There’s no doubt that a beautiful yard with trees can boost curb appeal and add value to your home. That doesn’t just mean the front yard, though! Backyard trees are perfect for creating shaded spots you can enjoy, adding privacy to your yard, and the opportunity to create stunning landscaping around trees that pops.
Which trees are right for your area, though? We’re exploring the best trees to plant in Upstate NY to give you exactly the look you’re going for. From front yard trees to the best trees for small backyards and everything in between, keep reading for some tree installation inspiration!
Best Trees to Plant in Upstate NY
Have you started thinking about how your yard would look better with a tree? When you’re getting started budgeting and planning your project (we recommend beginning with a landscape planner online), it’s important to consider the best trees to plant in Upstate NY. Not all trees thrive in all regions. You can even see how these regions are broken down into what’s known as the USDA Plant Hardiness Zones.
So then what are the best trees to plant in Upstate NY? We’ve got you covered! We’re going to be looking at:
- Front yard trees in Upstate NY
- Best trees for backyard landscaping
- Privacy trees for backyard seclusion
- Small backyard tree ideas in Upstate NY
- Flowering trees for Upstate NY
Bonus Tip: After finishing this article, get more inspiration with our guide to corner lot landscaping ideas for Upstate NY homes and then take a look at some landscape design in Saratoga Springs, NY!
Best Front Yard Trees in Upstate NY
Adding front yard trees is a great landscaping idea to boost curb appeal and add value to your home. The best front yard trees in Upstate NY may add shade to your property in summer, create a welcoming look, add opportunities for more landscaping options (such as an incredible water feature installation!), or even help shield your home from some of the cold winter winds.
When it comes to planting front yard trees, typically you’ll want to plant them at least 15 to 20 feet from the house to avoid issues with their root systems or potentially dangerous overhanging branches. Larger types of trees in your front yard may be better planted further from the house as their root systems may spread out wider. Hiring a landscape professional for tree installation is best as they’ll know the best spot to place each type of front yard tree for optimal growth and to give you the look you want.
Our favorite of the best front yard trees in Upstate NY is the autumn blaze maple! This type of tree is a hybrid of the silver maple and red maple and is actually the fastest-growing maple tree. It can grow an average of two feet or more each year!
The real beauty of the autumn blaze maple that makes it the best front yard tree in Upstate NY is its fall foliage. This tree lives up to its name each year as fall sets its leaves ablaze in an explosion of red and orange leaves. It’s truly jaw-dropping and gives the iconic look of Upstate NY fall.
The other reason the autumn blaze maple makes the list of best trees to plant in Upstate NY is that it’s exceptionally hardy. It can grow in full sun or partial shade and adapts to many soil types. This makes it perfect whether your home is more remote or in the middle of a suburban spread.
Best trees for Backyard Landscaping in Upstate NY
Moving on to the best trees for backyard landscaping in Upstate NY, we’re taking a look at larger trees that provide shaded areas and opportunities for ways landscape design can transform your backyard. Many homes in Upstate NY have large backyards. Knowing how to landscape them can create a finished, polished look that you can enjoy.
The northern red oak has been a favorite in the Capital Region (and the New England area) since colonial times. This tree requires full sun but grows quickly at a rate of two feet per year on average for the first ten years! At full maturity, this tree is a large option in our list of the best trees to plant in Upstate NY, reaching upwards of 60 to 75 feet with a 45-foot spread. It’s large canopy means it’s perfect for providing backyard shade. The northern red oak also provides a stunning display of fall foliage with leaves turning red in the fall.
Another option for the best trees for backyard landscaping in Upstate NY is the hybrid poplar. This tree is very fast growing (over two feet per year and sometimes even up to five or eight feet!) and is typically planted to be a shade tree. Since they grow so quickly, they’re popular for creating shaded areas quickly.
