branches and stems to promote new growth. Maintenance pruning encourages the development of lateral branches and refines the shape of your Bonsai.

How Do You Care for an Indoor Bonsai Tree?

In this article, you discovered essential location, watering, fertilizing, repotting, and pruning information to help you care for your Bonsai tree.

Properly caring for your Bonsai tree will encourage it to grow and thrive for many years to come.

Ignoring your Bonsai tree’s care needs will lead to its decline, vulnerability to disease and pest infestation, and eventual death.


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Hazardous Tree Diseases Identification and Treatment

Prevent the rapid decline and death of your trees. Knowing how to identify and treat a disease-ridden tree will help you preserve and protect its health and well-being of the surrounding landscape.

Hazardous tree diseases include heart and root rot producing mushroom conks gathered essential information and tips on how to identify and treat trees infected by hazardous diseases.

How do you identify a diseased tree?

Tree diseases primarily attack a tree’s vascular system, robbing it of crucial nutrients and water. While each disease has signature symptoms, the following are signs that your tree is under attack and may require your help to survive:

Bark Abnormalities – Healthy trees exhibit continuous bark without deep cracks or holes. These imperfections reflect that your tree is diseased, dying, and may break or collapse.

Dieback – Dead branches are common signs of disease and pose a significant risk of breaking. These branches should be removed as a safety precaution.

Poor Architecture – Normal tree growth is typically balanced and centered. When trees are growing unevenly, lopsided, or leaning too far in any direction, there may be a disease at play.

Leaf Discoloration (Chlorosis) – Discolored foliage occurring “out of season” on deciduous trees or any time on evergreen trees is a sure indication of disease.

Mushroom Conks – Mushroom growth is a widely recognized sign of disease and decay occurring within a tree. Soft or crumbling wood is another common sign of this decay.

Treacherous Tree Diseases

The following are aggressive and typically fatal tree diseases unless detected and treated in their early stages:

1. Anthracnose (Glomerella cingulata)

Hazardous tree diseases include anthracnose

Description – Anthracnose is a group of fungal diseases that affect a wide variety of plants, shrubs, and trees in warm, humid areas. Shade trees like sycamore, ash, oak, and maple are highly susceptible, though the disease is found in a number of plants, including grasses and annuals worldwide.

Signs and Symptoms – Anthracnose symptoms include irregular brown spots or blotches on foliage and leaf malformation/distortion like curling or crumpling.

Health Risk – Anthracnose causes rapid and complete chlorosis, browning, and death of foliage, twigs, branches, and other plant tissue. Agriculturally, Anthracnose can reduce a healthy harvest to rotted waste in a matter of days.

Treatment – Remove and destroy (burn) infected plants in your garden. For trees, prune any dead wood and burn infected leaves.

2. Armillaria (Armillaria mellea)

Hazardous tree diseases include armillaria mellea

Description – Armillaria is a genus of fungi, including the A. mellea species known as honey fungi (and known as a form of root rot) that typically live on trees and woody shrubs.

Signs and Symptoms – Wilted, downward-hanging (drooping) leaves are often among the first apparent symptom of Armillaria root rot. Other typical symptoms include chlorosis, premature leaf drop, and upper limb dieback. During the wet fall and winter seasons, clusters of short-lived mushrooms may grow around the base of Armillaria-infected trees.

Health Risk – This disease severely impacts tree health and destroys root function and durability.

Treatment – Armillaria can be managed by the systematic removal of infected or dead trees, their stumps, and roots.

3. Ganodermia Lucidum (lingzhi mushroom or Ganoderma rot)

Hazardous tree diseases include ganoderma rot

Description – Ganoderma rot is a white-rot fungus that causes tree trunk diseases. It can quickly kill trees and commonly attacks any palm tree species.

Signs and Symptoms – Trees affected by this fungus may exhibit chlorotic, wilting, or undersized leaves and severe dieback, slower growth, and more dead lower foliage than usual.

Health Risk – Affected trees are easily blown-down during rainstorms or windy periods.

Treatment – There are no cultural or chemical controls for preventing this disease or for curing it after infection occurs. An infected tree should be removed entirely and destroyed as soon as possible after the disease’s conks appear on the trunk. The stump and root system should be removed as well.

