Growing up in the Evergreen State, I was used to trees in every corner of space available. Even single-family home on a quarter acre might still be home to multiple 50' Douglas firs. So when I moved in the Midwest, the idea of not having trees on every property was shocking. We ended purchasing a home that did not have a single tree planted anywhere on the lot. We quickly went about to solve this issue and the first tree we added was the Autumn Blaze Maple from the Morton Arboretum. A small, thin 10' tree is now a glorious 35' landmark in the neighborhood. In the summer it provides welcome shade in the backyard and in the fall shines a stunning red for weeks.
In addition to the maple, we've added Sweetgum, River Birch, Dawn Redwood, Crabapple, Honey Locust, Dogwood, White Pine, Blue Spruce, and fruit trees to our place. When my son received a school assignment to collect the leaves from 10 different local tree species we didn't even have to leave the backyard because of the variety that now grow in a space where once nothing grew.
I may not be able to recreate the abundance of trees that exist in the Evergreen State, but I can provide my children a chance to experience the beautiful diversity of trees that can grow in one’s own backyard.