The hybrid poplar can grow to heights between 30 and 50 feet tall at full maturity and have a substantial canopy of shady leaves. This makes them great for backyard landscaping ideas! You can pair them with a patio installation to enjoy your backyard even on the hottest summer days. You may also consider installing a water feature to add value to your home such as a garden pond or waterfall to your landscaping under your hybrid poplar to create a natural, zen space with calming sounds. A landscape professional can help you design and install a water feature to fit your needs.
Best Trees for Backyard Privacy in the Capital Region
Sometimes the best trees to plant in Upstate NY are the ones that give you privacy! It’s nice to be able to relax in your backyard without worrying about your neighbors. The best trees for backyard privacy are also effective at muffling the sounds of passing cars, people mowing their lawns, and other noises. It can help create your own private oasis.
Some of the best trees for backyard privacy in the Capital Region include:
- Emerald Arborvitae
- Leyland Cypress
- Spartan Juniper
Each of these types of trees grow tall enough and wide enough to provide wonderful backyard privacy. Additionally, they all have their own special benefits, too!
The emerald arborvitae, a type of white cedar, have a unique green color to them and grow 3 to 4 feet wide. This helps them protect your privacy without taking over your yard! The Leyland cypress has very soft foliage while growing up to 50 feet tall at full maturity. Finally, the Spartan juniper is exceptionally resistant to pests, making it a super low maintenance tree for backyard privacy.
Best Trees for Small Backyards
Not every home in the Albany, Colonie, Saratoga, and Capital Region area has a large yard, however. Don’t worry, we’ve got the best trees for small backyards, too!
When it comes to the best trees to plant in Upstate NY for homes with small backyards there are a variety of factors to consider. Does your backyard provide shade? Does it get enough sun for full sun species?
Some of the best trees for small backyards that made it on to our list include:
- Hedge Maple
- Dawn Redwood
- Honeycrisp Apple Tree
Trees for small backyards are typically shorter than those found in larger spaces. Sometimes called dwarf trees, these often top out at 10 to 20 feet (or even shorter).
The hedge maple can be a good option as it grows in full sun or partial shade, producing beautiful variegated silver and green leaves. The dawn redwood may catch you by surprise as it can be a taller tree, but the ‘Miss Grace’ variety is slow growing and reaches only about 8 feet. This tree has a dramatic weeping form that could pair beautifully with a garden pond water feature (learn which water feature design is right for your yard after this article!). The honeycrisp apple tree is a small fruit-bearing tree that can be both gorgeous and delicious!
Best Flowering Trees for Backyards in Upstate NY
Last in our exploration of the best trees to plant in Upstate NY are flowering trees. Not all trees have plain leaves. Some produce magnificent blooms! These trees can make excellent additions to any landscape design.
Some of the best flowering trees for backyards in Upstate NY include:
- Franklin Tree
- Japanese Stewartia
- ‘Randy’ Magnolia
Franklin tree is a medium-sized variety of flowering tree that can grow up to 20 feet (though typically stay around 10 feet) and do well in both full sun or partial shade. In late summer, they produce white fragrant blooms with five petals and yellow anthers. The Japanese Stewartia is a great option for people wanting flowering trees for the backyard but having less space to work with. These are deciduous low-maintenance trees that produce white flowers with orange/yellow anthers in early summer. The ‘Randy’ magnolia grows to between 10 and 15 feet while producing stunning red-purple star-shaped flowers in early spring.
As you can see, there’s a lot of options out there when choosing the best trees to plant in Upstate NY! Whether you’ve got a smaller yard or lots of space to fill, there’s a type of tree for you. When you’re thinking of tree services in Upstate NY, consider what else you may want to finish the look. Trees provide incredible opportunities to add landscaping to your yard and a professional will be able to help you design a unique piece that adds value and makes your home stand out.
Unsure where to begin? Check out our Project Planner to start planning and budgeting your next landscape project. When you’re finished, you can save the plans or submit them to us and one of our landscaping professionals in Colonie, NY will reach out to start bringing your vision to life!
Curious about landscaping services but not sure if you really need them? Check out these 5 benefits of using landscaping services in Upstate NY and how they’ll benefit your yard.