4. Inonotus Dryadeus (oak bracket or weeping conk)

Hazardous tree diseases include oak bracket

Description – This disease is a parasitic saprobic fungus, with spores infecting wounds on broadleaf trees like oak, maple, elm, and chestnut. Fruiting structures grow close to the ground on the trunk, are firmly attached, and appear either singularly or in clusters.

Signs and Symptoms – Infected trees will exhibit dieback, severe chlorosis, and general canopy decline.

Health Risk – Infected trees may topple before any symptoms are detected.

Treatment – As a parasitic fungus with no known cure, Inonotus dryadeus can quickly cause severe tree damage. An infected tree should be removed entirely and destroyed as soon as possible after infection confirmation.

Tree Diseases

In this article, you discovered signs and symptoms of hazardous tree diseases, how to treat them, and when to call for help.

Knowing how to identify and what to do when a tree is battling disease will help you take prompt actions to preserve the tree and protect others within its reach.

Ignoring diseased trees can result in rapid decline, death, and catastrophic damages in itself, surrounding trees, and landscape.


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Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Tree Removal

Avoid paying for something that is covered by your homeowners insurance. Knowing when your insurance company covers tree removal costs and when they do not will help you make informed decisions when you need to hire a tree service.

Fallen trees can damage and sometimes destroy a house gathered essential information and tips on how homeowners insurance handles emergent tree situations on your property.

Emergency Tree Removal

Mature trees in your yard block wind, offer privacy from neighboring eyes, and cool your home in the summer months by shading it. These same trees are also risk factors for potentially catastrophic damage to your home, any outbuildings on the property, your vehicles, and your physical wellbeing. If you are concerned about the health or condition of a specific tree, you may wish your home insurance would cover the cost of removing it.

Tree removal terms and conditions can vary by insurance policy. However, nearly all home insurance providers share similar limitations on this particular process and coverage. Even though you may see your tree as an emergency waiting to happen, your insurance provider may not.

When Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Tree Removal

Homeowners insurance policies traditionally cover damages from specifically named perils, including fire, smoke, lightning, falling objects, and the crushing weight of ice, snow, or sleet. If a tree falls on your home because of one of these perils, insurance will cover the cost of the tree’s removal.

Consider this: If a tree in your yard were to fall on your home and damage the roof, you would first file a claim with your homeowners insurance carrier, meet (pay) your deductible, and then your insurance coverage should pay for the repairs to the roof as well as the tree’s removal.  

Fallen trees can cause roof damage sometimes covered by homeowners insurance

Also, consider: A tree in your yard is struck by lightning and splits down the middle. Even though there’s no home (structural) damage, your insurance would likely cover removal expenses. As with standard policies, any damage within your property line from fire, lightning, explosion, vandalism, or an airplane falling on the property is covered. 

Fallen trees are common when they are struck by lightning

Simply put, tree removal anywhere on your property will be paid for if the resulting damage originated from a fire, a lightning strike, or other perils we’ve discussed thus far. However, if it’s caused by a snow or wind storm, hail or ice, the coverage only applies when your buildings are damaged.

When Does Homeowners Insurance NOT Cover Tree Removal

Tree debris removal costs won’t be covered by your home insurance if it is caused by wind, snow, hail, or ice and does not fall on a covered structure on your property. If the debris simply lands on your lawn, you will likely be left responsible for its removal.

Other instances when the cost of tree removal is excluded include:

  • Regular HO-3 (the most common type of homeowners insurance policy) homeowners insurance does not cover damage due to a flood or earthquake.
  • Old age, disease, and infestation are typically excluded from coverage. If your tree is well into its maturity or there is evidence of deterioration, you’ll likely have to pay for its removal.

Fallen trees may not be covered by homeowners insurance when decay and disease are detected

Note: if you have a tree that falls due to a covered peril, but the assigned insurance adjuster finds that it has been damaged or decaying prior to the event, the insurance company may deny liability for repair and/or removal payment. In this case, the thought is that you should have detected and taken corrective measures before the tree fell.

Tip: If you live in a flood plain or are in an area that experiences frequent earthquakes, you’ll need either an additional policy or a rider on your existing policy that covers damage due to these circumstances. If a tree needs to be removed based on a flooding event, your standard policy will not cover the cost. For more on earthquake insurance, visit and you can read more about flood insurance at

Yard and Garden Rider Policy

A yard and garden rider policy can increase or expand coverage for lawn and landscaping damage. So if a tree falls on your lawn and causes any damage to existing shrubs, gardens, or watering systems, this rider policy can help.

