Tree of HeavenLooking for a simple way to add beauty and value to your home? Plant a tree!  There are a wide variety of trees that thrive in central Illinois, but making the best choice takes a little work. Adding a healthy, beautiful tree is an excellent investment in your home’s value.

First of all, you’ll want to have a good assessment of the quality of the soil where you want to plant the tree. The pH balance of your soil, for example, can make the difference between a beautiful tree and a dead eyesore. Soil testers can be purchased at most lawn and garden centers.

The University of Illinois Extension has a wonderful website filled with information about trees you might want to consider. You can use the site to filter trees by size, tolerance to different conditions, exposure and use. It also contains useful warnings about pests specific to central Illinois.

You’ll also need to know how well-drained the planting area is before you put the tree in the ground. Too much water in the soil can cause problems for the roots. Adding bark mulch around the base of the tree will help add nitrogen to the soil.  And wrapping trees in the fall and winter will protect them against the cold and deer.

Whatever your choice is, you’ll probably want to consult with a local garden center or tree farm to confirm you’re making a good decision.  Do you have a favorite tree? Send me a picture! Plant a tree, invest in your home’s value, and make Illinois just a little more beautiful.

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This blog is maintained by Michael of Kim Hughes & Company.
Photo courtesy ReallyBoring/