Trees are beautiful additions to any yard that they get put into, whether they are in the front yard or the backyard. They’re just as pretty as flowers if you buy the right ones and they can even help make the air cleaner and your home safer. Shade trees can even cut down on cooling costs. However, not all trees are created equally and not all trees are going to be at home in an Ontario yard. That’s why you have to do a little bit of research and figure out which trees are going to work for your yard.

Now, even within Ontario, there are going to be some differences in soil levels and moisture levels.

Make sure you pay attention to how much rain you get, how much shade your tree will get, and you may even want to test the acidity and alkalinity levels of your soil.

Now, what are the best trees for the Ontario area in general? If you are looking to plant trees and you want to pick something that is safe and easy to take care of, consider one of these five trees or all 5 if you’re feeling adventurous:

5. White Oak

  • Great for Shade
  • Strong Branches and Wood
  • Best to Plant When Young

White Oak trees are typically found in the Midwestern United States, but it can also be a great option for Ontario yards. They require partial shade to full sun and grow in all moisture conditions, meaning you don’t have to take too much time out of your day to take care of it.

The leaves of the White Oak are gray and pink when it is younger, then dark green, and finally brown or dark red. They do produce acorns, which can attract wildlife to your yard.

If you want this tree in your yard, you have to get it as a small tree from a quality source. This is one to wait for it to grow, not one to get when it is older. Most professionals, including those at Arbor Day, suggest planting in the spring into wet, deep soil.

Overall, the White Oak is a majestic tree that spreads out over your yard, making it a handsome and durable addition to your yard.

4. Sycamore Tree

  • Grows Upwards of 100 Feet
  • Spread of 90 Feet
  • Fast Growing

Shade trees are important for any home, and if you are looking for a lot of shade fairly quickly, the American Sycamore Tree might be the best way to go. This broad and rounded tree is absolutely gorgeous and provides you with dense shade. The leaves are beautiful, a full and hearty green that turns yellow into the fall.

If you have a bigger yard, this tree is great with ornamental trees around it. Even if you only have a small yard, this is a perfect urban tree because it typically won’t uproot sidewalks and it withstands pollution.

Note that this tree does prefer as much sunlight as possible and this will help it to grow that much faster, according to the US Department of Agriculture.

3. Black Cherry Tree

  • Grows 50-100 Feet
  • Produces Cherries
  • Moderate Clean-Up Requires

If you are looking for a fruit treat, the Black Cherry Tree is one of the best to grow throughout southern Quebec and Ontario. In fact, it is one of the best trees to grow anywhere because of its tenacity and hardy exterior. If you are a fan of wildlife and birds in particular, this tree will attract many different birds from all around Ontario.

According to, “The valuable wood is used particularly for furniture, paneling, professional and scientific instruments, handles, and toys.”

While this isn’t a fruit that many children would like to eat, some adults do like the bitter but sweet flavor of the black cherry. It tastes even better when baked and making other types of foods. However, along with the joy of the cherries comes the fact that the fruit from this tree will stain your sidewalks and the side of your house if it gets too close.

2. Bitternut Hickory

  • Great for Cooking
  • Strong Tree
  • Grows Extremely Well in All Environments

If you are a fan of that hickory taste when you are cooking, the Bitternut Hickory Tree might be a great addition to your yard. Known primarily as a shade tree, it is one of the best options for any yard that has a little of space. The tree creeps wider and wider over the years, providing quite a bit of shade.

It is also one of the only trees that grows well in the shade. In reality, this tree is tolerant of almost anything you can throw at it. It will grow better in some places than in others, but it sometimes called a “sure pick” by tree professionals who have encountered a property that won’t grow anything.

According to The Morton Arboretum, this tree is difficult to find at times, but it works for anyone who can do so.

1. Sugar Maple

  • Decorative and Shade Tree
  • Extremely Hardy Wood
  • Easy to Maintain

The largest of the maple trees, no article talking about what trees to plant in any Canadian town would be complete without talking about the Sugar Maple. This tree is part of our fabric, with its leaf displayed proudly in the center of our flag and adorning many of our outfits.

According to Oplin, “In terms of quantity produced, this tree is the best source of maple sugar, and has been used as such since the days of early settlement.”

Of course, the Sugar Maple is a fantastic tree to put in any Ontario yard, but not just because it is our symbol. It is also one of the most tolerant trees and can stand up to different soils, water levels, and pollution. Even better, it doesn’t take that much to maintain it.

During the fall months, it is well known for its vibrant colors. In the fall, the yellow flowers are also quite gorgeous.

Once you have planted your trees and they have been established, the next thing you have to do is take care of them. From pruning and trimming to eliminating pests and dealing with any breakage that can come from storms, the trees are completely at your mercy as to how well they will grow.

Buying a tree and planting it is only the first step – you have to continue with maintenance for the rest of its life or at least for the rest of the time that you live in your home. If you are looking for help taking care of your trees, reach out to Van Till Tree Care. Our team of arborists and tree professionals will work with you and your trees to ensure that they grow tall and strong for as long as possible.

Give us a call today at (800) 554-3834.

Header photo courtesy of RichardBH on Flickr!

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