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Transform Your Curb Appeal – The 11 Best Trees for Front Yard Landscaping in 2024

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Written By Lyrae Willis

Environmental Scientist & Plant Ecologist

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Home » Tree Selection » Transform Your Curb Appeal – The 11 Best Trees for Front Yard Landscaping in 2024

Choosing the best trees for front yard landscaping should be based on a few factors.

First, do you have a small or large front yard requiring a small or large tree, respectively?

Next, know your USDA Growing Zone. It is critical to choose a tree that is well-adapted to your climate.

Finally, choosing compact, low-maintenance, colorful trees with three or four seasons of interest is a great idea when choosing the suitable trees for front yard landscaping.

11 Best Trees For Landscaping Your Front Yard

1. Eastern Redbud – Cercis canadensis

Eastern Redbud Cercis canadensis tree and flowers
Images by Lyrae Willis, Own Work, and via Nature Hills – Combined by Lyrae Willis for Tree Vitalize

Eastern Redbuds are eastern North American native trees with profuse pink blossoms that cover their bare branches in early spring before other flowers bloom, signaling the end of winter and the beginning of a new season.

Their pretty flowers will brighten your front yard and bring smiles to the faces of all those who pass by.

Moreover, these compact trees require little to no maintenance, so you never have to worry about them getting out of control in your yard.

Eastern Redbuds are highly adaptable trees that will grow in any soil type as long as it is well-drained.

USDA Growing Zones: 4 – 9

Average Size at Maturity: 20 – 30 ft tall, 15 – 35 ft spread

Flowering Season: February to April, depending on the location

Available at: Fast-Growing-Trees & Nature Hills

2. Red Oak – Quercus rubra

Red Oak Quercus rubra
Images by Lyrae Willis, Own Work – for Tree Vitalize

The mighty Red Oak is a gorgeous, relatively fast-growing shade tree for front yards with enough room for them to grow.

They produce large, luxurious, pointy-lobed oak leaves that turn a brilliant shade of red in the fall.

This tough tree has a non-invasive deep root system, so despite its mature height, it should be safe to plant near your home without damaging the foundation or falling and damaging your roof.

In the fall, Red Oaks produce lovely bitter acorns that are loved by wildlife that will flock to your yard to enjoy the feast.

USDA Growing Zones: 5 – 9

Average Size at Maturity: 50 – 70 ft (to 90 ft) tall, 40 – 60 ft spread

Flowering / Fruiting Season: Inconspicuous flowers in catkins bloom from May to June; acorns mature from September to October.

Available at: Fast-Growing-Trees & Nature Hills

3. Colorado Blue Spruce – Picea pungens

Colorado Blue Spruce Picea pungens
Images by Lyrae Willis, Own Work – for Tree Vitalize

For those in cooler climates with a large enough yard who want a low-maintenance evergreen tree to provide shade, privacy, and year-round beauty, the Colorado Blue Spruce is a perfect choice.

This western North American native has gorgeous, uniquely glaucous blue needle-like leaves on branches that go down to near ground level in a pyramidal form that looks like a Christmas tree in your front yard; you can even decorate it in the holiday season.

Colorado Blue Spruce trees are low-maintenance, cold-tolerant trees that will grow in virtually any soil type but should only be planted in full sun.

USDA Growing Zones: 3 – 8

Average Size at Maturity: 30 – 60 ft tall, 10 – 20 ft spread

Available at: Fast-Growing-Trees & Nature Hills

4. Flowering Dogwood – Cornus florida

Flowering Dogwood Cornus florida - tree and close up of flower
Images by Lyrae Willis, Own Work – for Tree Vitalize

Flowering Dogwood is an elegant and sophisticated eastern North American native tree that is compact enough to fit in many front yards without needing to be pruned or maintained.

It produces big, beautiful flowers every spring. In summer, its rich green leaves provide fantastic shade before turning beautiful shades of orange-red, red, or burgundy in the fall.

