Money does grow on trees (sort of).
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Beautiful Large Back Deck with trees
Credit: Chuck Collier/Getty Images

Most homeowners know that a thoughtfully planned kitchen or bath remodel will bring them top dollar when it comes time to sell. However, landscaping can increase your home value too. According to Arborist News, larger trees in yards and neighborhoods can add 3 to 15 percent to home values. "A mature tree can have an appraised value of between $1,000 and $10,000 plus, according to the Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers," says Jason Parker, a certified arborist and district manager at Davey Tree.

In addition to increasing your property value, trees add visual interest and can help reduce cooling and heating costs. "The American Power Association estimates that effective landscaping can reduce a home cooling bill by as much as 50 percent a year," says Parker. He recommends planting trees on the north and northwest sides of your property to create a natural wall against cold winter winds that will help cut heating costs. If you're ready to boost your home's value and lower those utility bills, here's how to pick the right tree for your yard.

How to Pick a Tree That Will Boost Your Property Value

Choosing which trees to plant can be challenging for some homeowners, especially if you do not know much about them. "Identifying the right tree for the right location makes a huge difference in the success of the tree and preventing future damage," says Parker. Here is how an arborist recommends picking a tree that's perfect for your home. 

  • Select a tree species that is compatible with your cold-hardiness zone.
  • Pick a tree with the most desirable attributes, such as a large canopy for shade, fast growth, color, screening, etc.
  • The soil in the planting site will help determine which tree species will grow best there. "You need to have a properly prepared site," says Parker. "This is where soil conditions are critical."
  • Most trees like full sunlight, but some need shade. The planting spot's quantity and quality of light will determine the best species.
  • Trees, like other plants, require adequate spacing. Overplanting is a significant cause of landscape decline. "Plan for 10, 20, 30 years of future growth of the tree," says Parker.
  • Plant diversity is vital in a landscape. Try not to go all-in on one type of tree species. When in doubt about which species to choose, select a native plant for your area. "Native plants generally grow well and require little care when grown on proper soils under the right environmental conditions," says Parker. "By choosing the right native plants, you may be able to use fewer pesticides and less water."

The Best Tree Varieties to Increase Property Value

To get the best return on your investment and liven up your home's curb appeal, try planting one of these trees as soon as you move into your new home.

Oak Trees

Long-lived oaks are popular trees for home landscapes due to their attractive large-canopied, rounded spread, gorgeous fall foliage colors, and their ability to support more life forms than any other trees in North America.

Shumard Oak (Quercus shumardii)

If you want a tree with impressive fall foliage, check out this oak variety's red to red-orange leaves. It can also tolerate pollution and compacted soil.

  • Height: 40–60 feet
  • Spread: 40–60 feet
  • Light Needs: Full sun 
  • Soil: Acidic, alkaline, loamy, and well-drained soils
  • Hardiness: Zones 5-9

Live Oak (Quercus virginiana)

Trees that increase property values tend to be hardy and long-lived, and this oak variety can live for centuries. It also adapts to almost any soil type, and can even withstand salt spray and compacted soil. This sturdy tree has superior wind resistance, so if positioned correctly, it will help keep your home warmer.

  • Height: 40–80 feet
  • Spread: 60–100 feet
  • Light Needs: Full sun and partial shade
  • Soil: Acidic, alkaline, loamy, moist, sandy, well-drained, and clay soils
  • Hardiness: Zones 7-10

White Oak (Quercus alba)

In the fall, expect showy shades of red and burgundy leaves. In the spring, it produces long, yellow-green catkins. This is another variety that can survive for centuries.

  • Height: 50–80 feet
  • Spread: 50–80 feet
  • Light Needs: Full sun and partial shade
  • Soil: Slightly acidic to neutral, deep, moist, well-drained soil.
  • Hardiness: Zones 3-9

Non-Oak Trees:

If you are not a fan of acorns, consider these non-oak trees, which offer attractive fall foliage, support wildlife, and add wonderful texture to your landscape.

Magnolia Cucumbertree (Magnolia acuminata)

For those looking for a shade tree to cool down their yards and to relax under all summer, look no further. This tree grows rapidly and produces slightly fragrant greenish-yellow flowers with pinkish-red fruit resembling a cucumber.

  • Height: 50-80 feet
  • Spread: 40 feet
  • Light Needs: Full sun 
  • Soil: Acidic, loamy, moist, sandy, well-drained, wet, clay soil
  • Hardiness: Zones 4-8

Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum)

This tree develops a dense crown, offering great shade in the spring and summer. Then in the fall, get ready for yellow, burnt orange, and red foliage. It features small, greenish-yellow flowers in the spring.

  • Height: 60-75 feet
  • Spread: 40-50 feet
  • Light Needs: Full sun and partial shade
  • Soil: Deep, well-drained, acidic to slightly alkaline soil
  • Hardiness: Zones 5-9

Red Maple (Acer rubrum)

From winter to spring, the red maple produces red (sometimes yellow) clusters of small flowers. In the fall, expect yellow to red foliage. It has winged seeds, which ripen in late spring and spin through the air as they fall.

  • Height: 40-60 feet
  • Spread: 40 feet
  • Light Needs: Full sun
  • Soil: Acidic, loamy, moist, rich, sandy, silty loam, well-drained, and clay soils
  • Hardiness: Zones 3-9

Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora)

This tree features evergreen, leathery dark green leaves with a soft rust underside. From May through June, it gives off large, creamy white blooms with a rich fragrance. Birders, take note, it yields fruit that attracts feathered friends.

  • Height: 60–80 feet
  • Spread: 40 feet
  • Light Needs: Full sun and partial shade
  • Soil: Acidic, loamy, moist, sandy, well-drained, and clay soils
  • Hardiness: Zones 6-10

Black Tupelo (Nyssa sylvatica)

This tree yields small, bluish-black fruit that ripens in autumn, drawing many species of birds and wildlife to your yard. In the fall, it puts on a show with shades of yellow, bright red, purple, and scarlet leaves. As it ages, the trunk develops bark that resembles alligator hide.

  • Height: 30–50 feet
  • Spread: 20–30 feet
  • Light Needs: Full sun and partial shade
  • Soil: Acidic, loamy, moist, rich, sandy, silty loam and well-drained soils
  • Hardiness: Zones 4-9

Black Cherry (Prunus serotina)

The wood from this tree is valued for furniture making, veneers, cabinets, and musical instruments—but you'll enjoy the foliage, flowers, and fruit the tree provides in your yard. Expect yellow to rosy fall foliage, fragrant white flowers, and small red cherries that attract wildlife.

  • Height: 50-60 feet
  • Spread: 20-30 feet
  • Light Needs: Full sun
  • Soil: Acid, moist, well-drained soil
  • Hardiness: Zones 2-8

Linden (Tilia tomentosa)

With its yellow-white flowers that give off a pleasant fragrance in the summer, the linden tree is a great source of nectar and pollen for bees and other pollinators. In the fall, enjoy its pale green to yellow foliage.

  • Height: 50-70 feet
  • Spread: 30-50 feet
  • Light Needs: Full sun to part shade
  • Soil: Acidic, alkaline, loamy, moist, sandy, well-drained, and clay soils
  • Hardiness: Zones 4-7