Plant BIG Trees

The single best landscaping decision my husband and I ever made was to plant big trees on a new lot. Like many new homes, our house at the time was built on a former cornfield. It had been terraced, but it was bare. At the suggestion of our landscaper, Leif Knecht of Knecht’s Nurseries and Landscaping, we planted six large trees, as well as eight smaller trees.

large maple tree with red leaves
Autumn Blaze maple in fall — after about 10 years in the garden.

The big trees had to be moved in with a special tree-hauling truck, with massive holes dug to make room for the root balls. Of the six we planted—an Autumn Blaze maple, a pin oak, two white pines, a swamp white oak and a Marshall seedless ash—one died. (It was one of the white pines and had been planted on a slope.

With our other plantings and the small trees, our lot looked “full enough” from the beginning. Within a few years, it looked fantastic! And, here’s the cool thing that happened. When we planted big trees, some of our soon-to-be neighbors saw what we did and they also planted big trees. As a result, within a few years, we had a group of houses that had sort-of-mature lots.

The trees soon were taller than the houses, which made all of them look less like massive boxes popping out of the ground. The trees also provided  shade and privacy. Big trees can be expensive, but if you consider the difference they make in the appearance and your enjoyment of a new home, they are worth it.

Best. Decision. Ever.

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