The Key to a Beautiful Home: Effective Tree and Bush Planting

When decorating the outside of your home, you may turn to plant trees and bushes. While it’s true that planting trees and bushes can make your home look beautiful, it can also be a potential trap for your home’s health. If you want to grow around your house effectively, you need to follow some steps.

Here are a great tree and bush planting guide based on the Virginia and Maryland areas.

Tree and Bush Planting

 Step 1: Plant Local

 The first thing you want to do is make sure you’re planting locally. Bringing in outside plants can lead to issues with the local ecosystem. These are a few plants local to the Virginia and Maryland area. 

  • Crabapple
  • American Dogwood
  • White Fringetree
  • Hawthorn
  • American Holly
  • Pawpaw

Of course, this isn’t a complete list. If there are any other bushes, trees, or plants you want to add to your home’s appearance, research it first to make sure it’s local to your area.

 Step 2: Plant in Season

 You have to make sure you’re planting in season. Here are the important planting periods for some of the most popular plants in Maryland and Virginia:

  • Spring: William Penn Barberry, Border Forsythia, Dwarf Fothergilla, Buttonbush
  • Summer: Sweet Pepperbush, Buttonbush, Smooth Hydrangea
  • Winter: Tatarian Dogwood

As you can see, spring and summer are the most popular times to plant trees and bushes. If you plant in the wrong season, you risk issues with the tree or bush surviving to see the next one. Some trees and bushes will thrive in just about every season, so you never have to worry about a barren yard.

 Step 3: Plant at Appropriate Distances

 This is one of the most important things to remember about planting trees and bushes. Trees especially can cause serious foundational issues if you plant them too close to the home. Here’s the minimum and maximum distance from your home to plant many popular trees in Virginia and Maryland:

  • Crabapple: 6-15 Feet
  • American Dogwood: 6-20 Feet
  • White Fringetree: 12-20 Feet
  • Hawthorn: 20-25 Feet
  • American Holly: 18-25 Feet
  • Pawpaw: 5-10 Feet

If you want some plants that will hug the boundary of your home a little more, you might want to look into bushes instead. You can typically plant these bushes a little closer to your home:

  • William Penn Barberry: 3-5 Feet
  • Buttonbush: 2-3 Feet
  • Sweet Pepperbush: 4-6 Feet
  • Tatarian Dogwood: 8-10 Feet
  • Border Forsythia: 4-6 Feet
  • Dwarf Fothergilla: 3 Feet
  • Smooth Hydrangea: 3-10 Feet
  • Chinese Holly: 5-25 Feet

Whether you’re planting bushes or trees, it would be best if you planted them far enough away. Planting them too close to the home risks a situation where they grow under your foundation or sidewalks and break it up.

 Step 4: Plant in the Sun or the Shade

 In general, you would want to plant most of your trees in the sun rather than the shade. This is a small list of Virginia and Maryland-based plants that typically require a sunny planting rather than a shady one:

  • Crabapple
  • American Dogwood
  • White Fringetree
  • Hawthorn
  • American Holly
  • Border Forsythia

In sharp contrast to this, the Pawpaw is one of the few trees that prefer shade over the sun. However, while most trees will choose sun overshade, this certainly isn’t universal. When you first start looking into a specific tree or bush, take a look at its sun and shade preferences to determine where on your property it will grow best.


Tree and bush planting isn’t exactly easy, but that doesn’t mean it has to feel impossible. With a professional by your side, you can make sure that you’re getting the best-looking yard while also ensuring safety for your home. Suppose you currently have a tree planted incorrectly and is impacting your home’s foundation. In that case, you can talk to a foundation repair expert about removing it or adjusting it so your home can stay healthy and look fantastic.


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