If you are looking for a new kind of tree to plant in your yard in Peterborough, ON, then you are in for a treat – there are so many options. While most people look for the typical tree that is easy to take care of and that they’ve seen in so many other yards, you do not have to go that route. Since there are so many different options available, why not try something new?

Not sure where to start? Here are a few of our favorites:

Redbud Trees

  • Grow 20-30 feet
  • Grow fairly quickly
  • Beautiful seasonal show

The Eastern Redbud tree is quite popular for a few different reasons, but primarily because it is just so beautiful during all seasons, but especially during its spring showing. This tree is iconic for so many homes that it is featured in magazine spreads and as the backdrop for many television shows and movies.

Even so, some people are hesitant to plant this tree in our area because they believe that it has to be a difficult tree to grow and take care of, but it really isn’t. Nature made the Eastern Redbud, in particular, to take care of itself. In fact, this is one of the hardier trees that you can plant in our area. It tolerates acidic or alkaline soils as well as heavy clays, according to Garden Design.

There are a few varieties that are particularly great for the Peterborough, ON area, including the Forest Pansy, Ruby Falls, Texas White, Rising Sun, Ace of Hearts, Silver Cloud, Hearts of Gold, and Merlot varieties.

Just remember that there is a bit of cleanup with this type of tree, so be prepared for that.


  • Grows 12-36 feet
  • Perfect for planting in clusters
  • Blooms in White, Green, and Brown

Hop trees are small, extremely aromatic trees that aren’t as popular as maybe they should be in our area. People are sometimes afraid of the crooked trunk that is characteristic of this tree, thinking that the trees are prone to health problems or issues. Fear not – that is just the way that the tree grows. A unique dark green shade that you won’t find in many other trees, it does have white flowers that add some texture and uniqueness to your landscaping.

Truly, this is one of the most distinctive trees that you can plant for its size.

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center explains some of the reasons why people love to plant this tree: “This widespread species includes many varieties with leaflets of differing sizes and shapes. The common name refers to a reported use in earlier days of the bitter fruit as a substitute for hops in brewing beer. The bitter bark of the root, like other aromatic barks, has been used for home remedies. The northernmost New World representative of the Rue (Citrus) family.”

Pin Oak

Credit: Loz Pycock

  • Grows 60–70 Feet
  • Grows quite quickly
  • Prefers full sun

If you have a rather large open area on your property and you want a breathtaking tree, consider adding a pin oak to your landscaping. This beautiful tree is tall, hardy, and quite a stunner. When you first plant the tree, it will take on a distinctive pyramid shape. Eventually, as it ages, it will naturally go into an oval shape.

Why is this such a great tree for our area? With all the different types of soils found here, it will grow. In fact, Arbor Day suggests that it can grow in acidic, loamy, moist, rich, sandy, well-drained, wet and clay soils. It can also tolerate wet conditions, including moderate flooding.

People choose the pin oak because of its distinctive branch patterns, dense shade offerings, ease of clean-up, maintenance ease, and beautiful colors. Truly, the only thing that may stop some people from owning it is that it does grow quite tall and wide, meaning it needs a bit of real estate to really thrive. As an added bonus, songbirds absolutely love this tree, so your yard will always be filled with music (which also means you shouldn’t plant it right near a driveway for fear of your paint).

Kentucky Coffee Tree

Credit: cultivar413

  • Can reach a height of 90 feet
  • Produces seed pods that require maintenance
  • Doesn’t attract wildlife or pests

Not the most common tree by far, the Kentucky Coffee Tree was once far more popular than it is now. This tree is still a fantastic one for people who want a taller, interesting tree that doesn’t bring in a lot of wildlife. The seeds and pods of this tree are actually poisonous to animals so it isn’t popular with a lot of wildlife. Even so, it is beautiful and extremely hardy, so it is still a great tree for all areas.

Whether you live in a rural or suburban area or you live in an urban area with a lot of pollution, this tree will thrive. People also choose this one for landscaping because it is quite gorgeous. According to the official website of Ontario, when a Kentucky Coffee Tree is planted in a specific area, that area is “automatically protected.”

Tulip Tree

Credit: liz west

  • Grows 60-90 feet at maturity
  • Used as a shade or flowering tree
  • Works in many different landscape designs

If you want a tree that is large and in charge, the tulip tree is absolutely the best bet for your yard – but you will need the space for it. This tree gathers attention from everyone because of its size, for sure, but also because of its beautiful floral show every spring.

Even when it isn’t flowering, the unique shade of green and the stately bark makes this an extremely popular choice. While there are no major problems to look for with this tree, it can have some scale issues and aphids seem to be attracted to it as well, according to Tree Canada. It is also suggested that you plant this one a bit further back from the road.

If you are looking for a tree care professional in Southern Ontario, give Van Till Tree Care a call today at (705) 653-3777. We will help you to better understand your trees and advise you on particular issues such as green spots, pruning trouble, or soil problems. We can help you with many other issues that you might find among your trees – from the very top of the tree to the roots, no matter how old they are.

Header photo courtesy of Art Poskanzer on Flickr!

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