In the late summer, Flowering Dogwood produces small red berry-like drupes that birds love, inviting wildlife to your yard well into winter.

In addition to the classic white, you can find numerous cultivars in various shades of pink.

USDA Growing Zones: 5 – 9

Average Size at Maturity: 20 – 35 ft (rarely taller) tall, 20 – 35 ft spread

Flowering / Fruiting Season: Showy flowers bloom in spring; small red drupes appear in late summer and persist until winter.

Available at: Fast-Growing-Trees & Nature Hills

5. River Birch – Betula nigra

River Birch Betula nigra
Images by Lyrae Willis, Own Work, and via Nature Hills – Combined by Lyrae Willis for Tree Vitalize

If your front yard is wetter than most, the River Birch is a fantastic choice. It will provide four seasons of interest with its unique salmon-pink to reddish-brown bark that exfoliates profusely, revealing multi-colored inner layers and providing year-round color.

This fast-growing shade tree also produces dark green leaves that provide excellent summer shade, and in the fall, they turn a lovely shade of soft, buttery yellow.

While River Birch will grow in full sun or partial shade and tolerate poorly drained soils extremely well, it will not tolerate alkaline soils very well.

USDA Growing Zones: 4 – 9

Average Size at Maturity: 40 – 80 ft tall, 40 – 60 ft spread

Flowering Season: Inconspicuous flowers appear in catkins in the spring.

Available at: Fast-Growing-Trees & Nature Hills

6. Weeping Cherry – Prunus pendula ‘Plena-Rosea’

weeping cherry
Image via Nature Hills

All flowering cherry trees are gorgeous, but the Weeping Cherry, with its profuse pink double blossoms that cover its elegantly weeping branches in early spring, will make a stunning focal point for any front yard.

Later, rich, glossy green leaves provide excellent summer shade before bringing red and yellow colors in the fall. In the winter, the bronze bark and weeping branches add elegance and texture to the landscape.

The Weeping Cherry produces tiny, inedible, dark red fruits. However, you don’t have to worry about them making a mess since they rapidly disappear when the songbirds discover them.

USDA Growing Zones: 5 – 8

Average Size at Maturity: 20 – 25 ft tall, 15 – 20 ft spread

Flowering / Fruiting Season: Flowers appear in early spring; small inedible cherries appear in late summer.

Available at: Fast-Growing-Trees & Nature Hills

7. Tulip Tree – Liriodendron tulipifera

Tulip Tree Liriodendron tulipifera - tree and close up of flower
Images by Lyrae Willis, Own Work – for Tree Vitalize

The Tulip Tree is an interesting tree native to eastern North America, with unique yellow tulip-like flowers that give it its common name.

These large, fast-growing trees produce big deciduous leaves that provide amazing summer shade for front yards with room for them to grow. In the fall, the leaves turn a beautiful shade of golden yellow.

Tulip Trees grow best in full sun in moist soil. Their shallow roots may make occasional irrigation necessary in areas with dry summers. Still, they don’t make them overly susceptible to winds, so they are considered safe to plant near your home.

USDA Growing Zones: 4 – 9

Average Size at Maturity: 60 – 100 ft (to 150 ft) tall, 30 – 50 ft spread

Flowering / Fruiting Season: Showy flowers bloom in May and June

Available at: Fast-Growing-Trees & Nature Hills

8. Ivory Silk Japanese Lilac Tree – Syringa reticulata ‘Ivory Silk’

The Ivory Silk Japanese Lilac Tree is a unique lilac that grows as a small tree with white flowers instead of shrubs with purple flowers that most of us know and love. Its small size will fit most front yards, and its low maintenance shouldn’t require pruning.

The flowers bloom around May or June and have the same delicious lilac scent as other lilacs.

Japanese Lilacs are incredibly easy trees to grow, making them suitable for beginners.

Growing beautiful trees like these in your yard can increase your property value by as much as 20%.

