Front yard trees can make or break the look of your landscape; it’s the first thing anyone sees when they come to visit and the last thing they see when they leave. The best trees to plant in a front yard leave a good impression on anyone who takes a look.
What qualities do you value in a front yard tree? Should it have amazing seasonal colors? Do you want it to have showy, eye-catching flowers or a unique form? Or perhaps a basic, fruit-bearing tree will suffice for those days when you crave a healthy, tasty treat.
Whatever it is, you can benefit from reading all about these wonderful trees that are perfect for your landscape.
Best Front Yard Trees
Have a look at these beautiful, interesting, sometimes functional front yard trees. Planting even just one of these can switch up the look of your landscape.
- ‘Sun Valley’ Maple (Acer rubrum ‘Sun Valley’) – ‘Sun Valley,’ a quickly growing red maple, which adds great color to a front yard in the fall. It’s a dependable shade tree that’s resistant to leafhoppers. The tree reaches a maximum height of twenty to twenty-five feet. This is a male variety, so there are no seeds to collect. Its unique features include fast growth, cold-hardiness, symmetrical crown, upright growth habit, stunning red fall color, and adaptability to any soil type. In early spring, you’ll be greeted by the sight of red flowers. You’ll be happy to have this in your front yard; it deserves to be seen!
- Red Buckeye (Aesculus pavia) – Red buckeye (Aesculus pavia) is a deciduous clump-forming shrub or small tree with an uneven rounded crown. Its height can get up to 10 to 20 feet. Expect to see showy, orange-red flowers and shiny, deep green leaves in spring. But in drier, hotter times of the year, its foliage will appear to scorch, understandably so because this tree prefers some shade.
- Apple (Malus) – You don’t need a large, fancy yard to produce apples: Dwarf trees are compact enough to fit in an average front yard. Malus pumila Honeycrisp is one among those. Its name accurately describes the fruit. Honeycrisp is a cold-tolerant apple, surviving in zones 4 to 7. This dwarf apple tree grows eight to ten feet tall and wide. Having an apple tree in the front yard harkens back to days of old. If you want to add a bit of nostalgia to your front yard, try planting an apple tree. Late in the spring, apple trees produce showy, five-petaled, white blooms with a touch of pink. Bees pollinate the flowers. During the summer, the pomaceous fruits develop, ripen, and become edible in the fall. Ripe apples can be red, green, yellow, or a combination of these shades.
- Crabapple (Malus) – On the other hand, if you want less mess in the fall and aren’t particularly concerned about harvesting apples to eat, then the crabapple might be perfect for you. Crabapple trees are not only beautiful in the spring, but they may also pollinate apple trees and other plants that attract wild birds. That’s a great thing if you want wonderful company in your front yard! Spring Snow and Prairie Fire (both appropriate for zones 4 to 8) are two cultivars to consider. Prairie Fire plants are magnificent blooming trees with vibrant pink blossoms that mature into deep red crabapples. These plants reach a peak height and width of 15 to 20 feet. Spring Snow features fragrant white blooms, but it does not bear fruits. It grows 20 to 25 feet high and 15 to 20 feet broad when fully developed.
- Saucer Magnolia (Magnolia × soulangeana) – Saucer Magnolia is a hybrid plant belonging to the Magnoliaceae family and genus Magnolia. It is a deciduous tree well-liked for its big, beautiful, pink, white, or purple flowers that look like saucers or goblets. You’ll love the flowers’ aesthetic appeal and fragrance. Meanwhile, the leaves are generally a dark green shade in the summer, but they turn an appealing brown color in the fall. Saucer magnolia is hardy in zones four through nine, and it prefers full sun to part shade and well-draining, slightly acidic soil. Saucer magnolias are generally found in clumps with several stems, although single stem types make excellent display trees in yards. They can get 20-30 feet tall and spread 20-25 feet at maturity, and you can expect 1-2 feet of growth each year.
- Palm Trees (Arecaceae) – Palms feature huge, evergreen leaves that are compound and spirally placed at the top of the stem, either palmately (fan-leaved) or pinnately (feather-leaved). At the base of the leaves is a tube-like sheath that breaks apart on one side when mature. Tropical and subtropical regions are home to the majority of palms. Palms flourish in humid, hot temperatures, although you may find them in various environments. Their variety is greatest in lowland, wet forests. In warm areas, palm trees are attractive foliage plants. Coconut palms (Cocos nucifera) are a palm that does not survive freezing temperatures. However, some varieties are extremely resilient in the winter. Temperatures as low as 18°F will not kill date palms (Phoenix dactylifera). It’s a “pinnate” palm, which means the leaf resembles a feather. The “palmate” is the second major class; the leaves on this variety resemble a human hand.
