How to - Gardening Resources

Pick the best tree to plant in your yard

Whether you're on a huge lot or a tiny piece of paradise, breathe life into your garden with the right tree

Pollution tolerant trees
10 pollution-tolerant trees: Most gardeners already know that the buildup of greenhouse gases can cause damage to food crops, but these same compounds can also be harmful to trees. Of the many gases being emitted into the atmosphere, sulphur dioxide and ozone are responsible for more injury to woody plants than all other air pollutants combined. The following is a list of native trees that are tolerant of both sulphur dioxide and ozone.

Black maple
(Acer nigrum)
Zone 4

Sugar maple
(A. saccharum)
Zone 3
Flowering dogwood
(Cornus florida)
Zone 6
Eastern red cedar
(Juniperus virginiana)
Zone 4

Black tupelo
(Nyssa sylvatica)
Zone 5
Colorado spruce
(Picea pungens)
Zone 3
(Pseudotsuga menziesii)
Zone 4
Red oak
(Quercus rubra)
Zone 4
White cedar
(Thuja occidentalis)
Zone 3

American beech
(Fagus grandifolia)
Zone 4

10 best shade trees for big properties
Large deciduous trees are often grown on the south side of homes to provide shade during the heat of summer while allowing sunlight to penetrate during the winter. Be sure to provide plenty of space though—these native Goliaths all require lots of elbow room.

NameHeight x Spread (m) Comments
Red maple
(Acer rubrum) Zone 4

22 to 30 x 15 to 22Excellent specimen tree; intolerant of city pollution; dazzling red fall colour
Sugar maple
(A. saccharum) Zone 3

22 to 30 x 15 to 22Source of maple syrup; wood is prized by furniture makers; brilliant yellow to burnt orange fall foliage
Common hackberry
(Celtis occidentalis)
Zone 2

22 to 30 x 22 to 30Tolerant of dry soils and windy conditions; related to elm and similar in outline but immune to Dutch elm disease; yellow fall foliage
American yellowwood
(Cladrastis kentukea)
Zone 4

15 to 22 x 15 to 22Panicles of fragrant, white flowers in early summer; no serious disease or insect problems; golden yellow fall foliage
American beech
(Fagus grandifolia)
Zone 4

22 to 30 x 15 to 22Young trees transplant easily; attracts wildlife; golden bronze fall foliage
Kentucky coffeetree
(Gymnocladus dioicus)
Zone 4

22 to 30 x 15 to 22Choose male clone cultivars such as ‘Stately Manor’; seeds were used by early settlers as a coffee substitute; yellow fall foliage
Black walnut
(Juglans nigra) Zone 3

22 to 30 x 22 to 30Prefers rich, moist soil; wood is highly prized by cabinet makers; yellow fall foliage. Caveat: roots emit juglone, which restricts growth of understorey plants
Bur oak
(Quercus macrocarpa)
Zone 3

22 to 30 x 22 to 30More tolerant of pollution than most oaks; difficult to transplant; yellow-green fall foliage
Red oak
(Q. rubra)
Zone 4

22 to 30 x 22 to 30Fast growing; prefers moist, well-drained soil;
transplants easily; russet to bright red fall foliage
American linden
(Tilia americana)  Zone 3
22 to 30 x 15 to 22Several cultivars available; a.k.a. basswood and used for furniture; pale yellow fall foliage

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