native tree for front yard

njnativeFebruary 17, 2009


my husband and i are new homeowners. today we had to cut down a large pine tree that was half dead and took up most of our front yard. we are devastated to say the least. we didn't realize how many birds called the tree home.

anyway, looking forward we want to replace it with something native. we dont want it to be too huge, we live in a tiny cape, and the space is not very big. it is in a pretty sunny spot. any help would be greatly appreciated! thank you

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A couple of suggestions:

Sourwood - Oxydendrum arboreum
Serviceberry - Amelanchier arborea or Amelanchier laevis (or there are hybrids like Amelanchier 'Autumn Brilliance')

Both of these like sun. Serviceberry has very tasty berries that the birds adore. Both have good fall color and lose their leaves in the winter. Pretty flowers too.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 11:16AM
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terrene(5b MA)

Hi NJnative, I was looking for something similar 2 years ago, and posted a thread to this forum at the time. There was a good discussion with lots of suggestions. See link below.

I ended up buying a 6 foot Amelanchier x lamarkii (hybrid Serviceberry) in a 15 gallon pot. Pretty pricey, but I wanted instant gratification and overall it has not disappointed. My only complaint would be that it loses its leaves early, with little fall display. But it has flowered profusely and made lot of berries each Spring. Beautiful and yummy! I have since purchased another smaller Amelanchier canadensis and a batch of Amelanchier seedlings, and they hold their leaves longer and have nice fall color.

How about Cornus florida, flowering Dogwood? My spot was a little small (Serviceberry tends to grow more upright than wide), but IMO there is no more beautiful native tree.

Here is a link that might be useful: Looking for ornamental Native shrub/small tree

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 10:52AM
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Congrats on your new home. What part of NJ are you in? The coastal plain/pine barrens can be very acidic and sandy, elsewhere you may have more clay or ?
Serviceberry is a good tree. I also like Chionanthus virginicus....beautiful shrubby small tree. Magnolia virginiana is a nice, small, native Magnolia. Nyssas are nice (they may get larger than you wish, but they generally have finer stems and twigs as opposed to large, heavy, spreading branches). One of the American Holly selections may also be nice (will also get large, but not in our lifetime).

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 11:24AM
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i live in cayman and i have plenty mango trees and lots more local ones in my yard .

    Bookmark   February 20, 2009 at 3:10PM
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fiddlrs3(NE Illinois)

Redbud! Beautiful in all seasons, especially spring, and birds love it...

    Bookmark   February 27, 2009 at 10:08PM
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I used to live in NJ. Years ago we planted a flowering cherry - this is a beautiful tree, did very well there, and doesn't require a lot of fall raking (leaves were quite lightweight). Also could choose dogwood or crabapple - nice for the birds.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2009 at 2:14PM
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