This type of coverage can extend to damage resulting in business losses. Speak with your insurance agent to determine what your policy will cover and what is excluded.

Tree Emergency Prevention

Tree emergencies can be costly, inconvenient, and dangerous. They can happen to any homeowner, no matter how careful or attentive they are. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to prevent such emergencies before they happen. Consider evaluating the following with the help of an arborist:

  • Where you plant your trees
  • Annual tree health inspection
  • Recent or expected regional insect infestations
  • Soil health and stability
  • Sun and shade levels
  • Watering patterns
  • Mulching
  • Seasonal Pruning

Seasonal tree pruning helps a tree grow strong

Note: Dying trees can lead to emergency situations, including personal injuries if they are not promptly removed.

Tip: Find an ISA certified arborist near you by visiting

Tree Emergencies and Removal

In this article, you discovered crucial information about when homeowners insurance carriers will and will not pay to have a tree removed from your property.

Knowing when to activate your homeowners insurance policy to have a tree removed and its damage repaired can help you save thousands of dollars.

Not coordinating a tree emergency with your homeowners insurance carrier could lead to thousands of dollars in removal and repair expenses and the cancellation of your insurance policy.


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5 Fruit Trees for USDA Plant Zone 7

Prevent killing or trying to grow fruit trees not suited for your USDA plant hardiness zone. Knowing which trees will flourish in your region will help you select the right tree species and add to your seasonal harvest.

Nectarine blossoms in zone 7 gathered essential information and tips about 5 spectacular fruit tree species that thrive in the USDA’s hardiness zone 7.

1. Apple (Malus domestica)

Apple is a fruit tree hardy for zone 7

Apple trees are small trees that can reach upwards of 25 feet in height with a crown spread of 25 feet. Apple tree foliage is simple, oval, has small serrations along the margin, and is alternately arranged along the branches.

Sun – Apple trees grow best with at least 8 hours of sun per day during the growing season.

Soil – The recommended soil for apple trees are well-draining medium-clay to sandy loam, fertile soils with a slightly acidic to neutral pH between 5.8 and 6.5

Size – A common full-size apple tree can reach 18-25 feet tall and wide (or more) at maturity.

Fruit – After 3 to 4 years, apple trees will set fruit in the spring, and the apples will mature from late summer through fall.

Varieties – Apple tree varieties that grow in zone 7 include:

  • Empire
  • Red Delicious
  • Honeycrisp
  • McIntosh
  • Fuji
  • Granny Smith
  • Jonathan

2. Apricot (Prunus armeniaca)

Apricot is a fruit tree hardy for zone 7

Apricot trees have a vertical growth pattern with a wide-spreading canopy. The tree’s foliage is ovate with pointed tips and serrated margins. This tree produces white to pink flowers, turning to a fleshy yellow to orange fruit.

Sun – Apricot trees grow best with 6 to 8 hours of sun per day during the growing season.

Soil – Apricot trees thrive in soil with a pH between 6.5 and 8.0. Well-drained loamy soil is fundamental for your apricot tree to grow a well-developed root system, which helps it produce fruit in greater quantities.

Size – A full-size apricot tree can reach 15-25 feet tall and wide at maturity.

Fruit – Apricot trees begin fruiting 2 to 4 years after planting. An apricot harvest takes place in mid to late summer.

Varieties – Apple tree varieties that grow in zone 7 include:

  • Moorpark
  • Moongold
  • Scout
  • Sungold

3. Cherry (Prunus avium)

Cherry is a fruit tree hardy for zone 7

Prunus avium is a perennial tree grown for its fruit, the sumptuous cherry. Cherry trees have alternating oval leaves, which often have serrated margins and +/- 8 pairs of veins. The flowers are typically white and appear in small clusters.

Sun – Cherry trees require at least 8 hours of daily sun.

Soil – This species grows best in deep, well-drained loam soils. Cherry trees are notoriously susceptible to root rot, so the soil needs to drain well.

Size – Cherry trees typically grow to a height of 35 feet and a spread of about 25 feet at maturity. The dwarf varieties grow to an average height of 12–15 feet with a spread of about 12–15 feet.

Fruit – 5 to 8 years after planting, cherry trees will bloom in the spring and bear cherries in late May, June, or early July.

