southeastern Wisconsin means enjoying a plethora of trees dotting our
landscape. We marvel at their size, grace, flowers, fruit, aroma and
the entire package that creates a pleasing ambience. So what to do
when we want to add that mighty foliage to our own space? Local
experts know why trees are important to us and how we should approach
their selection. "Trees add a lot of value to our urban
forest," says Jesse Ziemienski, president of American Tree
Experts, a New Berlin-based tree care company. "They sequester
water, they put oxygen in the air and take carbon monoxide out. They
provide shade and a break from the wind."
Bodus of Buckley Tree Service in Mequon says variety is key.
"There is a wide range to choose from, depending on whether you
are looking for shade, color, fruit, etc." Bodus says. "You
also can plant most of the year."
In addition to
adding curb appeal, trees add to a home’s value, says Bill Trapp,
owner of Plant-Trans-Plant in Sussex. "Landscaping that is done
right can add 15 percent to your home’s value," Trapp says. If
you don’t do it right, it can also reduce the value."
significant because it was planted by the Pilgrims. This is a
desirable choice because it is slow growing, seen as stronger than
faster growing trees. It also produces a dense head perfect for shade.
Eventually reaching 60 to 70 feet, the hardy, disease-free coffeetree
is a popular replacement for the area’s troubled ash.
reaching 50 to 60 feet high, this cross between the silver and red
maple has a rounded canopy and provides good fall color. In summer,
the red maple produces a deep red vein within a medium rich green.
Come autumn, those leaves explode into an array of crimson and orange.
From Asia, this
is the oldest tree known to man and traced back 200 million years. It
is low maintenance, slow growing (and therefore strong) and has an
attractive fan leaf that turns bright yellow in autumn. This giant,
which can grow to more than 100 feet tall, is also resistant to
disease and insects.
This is a
slightly shorter tree and finer built, growing 30 to 40 feet high. The
bark features gray, scaly plates, and the autumn leaf colors range
from orange to red as they are among the earliest to fall. The star of
this tree, though, is the multiple buckeye nuts contained in hulls
that ripen in September.
This species has
drooping blossoms in spring and provides bright yellow fall color. It
has a smooth trunk and is slow growing and therefore hardy. Grows 40
to 50 feet high.
Norway or White
Both of these
spruce species are fast growing evergreens that can grow as high as 50
to more than 60 feet. While not as showy as the blue spruce, these two
are not susceptible to disease and can be planted in a variety of