Best Landscape Trees by All Four Seasons Featured

Which trees are best for which season? Ken Lain has the answers for you!

Big Idea

  • What are the best trees for landscaping? Popular ornamental trees. 
  • What types of trees grow all year round? Best trees for backyard. 
  • What are the best trees to plant in a small front yard? 
  • Which trees keep their leaves in winter?
  • Read more…


Your landscape value is in your trees.


Trees are where your landscape value is. Plant them right, and your home value grows; get trees wrong, and they take over, lift patios and driveways, hide beautiful architecture, and more. Think of trees and the four-season. Begin with trees that announce spring by blooming, then have trees that offer summer shade, autumn reds, and gold, ending with visual interest through winter. The goal is not simply to collect specimens in the yard but rather to have at least one model tree per season that adds pizzazz to your landscaping.


Spring Trees for the Landscape



Oklahoma Redbud grows just 16' feet tall. This local native is super easy to grow. Vibrant, red flowers cloak the branches of early spring. Luscious heart-shaped leaves emerge with a soft pink tinge that matures to a deep green. Small enough to grow in any yard.

Purple Robe Locust shows incredible, long clusters of purple flowers in May that look just like Wisteria flowers hanging from this local bloomer. The 8" fragrant clusters cover the tree profusely! Super hardy and drought tolerant with a brisk growth rate of 2' feet in one year. It's the perfect shade tree later in summer.


Thunder Cloud Plum is the perfect small purple tree between evergreens. Blooms in a profusion of pink flowers that precede the deep purple foliage. Large enough to use as a front yard tree and behaved enough to use as a street tree. Plant pairs flanking gateways, driveways, or in orchard-like rows to screen a view of neighbors.



Summer Trees for the Landscape


Quaking Aspen has a tall columnar form that provides excellent shade in small backyards or between homes at the edge of property lines. Perfect at shading scorching sun bakes walls. They eventually grow tall enough to shade second-story decks. A valuable characteristic of aspens is that they don't take over the yard after several years like many other fast-growing trees.


Sensation Maple is a stunning shade tree that thrives in severe garden conditions without skipping a beat. Faster growing, the spring leaves erupt in soft copper that quickly matures to a refreshing green with just a hint of copper undertones for the summer. Through Autumn, it unleashes a brilliant display of red leaves. Where this tree really shines is in areas having challenging conditions. Once established, it is super drought tolerant. The perfect tree to line a long driveway or the picture-perfect patio shade tree.


Sunburst Honeylocust cheerfully shouts, "Hello, Spring!" with its glowing yellow leaves. As summer heats up, it settles down to a naturally cool green that turns gold again in Autumn. This Watters exclusive casts a dappled shade perfect for reading a book or sharing an outdoor meal. Takes the sun and wind, yet easy on your time, water, and maintenance. Even the Autumn cleanup is a piece of cake! Impervious to deer.


Autumn Trees for the Landscape



Prescott Blaze Maple flaunts fall color like embers in a blazing hot fire. It loves mountain soil, extreme conditions and takes our wind better than all other shade trees. Perfect for patios, hot sunny walls, street and driveway trees, or anyplace shaded relief is needed.


Raywood Ash has the boldest fall foliage. The dark green summer leaves turn attractive wine-red through Autumn. Plant as a single shade tree or grove for more widespread shade, especially on hotter south and west walls and patios. The perfect street tree lining a driveway that is both drought-hardy and beautiful.


Prescott Flowering Pear starts spring with dazzling white flowers. Summer shade is created by thick dark green foliage that is the last tree to turn brilliant red in fall. Even the winter bark is attractive. It's the ideal specimen for lawns, lining driveways, and standing alone as a model in small spaces. Even in the most challenging soil, this tree grows 30'x15'.




Winter Evergreen Trees for the Landscape


Austrian Pine blocks the neighbors with a gorgeous evergreen tree! A handsome tree with a densely branched conical form when young and becomes umbrella-shaped with age. Needles are long and dark green. Superb for windbreaks or as a single specimen. The fastest-growing local pine that quickly grows 40' tall x 15' wide.


Blue Spruce trees combine beauty and function. Their distinctive blue foliage is a stunning addition to any landscape that grows tall enough to screen and break wind. Twice taller than wide, this native evergreen is best planted where it has room to grow. Use it to separate tall multistory buildings. Tall enough to screen the view from second or third story windows. Gorgeous in estate-sized landscapes.