Varieties – Cherry tree varieties that grow in zone 7 include:

  • Rainier
  • Montmorency
  • Bing
  • Stella

4. Nectarine (Prunus persica var. nucipersica)

Nectarine is a fruit tree hardy for zone 7

The nectarine tree is deciduous, small to medium in size, and grows similarly to a peach tree. Leaves are bright green, glossy, alternate, and long with toothed margins.

Sun – Nectarine trees grow best with at least 6 hours of daily sun during the growing season.

Soil – A nectarine tree’s ideal soil is a well-drained sandy soil with a pH between 6 and 7.

Size – A typical nectarine tree will reach from 18 to 20 feet tall and wide at maturity.

Fruit – 3 to 4 years after planting, nectarine fruit will need 3 to 5 months to reach harvest from the time flowers are pollinated. Nectarines are usually ready for harvest from mid to late summer.

Varieties – Nectarine tree varieties that grow in zone 7 include:

  • Fantasia
  • Sunglo
  • Red Gold
  • Carolina Red

5. Peach (Prunus persica)

Peach is a fruit tree hardy for zone 7

Prunus persica is a deciduous tree grown for its fruit, the peach. The typical peach tree is relatively short with slender branches and alternately arranged, slender, and pointed foliage.

Sun – Peach trees grow best with at least 6 hours of daily sun during the growing season.

Soil – Peach trees thrive in sandy loam topsoil that is 18 to 24 inches deep and underlaid with a brightly colored, well-drained clay subsoil. Conversely, shallow or poorly drained soils tend to produce smaller, more fragile trees with significantly lower fruit production.

Size – A mature peach tree can reach heights of 25 feet tall and nearly as wide if left unpruned.

Fruit – A peach will bear fruit only 2 to 4 years after planting. The fruit ripens for harvesting in mid to late summer, typically June through August.

Varieties – Peach tree varieties that grow in zone 7 include:

  • Redhaven
  • Contender
  • Reliance
  • Saturn

Fruit Trees in Zone 7

In this article, you discovered 5 incredible fruit trees hardy to USDA hardiness zone 7, their descriptions, and growing information.

Knowing which fruit tree species will flourish in your hardiness zone will help you plant the right trees to grow and eventually harvest.

Planting fruit trees outside their hardiness zone will result in stunted growth, disease and insect susceptibility, and severely reduced fruit production.


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5 Fast-Growing Shade Trees for Your Yard

Avoid the frustration of a terribly hot yard, or shade trees that are growing too slow. Knowing which fast-growing shade trees to plant in your yard will help you enjoy being in your yard more often, and take advantage of your yard’s beauty in the shade.

Trees like tulip grow beautifully and cast a lot of shade when mature gathered information and tips about 5 magnificent, fast-growing shade trees to help you convert your yard into a destination point.

1. Oak Tree (Quercus)

Trees like oak grow beautifully and cast a lot of shade when mature

In 2004, congress designated the oak as America’s national tree. There are more than 60 oak species considered native to the United States. Live oak thrives in Southern regions. In colder areas, it’s the northern red oak that does best.

Growing Conditions: This species will thrive in full sun conditions when planted in humus-rich, well-drained soil.

Water Requirements: Young oaks may need to be deep watered once weekly if rain is irregular until they establish themselves.

Hardiness Zones: 8 through 10

Adult Dimensions: Fully mature oaks typically reach 80 feet in height with a canopy spread of over 150 feet in diameter or 80 to 85 feet from trunk to branch tip in all directions.

Lifespan: 200 to 500 years

2. Elm Tree (Ulmus)

Trees like elm grow beautifully and cast a lot of shade when mature

With an unmistakable vase shape and its strong branches, elms are highly popular shade trees. However, Dutch elm disease decimated millions of American elms between the 1930s and the late 1980s. Disease-resistant varieties like ‘Princeton’ are now available. Keep in mind that planting an elm tree near sidewalks, walkways, driveways, and patios can lead to cracks and elevated areas.

Growing Conditions: This species thrives in full sun conditions when planted in moist, well-drained fertile soil.

Water Requirements: After planting your young elm tree, water it as often as two or three times per week for the first couple of weeks. Two months after planting, you should only be watering your elm once every week to 10 days.

Hardiness Zones: 8 through 10

Adult Dimensions: This species has a multi-branched crown supported by a thick, powerful trunk. It typically grows from 60 to 80 feet tall with a crown 40 to 60 feet in diameter.

