Trees |

How to buy and pick a tree.

Hi guys! I am happy to say we are still adding the fun touches to the backyard. This week I sat down and wrote out a list of pros and cons of trees and I hope I picked a good one for our backyard.

Making a list of things to avoid really helped, especially when you see how beautiful some of these trees are.

I almost bought two different trees that would have been the last thing we needed ten years down the road. The last thing I wanted was buyers remorse. 

I finally decided that if I could find a tree that had purple leaves and or had gorgeous bark for winter interest, I would make it mine. List in hand, I went shopping.

My list of what the tree couldn't do was longer then what it had to do. For example:

It couldn't bear fruit. 
It couldn't drop seeds or spinners like the tree in my front yard.
It couldn't dominate our yard or house.
It isn't necessary to provide shade.

Now, you'd think since I ed-u-ma-cated myself, this would be a lot easier. I knew what I wanted for my Zone 5, I even own a truck that could accommodate a tree in it. Simple right?  Well not when you factor in a weirdo magnet on my ass.

Which apparently is making an appearance again! First, below you will see a before picture of where we scouted out to plant our ornamental tree.  

Shopping all over town has it's advantages. You meet all kinds of people. Some with the sense God gave them and some with the brains of a door knob. Take the second landscaping place I visited with a sales guy whom shall be called "Toothless". I think this guy is related to the "door guy". Remember the door guy, when I had to buy a new front door? If not you can read one of our very first DIY Projects - A New Front Door

This guy made me repeat myself so many times I had a sore throat when I left.  He actually tried to talk me into an evergreen. Saying that I had SO MANY requirements for a tree that I would be happier with an evergreen. Cross that place off the "shop there" category.  

The fourth place I came across, I shall deem "priceless", because that's what they thought their trees were worth.

$800 for a twelve foot birch tree in burlap! Folks in my neighborhood that's three times as much as any other place is selling them for.

How to buy and pick a tree.

I finally found one at a local home improvement store. It's 8 foot tall still in the container, and has three trunks, so at full maturity should be super cute!

It's a Whitespire Clump Birch Tree

How to buy and pick a tree.

The weirdo magnet appeared again, when I tried to get the flipping thing untied from their fence and loaded in my truck.

Lowe's literally forgot about me standing out front waiting to get loaded up. 

I was so disgusted, I slammed them on SM. If I hadn't just burned a half a tank of gas visiting every tree nursery in a 30 mile radius, I'd have told them to stick it. But I literally had no choice. 

How to buy and pick a tree.

Whitespire Birch Tree

This birch was only $89, so how could I pass that up?


I did like everyone says to plant a tree, I dug the hole twice as big as the pot. I also watered it in super well and added fish emulsion fertilizer to give it a good start.

I also want to share something that after years of removing sod or grass, just got a heck of a lot easier. Don't use a shovel, use a pitch fork. Half the work, I promise. I simply jammed it in the ground, rocked it back and forth and it worked a lot easier then trying to stab a shovel into hard packed clay.

Ornamental Tree for Zone 5

Most of the trees I saw at Lowe's and at other Nurseries did have some small signs of stress due to the heat wave we had. But this little guy wasn't as bad as some of the others.

Trees for Zone 5


Now to keep the dog from lifting his leg on it, at least until it gets more established. The tag says keep it moist, but I don't think that's what they had in mind by watering it.

Ornamental Tree

Ornamental Tree Planting