Vanderwolf Pine is related to Arizona Pinion Pine producing fluffy foliage that resembles a blue Cedar from a distance. It is remarkably resilient in dry Arizona soils. Makes a graceful single specimen in front yards, parks, or expansive estate-sized landscapes. This distinctive pine grows 12'x5' with long, twisted, silvery needles covering the dense branches. Carefree and easy to grow.


You now have the ideal three trees for every mountain season. The soil is warm, and trees are actively rooting, making this an ideal season to plant new trees of your own. Research even more local choices through the web at Top10Trees.com.

Until next week, I'll be helping local gardens plant the best trees here at Watters Garden Center.

Throughout the week, Ken Lain can be found at Watters Garden Center, 1815 W. Iron Springs Rd in Prescott, or contacted through her website at WattersGardenCenter.com or Top10Plants.com.


Upcoming Garden Classes

August 21 @ 9:30 am – Best Evergreens for Mountain Landscapes – Evergreens can be the anchor of any landscape, providing color and privacy year-round. We'll dispel the myth that the only evergreens are pine trees, when in fact they can be a multitude of different shapes, colors, and sizes—there are even evergreens that aren't green!


August 28 @ 9:30 am - Gardening for Newcomers Learn all the mountain secrets to local garden success. This is an information packed class guaranteed to increase garden blooms and fruit this year. Learn about growing zones, frost dates, soils and more; you'll know exactly what to do in the gardens after this class.

September 4 @ 9:30 am - Top 10 Trees and How to Plant them - Privacy, shade, color, evergreen, and blooms. We cover trees from every angle. With so many choices, picking the perfect tree can seem overwhelming, but not after this class. Our horticultural team will be on-hand after the class to help with individual tree situations. Free tree planting guide to all attendees.

September 11 @ 9:30 am – Climbers & Covers in the Landscape. Vines climb quickly up fence posts, pergolas, barbed wire, walls and trellis. They block, screen, and shade better than any other plants in the nursery, but not all vines are created equal. Learn these vines favorite locals, sun and shade lovers, and all the advice to get these bloomers climbing.

September 18 @ 9:30 am - Easy to Grow Mountain Plants – Rock landscapes without these core plants tend to look strange, immature and lacking. Learn how to garden with these simple, but effective planting combinations for a design that WOWs all four seasons of the year.

September 25 @ 9:30 am - Privacy Screens and the Secret Garden. Tired of looking at the neighbor's RV? This class shows off the best, fastest growing plants to fill in your privacy screens! You can screen unsightly neighbors, enhance your view, or block pesky traffic and cut noise and light pollution. Experts will be on hand to help individuals with unique situations.

October 2 @ 9:30 am - Fall ‘To-do‘ list for a Healthy Yard - Get the most out of your landscape with this easy to use checklist of fall care. Bring the color out of your fall gardens, reduce bugs next spring, or simply put your landscape to bed with these easy to use ideas.

October 9 @ 9:30 am - Autumn Colors Best Enjoyed at Home - Landscapes in autumn can be stunning, but only with proper planning. This easy care advice will bring the silver and blues out of the evergreens, showcasing brilliant bright foliage and crazy colored flowers. Make this the brightest fall of all!

October 16 @ 9:30 am – Fall Containers that Bloom like Crazy! After this class, you’ll have what it takes to design great container gardens that sparkle in the afternoon heat. Learn about proper watering, the best foods, companion plants, and more. Everyone is going to comment on your potting success! Bring your own container or buy one new and we'll have design stations open, with expert advice on hand.

October 23 @ 9:30 am – Succulents, Cacti and the Low Maintenance Garden are all the rage right now, and a great choice for busy gardeners! These are the toughest, drought-tolerant plant that will grow like gangbusters in a tight space with very little care. Students will learn how to use the local favorites that brings warm color and texture to your home.

October 30 @ 9:30 am – Showy Shrubs of Autumn - Shrubs are the backbone of a good design. They provide essential structure, beauty, fragrance and color with a great variety of shapes. Rock landscapes without shrubs tend to look strange, immature and lacking. Learn how to use shrubs to create simple but effective planting combinations for a design impact that will WOW all four seasons of the year. Free to gardeners that want more from their yard.


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Last modified on Wednesday, 25 August 2021 02:30
Published in Prescott.news
Ken Lain

Ken Lain can be found throughout the week at Watters Garden Center, 1815 W. Iron Springs Rd in Prescott, or contacted through his web site.


We Believe Gardening should be Safe, Natural and Organic. Focus is on Superior quality plants with people that help you garden right. Vote best garden center 9 years running including the prestigious 'Most Revolutionary Award'. 

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