Lifespan: 175 to 300 years

3. Maple Tree (Acer)

Trees like maple grow beautifully and cast a lot of shade when mature

No matter what size yard you have, there’s a maple tree species to fit your shade tree needs. In addition to maple’s showy leaves, some varieties have attractive branch color and texture. Others like the red maple will display remarkable flower clusters.

Growing Conditions: Maple species thrive in full sun to part shade conditions when planted in medium to wet, well-drained, acidic (5.0-7.0 pH), and fertile soil.

Water Requirements: Maple trees need approximately 10 to 12 gallons of water per week to remain healthy.

Hardiness Zones: 5 through 9

Adult Dimensions: Maples grow to a height of 40 to 60 feet, and their crown reaches about 40′ at maturity.

Lifespan: 140 to 300 years

4. Tulip Tree (Liriodendron tulipifera)

Trees like the flowering tulip grow large and cast a lot of shade when mature

This majestic species features a straight, resilient trunk and uniform oval crown. Noteworthy, broad, lobed leaves make spotting springtime tulip-shaped flowers difficult. This is a deciduous tree, and its leaves turn yellow in fall.

Growing Conditions: Tulip trees thrive in full sun and grow well in acidic, loamy, moist, sandy, and well-drained soils. They prefer average moisture but tolerate drought conditions in humid regions.

Water Requirements: Provide supplemental irrigation (5 to 10 gallons per week), especially during the summer, early fall, and drought conditions.

Hardiness Zones: 4 through 9

Adult Dimensions: The tulip tree can reach a height of 70 to 90 feet, and its canopy will spread about 40 feet at maturity.

Lifespan: 200 to 300 years

5. Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora)

Trees like magnolia grow beautifully and cast a lot of shade when mature

The magnolia grandiflora species is a broadleaf evergreen tree (in warmer climates). It is noted for its dark green foliage and its large, fragrant flowers. The species is native to moist wooded areas in the southeastern United States. The leathery evergreen foliage is glossy dark green above and varies from pale green to gray-brown underneath. Seemingly oversized fragrant white flowers (up to a foot in diameter) will typically have six petals. Flowers begin blooming in late spring, and the tree can continue flowering throughout the summer.

Growing Conditions: Magnolia thrives in acidic (5.0 to 6.0 pH), well-drained, loamy, moist, and rich soil. Partial shade or full sun is ideal for this species. These trees should be mulched from the trunk to the edge of the dripline to make watering and fertilization easier.

Water Requirements: Water 2 to 3 times per week for the first six months after planting, giving the tree 2 to 3 gallons of water for each inch of trunk diameter.

Hardiness Zones: 7 through 10

Adult Dimensions: Magnolia grandiflora trees typically reaches 60 to 80 feet tall with a pyramidal to round-shaped crown.

Lifespan: 75 to 120 years

Shade Trees

In this article, you discovered several fast-growing shade trees, their descriptions, and their care information to help you liven up your yard.

Planting shade trees in your yard will help you create a refuge from the hot summer sun and naturally make your yard a more pleasant place to spend time in.

Not planting shade trees in your yard leaves you vulnerable to the heat and makes spending time outdoors less pleasurable.


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9 Evergreen Flowering Trees for Your Front Yard

Avoid the embarrassment of an ugly, leafless, winter front yard. The following are evergreen flowering trees that will keep your front yard looking beautiful year-round.

Flowering trees for your yard or landscape gathered information and tips about 9 flowering evergreen trees, their hardiness zones, and soil requirements.

Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia)

Lagerstroemia is a flowering tree for your yard or landscape

Crape Myrtle trees grow to an average of 6 feet tall and 3 to 4 feet wide, making them appropriate for nearly any size front yard. This tree species flourishes in lean soil, while an abundance of fertilizer will lead to more leafy growth than that of flowers. These trees are hardy in zones 7 through 10.

Smoke Tree (Cotinus coggygria)

Cotinus coggygria is a flowering tree for your yard or landscape

Often referred to as smoke bush, smoke tree adds both color and texture to any yard. Flowers are small and bloom in early summer, but each bloom has a long pink filament, creating a smoky or puffy look throughout the summer months. This species can easily be showcased as a specimen tree or be included in a garden bed. This tree species is hardy in zones 5 through 8.

