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5 Best Trees to Plant in Alabama

5 Best Trees to Plant in Alabama

It is tree planting season – which means you are probably thinking about the type of tree you want. Whether you want a tree to provide shade, to hang a swing from one day, or just to look pretty, there are all kinds of trees on the market. Unfortunately, all of those trees WON’T work in Alabama’s climate.

Instead of trying to force a tree to thrive where it just won’t (creating a lot of headache for you), you should plant trees that will work not only with Alabama’s climate, but with your yard as well. Some of the trees to plant for your Alabama yard include:

5. Long Leaf Pine

Group of Long Leaf Pine Trees in woods.

Photo: Chuck Bargeron

  • Native to Southeast
  • Long Lifespan
  • Grows Very Tall
  • Hardy
  • Low Water Requirement

One of the hardiest trees you will find, the long leaf pine stands up against just about everything in its path – from storms to forest fires. The Long Leaf Pine was once found all across the United States, from top to bottom. Now, it isn’t quite as prevalent as it used to be. Still, the needlelike leaves, which can grow extremely long (up to 18 inches according to the National Wildlife Federation) offer up a unique look that few trees that survive in Alabama can. The trunk does get extremely wide, up to three feet, so ensure that you have proper space for it. As an added bonus, the trees naturally prune themselves toward the bottom. For nature lovers, the long leaf pine provides homes to many rare and endangered animals, and they actively seek them out. As there are so few, you are likely to see animals like the red-cockaded woodpecker or the indigo snake.

Of course, The Southern longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Miller) is the state tree of Alabama, making it a welcome addition in the yards that can handle it.

4. Tulip Poplar

Tulip Poplar Tree without flowers.

Credit: Jean-Pol GRANDMONT

  • Native Nationwide
  • Long Lifespan When Properly Tended To
  • Beautiful Color Changes and Flowers
  • Low Water Requirement

When one thinks about a “pretty” tree, there are few that can beat the Tulip Poplar, especially in Alabama. There are some arguments about whether the “tulip” comes from the flowers or the outline of the leaves, which are quite distinctive. This is a tree that wears all the seasonal changes of Alabama beautifully, making it one that you can be proud to put in your front yard. It is the tallest hardwood tree that can grow in the eastern half of the United States and it grow quickly when planted and taken care of properly.

Many people love this tree not only because it is beautiful, but because it doesn’t have pest problems. Most common tree pests in Alabama aren’t attracted to it, according to the USDA.

3. Bald Cypress

Bald Cypress Tree growing in the swamp.

Credit: Wikipedia

  • Native to Southern Climates
  • Extremely Hardy with a Long Lifespan – Even Found Underwater
  • Requires Watering
  • Adapts to Many Soil Types

Typically found in backwater southern swamps, the Bald Cypress has shown itself to be one of the hardiest and strongest trees grown in Alabama and other southern states. It is a bit of a mystery as well, growing “knees” from the ground, which many believe help them to get oxygen to their impressive root systems. If you don’t have a swamp in your backyard, don’t worry – it does equally well planted in yards and even along streets. The tree itself is quite beautiful and provides fantastic shade. It grows at a medium rate, growing stronger and making it hardier so you can worry less about splitting. The cones the bald cypress grows are extremely valuable to nature, bringing all sorts of wildlife to your yard,

The tree itself is quite beautiful and provides fantastic shade. It grows at a medium rate, growing stronger and making it hardier so you can worry less about splitting. The cones the bald cypress grows are extremely valuable to nature, bringing all sorts of wildlife to your yard, according to Arbor Day.

2. Tonto Crape Myrtle

Flowers on a Crape Myrtle Tree

Credit: J E Theriot on Flickr!

  • Stands Up Against All Weather Patterns
  • Hardier than Other Flowering Trees
  • Low Water Requirements
  • Requires Pruning for Health

For something a little more decorative, the Tonto Crape Myrtle is a welcome addition to any Alabama yard. With its purple flowers and beautiful color changes, it is the perfect smaller tree that packs a punch in any yard. The sweet smell of the flowers and their gentle fall makes it a perfect dupe for cherry blossoms but requires much less care.

The United States National Arboretum suggests using it as “informal tall hedges, background for perennial border, or in containers. Adaptable for home garden, parks, industrial complexes, roadsides, and malls”

For those who don’t have much of a yard, it even grows well in a container.

1. Pink Dogwood

Flowering Pink Dogwood outside home.

Credit: Harvey Craft on Flickr!

  • Drought Hardy
  • Grows in Sun and Shade
  • Extremely Beautiful in Spring
  • Grows Rapidly but Doesn’t Get Too Tall

One of the most popular landscaping trees all across the country, the Pink Dogwood isn’t only beloved by families because of its availability. The most distinguishing thing about this tree is that it is absolutely gorgeous. Soft pink flowers that flutter throughout the air and carry a sweet scent, adding a pop of color in any yard. This does make it a bit more difficult to clean up after, but it also makes for great family portraits and fun for children who enjoy making it “snow” during the warmer months.

The pink dogwood also wears the fall months beautifully, especially in Alabama, where we don’t always see those pops of color. With this tree, you will see a brilliant orange shade starting in late September.

According to Arbor Day, “This is a good tree for planting near utility lines, next to buildings or near patios,” making it a great choice for smaller yards.

At the end of the day, adding a tree to your yard has so many benefits. Not only does it give your home protection from the elements, it adds a beautiful backdrop to your yard and home, giving it more curb appeal and yard appeal. Who knows, maybe it will even encourage your children (and you!) to spend more time outdoors.

If you have any problems or concerns with your trees, planting a tree, pruning it, or having it cut down, give our team at All Star Tree Service a call at 1-256-513-6277. We know just how important your trees are to you, so we promise to take the upmost care when treating them.

Do you have a tree that you love in your yard? Share a picture or description with us so that we can start planting more trees in the Huntsville, Alabama area!

Header photo courtesy of Argyleist on Flickr!
  1. Very nice and informative article about trees.

  2. How many cypress trees should I plant per acre?

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