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12 Best Trees To Plant In Southwestern Ontario

Eastern Red Bud Blossoms

Best Trees For Southwestern Ontario

We’ve compiled a list of our 12 favorite trees to plant in Southwestern Ontario.

  • Red Maple (Native)
  • American Beech (Native)
  • Green Pillar Pin Oak (Native)
  • Canadian Hemlock (Native)
  • Tulip Tree (Native)
  • Balsam Fir (Native
  • Paperbark Maple
  • Pyramidal Hornbeam
  • Hanna’s Hear Katsura
  • Eastern Red Bud
  • Royal Star Magnolia
  • Chanticleer Pear

For a complete list of native trees that are a great option in Southwestern Ontario click Here.

1. Red Maple 

The tree that lights up yellow and red in fall; a great shade tree, but very intolerant of alkaline soils.

Red Maple features clusters of red flowers along the branches in early spring before the leaves. It has green foliage which emerges red in spring. The lobed leaves turn an outstanding red in the fall. It produces red samaras in late spring. The furrowed silver bark and brick red branches add an interesting dimension to the landscape.

– Growth Details 

  • Growth Size: 50′ height – 40′ width
  • Sunlight: Full Sun

Red Maple will grow to be about 50 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 40 feet. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 80 years or more.

This tree should only be grown in full sunlight. It is quite adaptable, prefering to grow in average to wet conditions, and will even tolerate some standing water. It is not particular as to soil type, but has a definite preference for acidic soils, and is subject to chlorosis (yellowing) of the leaves in alkaline soils.

 

2. American Beach

A natural beauty, one of the most stately large shade trees you can have in your yard; rather particular about growing conditions, needs rich soil and adequate moisture, best in a setting that mimics its natural habitat

American Beech has dark green foliage which emerges gray in spring. The serrated pointy leaves turn an outstanding harvest gold in the fall. The smooth silver bark is extremely showy and adds significant winter interest.

– Growth Details 

  • Growth Size: 70′ height – 50′ width
  • Sunlight: Full Sun

American Beech will grow to be about 70 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 50 feet. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live to a ripe old age of 120 years or more; think of this as a heritage tree for future generations!

This tree should only be grown in full sunlight. It requires an evenly moist well-drained soil for optimal growth, but will die in standing water. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in rich soils. It is quite intolerant of urban pollution, therefore inner city or urban streetside plantings are best avoided, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location.

 

Green Pillar Pin OakGreen Pillar Pin Oak In Fall

3. Green Pillar Pin Oak

An extremely popular tall shade tree with a tightly pyramidal habit of growth and excellent fall color, fast growing for an oak, great for vertical interest; requires loose, acidic soils, develops chlorosis in heavy alkaline soils.

Pin Oak has dark green foliage throughout the season. The spiny lobed leaves turn an outstanding red in the fall. The furrowed gray bark and silver branches add an interesting dimension to the landscape.

– Growth Details 

  • Growth Size: 60′ height – 40′ width
  • Sunlight: Full Sun

Pin Oak will grow to be about 60 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 40 feet. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live to a ripe old age of 300 years or more; think of this as a heritage tree for future generations!

This tree should only be grown in full sunlight. It is quite adaptable, preferring to grow in average to wet conditions, and will even tolerate some standing water.It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments.

 

4. Canadian Hemlock

A delicate and beautiful conifer of the Canadian forests, with soft needles and an open habit of growth, upright and broadly conical, also makes a great hedge; needs adequate moisture, rich, acidic and organic soils and shelter from drying winds

Canadian Hemlock has dark green foliage which emerges light green in spring. The needles remain dark green throughout the winter.

– Growth Details 

  • Growth Size: 60′ height – 30′ width
  • Sunlight: Full Sun to Full Shade

Canadian Hemlock will grow to be about 60 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 30 feet. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 70 years or more.

This tree performs well in both full sun and full shade. It does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate standing water. It is quite intolerant of urban pollution, therefore inner city or urban streetside plantings are best avoided, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates.

 

Tulip TreeTulip Tree Blossom

5. Tulip Tree

One of the tallest native trees of eastern North America, features uniquely shaped leaves and large yellow tulip-shaped flowers which are hard to see because of the height of the tree; needs lots of moisture and room to grow, not for small properties

Tuliptree has buttery yellow cup-shaped flowers with yellow eyes and orange centers held atop the branches from mid to late spring. It has emerald green foliage throughout the season. The square leaves turn an outstanding gold in the fall. The furrowed gray bark is extremely showy and adds significant winter interest.

– Growth Details 

  • Growth Size: 90′ height – 50′ width
  • Sunlight: Full Sun

Tuli Tree will grow to be about 90 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 50 feet. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live to a ripe old age of 120 years or more; think of this as a heritage tree for future generations!

This tree should only be grown in full sunlight. It prefers to grow in average to moist conditions, and shouldn’t be allowed to dry out. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in rich soils. It is quite intolerant of urban pollution, therefore inner city or urban streetside plantings are best avoided. This species is native to parts of North America.

 

6. Balsam Fir

A delicate spire-like evergreen of the northern forests with soft dark green needles, very upright and open; quite particular about its growing conditions; not for exposed or windy sites

Balsam Fir has dark green foliage. The needles remain dark green throughout the winter.