USDA Growing Zones: 4 – 7

Average Size at Maturity: 20 – 25 ft tall, 15 – 20 ft spread

Flowering Season: Flowers appear in May or June.

Available at: Fast-Growing-Trees & Nature Hills

9. Japanese Maples – Acer palmatum varieties

Japanese Maple trees
Images by Lyrae Willis, Own Work – for Tree Vitalize

Japanese Maples are gorgeous trees with colorful leaves in various shades of red, purple, yellow, green, orange, and even variegated. The leaves can be maple-like to deeply lobed, lacy, and delicate, bringing vibrant color and interesting texture to your front yard throughout the entire growing season.

The trees come in various upright, pendulous, or cascading forms, often dwarf in size, but some can reach about 25 feet tall, fitting a range of yard sizes.

Japanese Maples are adaptable to a range of moist soil types, but most prefer some afternoon shade since full sun can cause their leaves to bleach.

USDA Growing Zones: Most varieties grow in 5 – 7; some will grow in zones 4 or 8 – 9.

Average Size at Maturity: 6 – 25 ft tall, 6 – 25 ft spread* *height depends on the variety

Available at: Fast-Growing-Trees & Nature Hills

10. American Holly – Ilex opaca

American Holly Ilex opaca
Images by Lyrae Willis, Own Work – for Tree Vitalize

American Holly is a beautiful small tree with gorgeous leathery evergreen leaves shallowly lobed with spiny tips.

In the spring, they produce small greenish or creamy flowers, followed by pretty red berries on female trees that last through till winter, providing food for native birds to enjoy.

American Holly is incredibly low maintenance, highly adaptable, and easy to grow in full sun or partial shade in most soil types, although it prefers moist soil. You can even prune it into a lush evergreen hedge.

This eastern North American native is also non-invasive, unlike its cousin, the invasive English Holly.

USDA Growing Zones: 5 – 9

Average Size at Maturity: 35 – 60 ft tall, 10 – 25 ft spread

Flowering / Fruiting Season: Small flowers bloom in May or June; red or orange berry-like drupes ripen on female trees in late summer

Available at: Fast-Growing-Trees & Nature Hills

11. Dwarf Alberta Spruce – Picea glauca ‘Conica’

If you are looking for a more dwarf evergreen, the Dwarf Alberta Spruce is a perfect choice for front yards, particularly if you have very cold winters (down to USDA Zone 2).

Their slow-growing, compact pyramidal form makes them suitable for even the smallest front yards; they will never outgrow their space or require pruning to maintain it.

Dwarf Alberta Spruce’s soft green needle-like leaves are dense and fuzzy, adding gorgeous color and texture to your yard in all four seasons.

These highly adaptable trees will grow in most soil types but do best in full sun.

USDA Growing Zones: 2 – 8

Average Size at Maturity: 6 – 8 ft (to 12 ft) tall, 4 – 5 ft spread

Available at: Fast-Growing-Trees & Nature Hills

Trees Add Beauty To Your Front Yard Landscape

Choosing smaller compact trees for your front yard is a good idea. They should also be non-invasive, low-maintenance, and offer multiple seasons of color, texture, or other interest.

Choosing a tree adapted to your USDA growing zone and front yard conditions is critical to ensure it will thrive, providing the beauty you seek. Check out How to Pick A Tree For Your Yard for more information.

I also wrote an article on the best trees for backyard landscaping that I think you would find useful.

Now that you know what to look for, you can start tree shopping today! Enjoy!

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Photo of author

Lyrae Willis

Environmental Scientist & Plant Ecologist

Lyrae grew up in the forests of BC, Canada, where she got a BSc. in Environmental Sciences. Her whole life, she has loved studying plants, from the tiniest flowers to the most massive trees. She is currently researching native plants of North America and spends her time traveling, hiking, documenting, and writing. When not researching, she is homeschooling her brilliant autistic son, who travels with her and benefits from a unique hands-on education about the environment around him.