- Fringe Tree (Chionanthus virginicus) – Chionanthus virginicus is called multiple names: Fringetree, American Fringetree, Old Man’s Beard, Grancy Greybeard, White Fringetree, and Sweetheart Tree. The name “fringe tree” comes from the clouds of soft-looking, fleecy, bright white, lightly scented blooms that dangle from the branches in spring and summer. Male and female Fringe trees are both available. Males have bigger, more showy flowers, but females produce appealing dark blue or purple fruits that birds enjoy. Because fringe trees are just 10 to 20 feet tall, they will fit just fine in most yards. They can serve as specimen trees and look good in groups or shrub borders. But the fringe tree is more than just a beautiful sight. Native Americans utilized it as a disinfectant and a dermatological treatment. For optimum results, this plant should be grown in zones 3 to 9, which covers most of the United States.
- Paper Birch (Betula papyrifera) – The dazzling white paper birch (Betula papyrifera) may conjure up memories of beauty and love in the minds of many people. You’ll love to see its distinctive, thin, white bark (which peels away in paper-like layers) and stunningly golden fall color in your front yard. The Paper birch tree is native to North America and may be found in Hardiness Zones 2–7. When fully mature, the paper birch reaches a height of around 66 feet and a spread of approximately 35 feet. This tree loves full sun and moderate shade, with at least four hours of direct sunshine every day.
- Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum) – Beauty and practicality don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Acer saccharum is known for its yellow-orange fall color and maple syrup. Sugar Maple is also known as “sugar tree,” “rock maple,” “birds-eye maple,” “curly maple,” or “sweet maple.” When talking about its wood, though, it’s called “hard maple.” Sugar maples serve as shade trees and noise blockers due to their size, which can reach up to a whopping 80-115 feet tall. Maintain a safe distance between their root systems and septic tanks. Mohegans got some use out of the sugar maple. The inner bark is used as a cough medicine, while the sap is used to sweeten food and produce maple syrup.
- Minnesota Strain Redbud (Cercis canadensis) – In the northern setting, the Minnesota Strain Redbud is one of the best specimen trees. Cercis canadensis is a magnificent and resilient spring bloomer with brilliant, pea-like, purple, or pink blooms kept close to its branches. This perennial tree’s distinct, heart-shaped foliage that becomes bright yellow in fall is hard to miss! Its rounded form and coarse texture will stand out in your yard. Despite its attractive, almost fake-looking appearance, it’s relatively low-maintenance. If you’re wondering when to prune it, do so after it flowers. And you’ll be happy to know that deer won’t disturb this plant. This tree can grow up to 25 feet high and can spread up to 30 feet. It likes partial shade and full sun, as long as it receives enough water.
- Sunburst Honey Locust (Gleditsia triacanthos ‘Sunburst’) – Sunburst Honey Locust is a hardy and adaptable shade tree in gardens and parks. Seeing its lacey, bright, glowy, yellow leaves will certainly make springtime in your yard cheerier. And in summer, you will still enjoy its cool green foliage. Its overall vibe makes you want to curl up under it and read a book or drink something cold. It is an excellent yard tree since it lets just enough filtered light hit the grass. It grows up to forty feet high. It can withstand strong winds and scorching heat while requiring little water and will not do well in deep shade. It’s a great tree if you want dappled shade instead of the full, dark shadow that many other landscaping trees provide. And it’s also not a pain to maintain since this cultivar does not produce fruit pods.
- Golden Chain Trees (Laburnum × watereri) – Laburnum × watereri only blooms for a short time, so it doesn’t have much to show the remainder of the year. It’s also picky, only growing in hardiness zones 5–7. Even so, it’ll thrive in locations with mild, humid summers. However, if you are lucky enough to be located in one of its favorite zones, don’t allow these reservations to deter you from getting one. Most people would overlook its short show of beauty in exchange for planting something that will turn everyone’s head for a couple of weeks in late spring. The golden flower racemes are quite striking.
- Mountain Ash (Sorbus americana) – Mountain Ash is a specimen tree prized for its beautiful yellow-orange leaves in the fall, red/orange berries that birds and small mammals love, and showy white flowers. Although, the flowers have quite a strong scent. Because its compound, serrated leaves, mimic ash (Fraxinus) species, this tiny tree of cold regions is named American mountain-ash. But, unlike ash, the leaves of American mountain ash are alternating rather than the opposite. You can expect this easy-to-grow shrub tree to reach 10-30′. It prefers well-drained, acidic, loamy soil in full sunlight to part shade, and it will grow in zones 2-5.
