Design Center

Selecting the Right Trees for Your Yard.

At Wolf Tree Farms we help you begin the selection process by only growing trees that thrive in the Cincinnati, Louisville and Lexington area. When you browse our trees you can be sure the trees we grow were chosen because they do well in our area.

Next, as you look around your yard, there are three basic tree features which you must consider:

  • Shade - This is one of the main reasons people add trees to their landscape. Shade trees provide energy savings, increase property values and they help to turn your house into a home. When choosing the right tree for your yard, make sure to consider where you need shade.
  • Beauty – Whether it is spring flowers, fall foliage, summer foliage color, exfoliating bark or evergreens to give you color all year long, if you ask us, all trees are beautiful. There are many ways trees can enhance your landscape. Take a look around your landscape and decide what your landscape is lacking. Then, browse or trees. You’re sure to find a tree that has just what you’re looking for.
  • Privacy - Along with shade this seems to be one of the most important reasons why people want to add trees to their home landscape. When people think of privacy trees, they often think of large evergreen trees; however, all trees add privacy and it doesn’t take a solid block to achieve the boundary affects you are probably looking for. Perhaps the best word to think of when trying to achieve a privacy barrier is screening. You just need something between homes, whether it is solid or not, because your eyes will not look past that object and focus on your neighbors in the next yard. Also many people worry about deciduous trees losing their leaves in the winter. What those people do not consider is the fact that they are rarely in their yards in the winter. During the times of the year that they need privacy most is also the time of the year when the trees have leaves. It is also important to note the height of any privacy fences to help determine if you will need screening under the 6 to 8 foot mark.

Different Trees Have Different Needs

Although most of the trees we grow at Wolf Tree Farms can adapt to a wide verity of conditions, keep in mind a few things so your trees will thrive.

  1. Is the tree going in a wet or dry area?
  2. Will the tree be in full sun or is it going to be an understory tree?
  3. Is the tree going to be in a wide open area or will it have some protection? Most trees do fine in wide open areas but some do need some protection (i.e. Japanese Maples and Southern Magnolias)
  4. What is your soil type? Clay or sand or somewhere in between. Most trees we grow at Wolf Tree Farms will adapt to different soil types but it can help in the selection process if you know your soil type.

Remember when planting trees there are very rarely the perfect conditions. But if you keep these things in mind when choosing your trees it will help you choose the right trees and help you with the care for your trees after planting.

Choose the Right Placement for Your Trees

Before you decide where your trees should go, you should first identify areas of the yard where you need to accomplish a certain goal. First, figure out the direction from which problem sunlight or wind is coming from. Also, identify areas that you need to screen or block all together. You can even identify areas of the yard where you need more color or softened views. Decide on areas where you would like there to be a particular feature, such as a view out of the bedroom window, a view from the patio, or a view from the house. By identifying all these areas you can solve each problem one at a time and end up with each tree in the perfect spot. When you have finished this step, you should make sure that all your landscaping needs have been met. Remember that a tree in one area may meet several of your needs.

Placing trees in your yard may seem complicated, but the basics are pretty simple:

  • Large Shade Trees Large shade trees are usually placed in open areas of the yard and parkways. They should not be close to buildings or power lines, and you should consider where you want shade or wind relief on your property. Try to stay 15-20ft away from buildings if possible.
  • Evergreen Trees    Evergreens are often used for screening and wind breaks. Evergreens are also great for adding some winter color to your landscape. Evergreens come in all shapes and sizes. Depending on your needs, there is probably an evergreen that will fill them.
  • Ornamental Trees  Ornamental trees can be used anywhere in your yard you want beauty and color. Most often these trees are used close to the home to frame the house or anchor flower beds. Oftentimes, they are used along property lines for screening. Typically you do not want to put them in the middle of the back or front yard, because they will block the view of the rest of the yard.

Another thing to consider when placing trees is the sun and wind. Blocking the prevailing winds from your house can significantly reduce wear and tear and heating bills for your home. Also, successfully using shade trees to block your house from the hot sun in the summer can lower air conditioning bills by as much as 25%. Large shade trees placed on the southeast and southwest sides of your house will achieve this goal.

When deciding where trees should go, always consider the mature size of the tree and plan accordingly. Overcrowding trees may have short term benefits, but it is not good for the long term health of your trees. If you follow the basic tree guidelines, you should have no problems.

Quick Tree Placement Guidelines

Here are a few guidelines to remember when placing trees around your property:

  • As a general rule, divide the mature spread of the tree in half and place it the same distance away from structures or adjacent trees of a similar size.
  • Be sure to place trees at least 12-20′ from your house depending on the size of the tree.
  • Place trees at least 3-4′ away from sidewalks, patios, etc.
  • Place trees about 10-30′ apart from each other (depending on the size of the trees).
  • Do not put trees in easements.
  • Do not plant trees in straight lines unless they are in the parkway or part of a windbreak. Natural spacing is preferable.
  • Mulch is much better than rocks around trees.
  • Think about views from inside your house out to the yard and place trees accordingly.
  • Do not place trees under utility lines that will grow taller than the height of the line.
  • Use a diverse assortment of trees in your yard.
  • Keep in mind how fast the tree will grow and plan accordingly.

Caring for Your Newly Planted Trees


The most important part of taking care of you newly planted trees is watering. Newly planted trees need water at least once a week during the growing season which is roughly April-October. During hot summer months water twice a week. Even if we are getting rain, it is often not enough for newly planted trees because the root ball of the tree will always dry out quicker than the surrounding soil.