– Growth Details 

  • Growth Size: 50′ height – 20′ width
  • Sunlight: Full Sun to Part Shade

Balsam Fir will grow to be about 50 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 20 feet. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 70 years or more.

This tree does best in full sun to partial shade. It prefers to grow in moist to wet soil, and will even tolerate some standing water. It is particular about its soil conditions, with a strong preference for sandy, acidic soils. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates.

Paperbark MaplePaperbark Maple Bark

7. Paperbark Maple

This ornamental tree is renowned for its peeling, showy bark that is in tones of red, pink and tan.

The Paperbark Maple has dark green foliage. In the fall the leaves turn shades of orange and red. It has great winter interest with the peeling red bark.

– Growth Details 

  • Growth Size: 30′ height – 25′ width
  • Sunlight: Sun to Part Shade

At maturity the Paperbark Maple will grow to be about 30 feet tall and a spread of 25 feet. It has a high canopy with a typical clearance of 6 feet from the ground. It has a slow grow rate and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 80 years or more.

This tree does best in full sun to partial shade. It prefers to grow in average to moist conditions, and shouldn’t be allowed to dry out.

 

Pyramidal Hornbeam

8. Pyramidal Hornbeam

A pyramidal tree with a strong form. It is best used in the landscape as an accent or as a tall hedge for privacy.

The European Hornbeam has dark green foliage throughout the growing season. The leaves turn yellow in fall. The grey bark adds character the landscape.

– Growth Details 

  • Growth Size: 40′ height – 25′ width
  • Sunlight: Full Sun to Part Shade

The Pyramidal Hornbeam will grow to be about 40 feet tall and a spread of 25 feet. It also has a slow growth rate.

The tree does best in full sun to partial shade. It prefers average to moist conditions, and shouldn’t be allowed to dry out.

Hanna's Heart KatsuraHanna's Heart Katsura Leaves

9. Hanna’s Heart Katsura

A refined tree with a nice pyramid shape and great spring and fall foliage colours; very neat and tidy tree with heart shaped leaves.

The Katsura Tree has bluish-green foliage which emerges burgundy in spring. The heart-shaped leaves turn an outstanding orange in the fall.

– Growth Details 

  • Growth Size: 25′ height – 10′ width
  • Sunlight: Full Sun to Part Shade

This Katsura Tree will grow to be about 25 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 10 feet. It also has a fast growth rate.

This tree should only be grown in full sunlight. It prefers to grow in average to moist conditions, and shouldn’t be allowed to dry out.

Eastern Red BudEastern Red Bud Blossoms

10. Eastern Red Bud

A spectacular spring bloomer, with very showy pink to purple flowers held tightly on bare branches in early spring; somewhat coarse heart-shaped leaves; rivals any small ornamental tree for specimen use in the home landscape

Eastern Redbud has rose pea-like flowers along the branches from early to mid spring, which emerge from distinctive fuchsia flower buds before the leaves. It has forest green foliage which emerges burgundy in spring. The heart-shaped leaves turn buttery yellow in fall. 

– Growth Details 

  • Growth Size: 30′ height – 30′ width
  • Sunlight: Full Sun to Part Shade

Eastern Redbud will grow to be about 30 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 30 feet. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 60 years or more.

This tree does best in full sun to partial shade. It prefers to grow in average to moist conditions, and shouldn’t be allowed to dry out. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates.

 

Royal Star Magnolia Flowering TreeRoyal Star Magnolia Blossom

11. Royal Star Magnolia

An ideal accent tree for smaller home landscapes, features extremely fragrant star-shaped snow-white flowers in early spring, compact, upright growing and multi-stemmed, fast growing; considered the hardiest magnolia of all.

Royal Star Magnolia is smothered in stunning fragrant white star-shaped flowers with yellow eyes at the ends of the branches in early spring before the leaves. It has dark green foliage throughout the season. The pointy leaves turn coppery-bronze in fall. The fruits are showy pink pods displayed in early fall.

– Growth Details 

  • Growth Size: 12′ height – 12′ width
  • Sunlight: Full Sun to Part Shade

Royal Star Magnolia will grow to be about 12 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 12 feet. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 80 years or more.

This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. It requires an evenly moist well-drained soil for optimal growth, but will die in standing water. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates.

 

Chanticleer Pear Tree In BloomChanticleer Pear Tree Blossoms

12. Chanticleer Pear

A tall and narrowly upright accent tree covered in attractive white flowers in spring followed by small inedible fruit, good fall color, very ornamental, symmetrical form makes for a prominent vertical accent; resistant to fireblight.

Chanticleer Ornamental Pear is clothed in stunning clusters of white flowers with purple anthers along the branches in mid spring before the leaves. It has dark green foliage throughout the season. The glossy heart-shaped leaves turn an outstanding deep purple in the fall. The fruits are showy yellow pomes displayed in late summer.

– Growth Details 

  • Growth Size: 40′ height – 25′ width
  • Sunlight: Full Sun

Chanticleer Ornamental Pear will grow to be about 40 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 25 feet. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 50 years or more.

This tree should only be grown in full sunlight. It prefers to grow in average to moist conditions, and shouldn’t be allowed to dry out. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments.

 

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