- ‘Little Volunteer’ Tuliptree (Liriodendron tulipifera’ Little Volunteer’) – Because it’s not so big, the tiny Tulip Poplar is perfect for landscaping in your front yard or garden. You’ll like how it doesn’t overwhelm the overall view of your house. You’ll get all the greatest qualities of a huge tree modified to a smaller, well-proportioned size regardless of where you plant the Little Volunteer. This tree is also perfect for your walkway or driveway because of its neat, upright branching habit. ‘Little Volunteer’ Tulip Tree grows nicely in moist, well-drained soil in zones 4-9. In the fall, the rich green leaves become a beautiful buttery yellow. You’ll enjoy your Little Volunteer tulip poplar when the leaves begin to fall throughout the fall months because raking is not a big deal when you’re tidying up after a little tree!
- Crepe Myrtles (Lagerstroemia) – Crepe myrtle (sometimes spelled crape myrtle) is an excellent front yard tree hardy to zone 6. It’s more abundant in the south, and up north’s winters can really affect its growth, only getting to the size of a shrub. However, in the sweltering American Southeast, this drought-tolerant tree is common. But, no matter where you find the crepe myrtle, you’ll always be amazed by its long-lasting crepe-textured red, pink, or white flower clusters. Several of these fabulous trees placed side by side to form a large hedge or screen in your front yard will look amazing! Or a single tree can serve as an eye-catching accent near your entrance.
- Serviceberry (Amelanchier spp.) – The Serviceberry (also known as juneberry, Saskatoon berry, or shadbush) is a small tree (15 to 25′) that you’ll love for its stunning red and gold fall color foliage and its white flowers that bloom in March and April. These delicate flowers give rise to fruits that birds will love! Serviceberry trees are utilized as specimen and focal plants in group plantings, landscapes and borders, sceneries, and screens. Planting even just one Serviceberry will do wonders to your front yard. It thrives in hardiness zones 2-8, with full sun or partial shade. Ideally, this tree should get four hours of direct sunlight every day.
- Silk Trees (Albizia julibrissin) – The genus name of the Silk tree (also called Mimosa), Albizia, comes from Filippo degli Albizzi, an Italian nobleman. He introduced it to Tuscany, Italy, in the mid-eighteenth century. That explains why its name, Albizia, is misspelled on occasion. Although these are beautiful front yard trees, here’s one thing to remember: silk trees are invasive, more so in warmer areas. Silk trees can live in zones 6 to 9. Its flowers are one-of-a-kind, looking like silky, pink strands in powder-puffy clusters. And with its leaves resembling ferns, you’ll like this tree because it stands out. But its appearance isn’t the only unusual thing about this tree; its leaves and flowers close overnight. This brittle-stemmed tree produces plenty of fertile seeds for a long time. Each pod contains about eight seeds. Forceful winds cause the pods to break, and the seeds go a great distance, but water and animals are also capable of dispersing the seeds. The legume or bean from a silk tree contains a neurotoxin that can be harmful to animals.
- Beech Trees (Fagus) – Beech (Fagus) is a tall, deciduous tree genus originally belonging to Asia, North America, and temperate Europe. This shade tree is a member of the Fagaceae family. Beeches are monoecious, which means that a single tree produces both male and female flowers. No matter what beech tree variety you get, you’ll find tiny clusters of yellow-green blooms succeeded by fruit or beechnuts. Are you amazed yet? Wait for fall when you see its glossy green foliage turn a stunning yellow, orange, and golden bronze. Beech is more than just a beautiful tree in anyone’s yard. It represents a significant boundary between the northern pine forest zone and the European deciduous forest zone as a naturally occurring forest tree. And did you know? When conventional woods such as walnut are few or inaccessible, beechwood is utilized for the stocks of military rifles (or as a cheaper option). Beech trees are low-maintenance, adaptable trees that flourish in various environments. Beech trees thrive on rich soil with great drainage and reside in warm areas in Europe and North America. At this point, you might already love beech as a landscaping tree, but keep in mind that beech bark disease is a significant problem for beech trees.
- American Holly (Ilex opaca) – Also known as Christmas Holly, White Holly, Evergreen Holly, Prickly Holly, and Yule Holly, American Holly is another excellent addition to your front yard. It’s a well-known festive tree that can grow up to 25-60 feet tall, and it’s pretty well-liked for its glossy, spiny, evergreen leaves and bright red berries that are attractive to birds. Aside from its fruit and leaf color, you can recognize it by its upright, pyramidal form.