Pear Tree (Pyrus)

Pyrus is a flowering tree for your yard or landscape

This species flowers at the peak of spring. This pear tree species is tall, growing 25 to 30 feet and up to 20 feet wide. Pears thrive in full sun and tolerate heavy clay soil. The species is hardy in zones 4 through 8.

Dogwood (Cornus)

Cornus is a flowering tree for your yard or landscape

Flowering dogwoods can grow to a height of 35 to 40 feet. It is considered a shrub or small, low-branching tree, usually with a flat and broad crown. Creamy-white flowers (depends on the variety) with 4 petals each appear in early spring. This tree is hardy in zones 5 through 9.

Texas Redbud (Cercis canadensis)

Texas redbud is a flowering tree for your yard or landscape

This variety grows to be a large shrub or small tree, reaching 10 to 20 ft. in height. This tree species is an excellent selection for small yards, pathways, or sidewalk planting. This tree also flourishes as an understory tree or displayed as a specimen. It thrives in well-drained, calcareous, rocky, sandy, loamy, or clay soil types, usually limestone-based. Hardy in zones 6 through 9.

Flowering Cherry (Prunus serrulata)

Prunus serrulata is a flowering tree for your yard or landscape

This species compliments small yards very well, growing to about 25 feet tall with a spread of 15 feet. Pink flowers bloom in early spring, while its dark green leaves appear after flowering. This tree has a hearty disposition, thriving in well-drained sandy, loamy, or clay soils that all support the cherry species and tolerating insect and disease attacks. This tree is hardy in zones 6 through 8.

Evereste Crabapple (Malus Evereste)

Malus evereste is a flowering tree for your yard or landscape

With white blooms that linger through spring, this tree species is a gem for front yard diversity. This species is also perfect for pots. Evereste crabapple flourishes in moderately moist, well-drained soil and prefers full sun but can tolerate partial shade. This crabapple species is hardy in zones 4 through 8.

Fragrant Tea Olive Tree (Osmanthus fragrans)

Osmanthus fragrans is a flowering tree for your yard or landscape

This species also compliments small yards very well, growing to about 10 feet tall with a spread of 6 to 8 feet. White flowers bloom in late fall and early spring, while its dense evergreen foliage persists year-round. This tree has a hearty disposition, growing best in fertile, moist, well-drained, acidic soil. The species is moderately drought tolerant once established. This tree is hardy in zones 8 through 11.

Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora)

Magnolia grandiflora is a flowering tree for your yard or landscape

The imposing dark green leaves of Magnolia grandiflora contrast to its large white blossoms in spring, followed by randomly blooming flowers all summer long. This species can grow from 20 to 80 feet, depending on the variety. Southern magnolia can be grown in full sun or full shade. It thrives in moist, well-drained, acidic soils. This tree species is hardy in zones 6 through 9.

Flowering Evergreen Trees

In this article, you discovered 9 stunning evergreen flowering tree species to help keep your yard full of life year-round.

Growing flowering evergreen trees in your yard helps you present lush green foliage all year and show off stunning flowers when your tree blooms.

Without evergreens in your yard, winter months can be challenging as its vegetation may appear to be dying or dead.


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5 Beautiful Flowering Shrubs for Your Yard

Avoid planting plain shrubs that only offer a new shade of green to your yard. Knowing which shrubs flower and planting them will offer an annual show of color to an otherwise uninteresting yard.

Lilac syringa purple flowering shrub gathered information and tips about 5 flowering shrubs that compliment your trees and are perfect for your yard.

Planting Flowering Shrubs

Shrubs are a fundamental component of every homeowner’s ecosystem. They provide shade, improve soil stability, improve air quality, and provide shelter for all types of wildlife. Of course, flowering shrubs and small trees are beautiful to look at, especially when you choose varieties that offer seasonal interest to your landscape. The following 5 species were selected for their ease of care and incredible flowering habit:

1. Lilac (Syringa)

Lilac Syringa white flowering shrub

Hardiness Zones: 3-8 for most, a few hardy to Zone 2
Sun Exposure: Full sun; will tolerate some light shade
Mature Size: 5 to 15 feet tall and wide, depending on the variety
Expected Bloom Time: Late April to May; again in summer for rebloomers.
Typical Flower Colors: Purple, pink, white

On a warm spring day, you are likely to encounter the intoxicating and unmistakable fragrance of spring-blooming lilacs. Early-, mid-, and late-season varieties will extend the bloom time for a minimum of 6 weeks. Reblooming varieties bloom in spring and again in summer, lasting through the fall.