- Citrus Trees – Having a citrus tree in your front yard or back yard is so convenient (and good for your health). When you want fresh oranges, limes, or lemons, you won’t have to travel to the grocery store! It’s much better when life gives you lemons… fresh from your yard. Citrus trees are beneficial, adaptable plants. Your citrus tree may thrive in your front yard, on your patio, in a container, or even indoors when you know how to take care of it. Citrus plants want all the sun exposure they can get per day (8–12 hours is the recommended duration) and thrive in a southern climate. These trees are native to tropical and sub-tropical zones. Citrus trees make nectar and have tiny white or purple blooms that are pleasantly fragrant. Scent and nectar are both characteristics that attract insects, pollinators of citrus flowers. Your citrus tree needs light, well-draining soil and fertilization every couple of months to thrive. It can live in zones 8-11.
- Pineapple Guava (Feijoa sellowiana) – Pineapple guava is a beautiful, versatile, low-maintenance evergreen. You’ll like Feijoa sellowiana in your yard for its delicious, tropical fruit, attractive, edible flowers you can toss into a salad, and an interesting, upright branching pattern. The beautiful crimson highlights on the thick white flower petals appear even more striking against the oblong, gray-green leaves. Eventually, in the fall, you’ll notice a luscious guava-like fruit ripening. You can place this specimen tree in your yard, in a container, as an espalier, or a hedge. Pineapple guava thrives in zones 8 through 11. They prefer full sun, but if you live somewhere exceptionally hot, midday shade is required.
- Dogwood Trees (Cornus) – One of the most beloved trees in the country, the dogwood, provides an unrivaled four-season show of scenic beauty. The beautiful white or pink, leaf-like bracts that look like flowers signal the coming of spring and are the most outstanding sight. Meanwhile, like other deciduous trees, its leaves are green in the summer and turn a lovely reddish-purple in the fall before falling to the ground. Dogwood is a low-maintenance plant that grows in your yard quickly (over a foot a year). It survives in zones 5-9, and it likes part shade (and full sun as long as you water it well). Ensure that its soil is rich with organic matter, well-drained, slightly acidic, and moist.
- Northern Red Oak (Quercus rubra) – You’ll usually find Northern red oak in big gardens and parks as a specimen tree. It will be a beautiful sight in your yard, too! Quercus trees or shrubs can be evergreen or deciduous. Sometimes the foliage will have a stunning fall color (at least Quercus rubras turn red or brownish-red). However, these trees have unremarkable, greenish flowers succeeded by acorns. This is a deciduous tree that spreads quickly. Grow in soil that is deep, rich, and well-drained. Additionally, it necessitates soil that is devoid of lime.
- Fastigiata Blue Spruce (Picea pungens var. glauca ‘Fastigiata’) – Also known as Columnar Blue Spruce, Fastigiata Blue Spruce is a tall, conifer, evergreen tree perfect for your front yard. Yes, orange or yellow foliage will look amazing on your landscape, but if you want even more color, this tree will not disappoint. As its name suggests, Fastigiata Blue Spruce’s new growth will be a silver-blue. But its beauty doesn’t stop there; its form is also quite interesting since even its leaves all point upward. But, the downside is its growing zone. It’s only hardy in USDA zone 2-3, which explains its outstanding cold tolerance.
- ‘Kwanzan’ Flowering Cherry (Prunus serrulata’ Kwanzan’) – The ‘Kwanzan’ Flowering Cherry is one of the best-looking trees to include in your front yard. It’s a spectacular sight in the early season due to its big, showy, pink flower clusters with bronzy red fresh growth. Additionally, its upright branching makes it suitable as an accent around your driveway or walkway. This tree can be 15-25 feet tall and wide. It’s got a satisfying, smoothly outlined, symmetrical canopy. It likes to be in full sun, and it lives in USDA hardiness zones 4-8. It would be best if you watered it regularly, though.
- Weeping Cherry (Prunus subhirtella ‘Pendula’) – Prunus subhirtella ‘Pendula’ is a Japanese ornamental weeping cherry tree that’s been grown for generations. Their thin, adaptable branches cause them to “weep” delicately, drooping to the ground. Weeping cherry branches grow strong and rigid as they mature. When fully developed, these trees can measure 20-30 feet high and 15-25 feet wide. They are covered in light pink or white flowers in the spring, usually before the leaves appear. The flowers are grouped into two to five flowers and are tiny yet tantalizing. And with its dark, hefty limbs holding up a stunning crown of blossoms resembling an umbrella, weeping cherry trees provide a fantastic centerpiece in the yard.
Choosing a specimen tree or two for your front yard is very much a personal choice. These trees will set the tone of your yard, and we all know how important first impressions are! This list contains everything from some of the more dainty ornamentals like the crabapple or dogwood to the large towering oaks and beech.
There is no right or wrong choice other than zone, sunlight, and space requirements. Don’t make the mistake of choosing a tree that won’t do well in your climate or that will run out of space in your yard or not get adequate sunlight to thrive. You want this tree to stand and grow proudly for generations, so choose wisely.