Care: Lilacs are typically low-maintenance shrubs. Overall, the general care of lilac bushes is minimal, with the exception of regular pruning.

2. Flowering Quince (Chaenomeles japonica)

Quince chaenomeles japonica

Hardiness Zones: 4-9
Sun Exposure: Full sun
Mature Size: 6 to 10 feet tall and wide. Some smaller varieties will only reach 3 to 4 feet at maturity.
Expected Bloom Time: Early to mid-spring
Typical Flower Colors: Shades of red, orange, pink, and white

Flowering quince tends to bloom earlier than other spring-flowering shrubbery, appearing as early as January in the warmer South and March in the cooler northern areas. This species is adaptable and very easy to grow. Flowering quince is also heat tolerant, handles dry conditions well, and thrives in a variety of soil types.

Care: Feed flowering quince with a slow-release, all-purpose fertilizer in early spring before new growth occurs, give your bush one deep watering per week, and watch for its unforgiving thorns when pruning it in late fall.

3. Forsythia (Forsythia)

Forsythia flowering shrub

Hardiness Zones: 3-9
Sun Exposure: Full sun and partial shade (flowers best in full sun)
Mature Size: 1 to 20 feet tall and 3 to 10 feet wide, depending on the variety
Expected Bloom Time: Early and mid-spring.
Typical Flower Colors: Canary-yellow

Bright yellow forsythia flowers are a magnificent sight to behold as they announce the end of winter, the flowers cover each arching branch lasting up to two weeks. The welcoming sight of yellow flowers makes this shrub worth planting, despite the comparatively short bloom time.

Care: Your forsythia shrub will tolerate many soil types. This shrub should be top pruned after blooms have expired to maintain its form, and apply a high phosphorous fertilizer each spring for optimal growth.

4. Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis)

Buttonbush cephalanthus occidentalis

Hardiness Zones: 5-10
Sun Exposure: Full sun; will tolerate some light shade
Mature Size: 6 to 8 feet tall and wide, can grow to over 12 feet high and wide
Expected Bloom Time: Summer.
Typical Flower Colors: White and pale-pink

Buttonbush (also known as buttonwillow, pond dogwood, swamp wood, or buttonwood) is an excellent choice for a flowering shrub to be planted in “wet” conditions. This unique shrub with spiky blooms thrives in wet locations receiving constant moisture such as garden ponds, rain ponds, riverbanks, and even swamps. When this shrub is grown alongside bodies of water, buttonbush seeds will typically attract geese, ducks, songbirds, and butterflies. Buttonbush will also attract deer.

Care: Buttonbush tolerates a variety of soil types and doesn’t require pruning. If your buttonbush shrub becomes unruly, you can prune it to the ground in early spring. This is a relatively fast-growing species.

5. Rhododendron (Rhododendron)

Rhododendron flowering bush

Hardiness Zones: 5-8 for most, a few hardy to Zone 2
Sun Exposure: Partial shade
Mature Size: 1.5 to 20 feet tall, depending on the variety
Expected Bloom Time: Mid-spring but may deliver an early or late-blooming depending on soil and weather conditions.
Typical Flower Colors: Pink, white, purple, crimson, and yellow

This evergreen flowering shrub is the national flower of Nepal and the state flower of West Virginia and Washington. It boasts blooms in whites, yellows, pinks, and purples, and is commonly seen in woodland parks and gardens. Rhododendron also makes for beautiful hedges in residential or commercial landscaping and thrives under a canopy of oak or pine trees.

Care: Your rhododendrons should be planted in moisture-retaining but well-draining, loamy soil with a pH of 4.5 to 5.5. Mulch plants every spring with 2 to 5 inches of pine bark chips or pine needles to protect shallow roots, and prune to remove wilted flowers and to remove dead wood.

Blooming Shrubs for Your Landscape

In this article, you discovered species information and care advice for five beautiful blooming shrubs for your diverse landscape.

Choosing the correct shrubs for your yard is vital for healthy growth and abundant flowering, which can significantly increase curb appeal and property value.

Planting random bushes in your yard may result in overgrowth, excessive maintenance, and an ugly, unruly-looking yard.


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