October 29, 2016

Maple tree foliage in autumn.Depending on the particular individual, the goal of incorporating both flowering and non-flowering trees and plants of all sizes, also referred to collectively as softscapes, might be the simple desire for beauty or to provide a challenging hobby like topiary or fruit production. Not all of these softscape projects will have widespread appeal if the home ends up on the market. Many people prefer landscaping that doesn’t have a lot of work attached to it. To get an idea of which additions fill this description, check out the list below.

*Shade Trees
*Ornamental Trees
*Rain Gardens
*Native Flowers

Shade Trees
So long as the numbers are limited to a couple or three, full-size trees add quite a bit to the resale value of a house. The presence of a tree in the front lawn breaks up the horizontal lines of the home and routine hardscape assets like a walkway, fence, and driveway. The practical value of trees come from the cooling shade they provide and their ability to absorb excess rainwater. They also help reduce the impact of high winds sweeping through the yard. The basic rule anywhere in the county is to select native trees since they need the least amount of maintenance and po
ssess the greatest resilience to the local climate. They’ll also have an historical and cultural importance that non-native trees lack. In the Ann Arbor MI area, maples and oaks stand out as favorites.

Ornamental Trees
This term provokes the image of small flowering trees, but a noted exception would be evergreens like the eastern white pine. As the official state tree of Michigan, this species supplies a distinct pyramidal shape. Among flower trees, dogwoods can succeed as well as crabapples thanks to the somewhat mild climate of the Ann Arbor MI region. While dwarf fruit trees might seem like they could fill this description, keep in mind that most people don’t want the required upkeep. They also won’t look forward to the rotting fruit strewn on the lawn.

Garden Pond With RaindropsRain Garden
These softscape features are gaining in popularity due to their practical side. With or without a tree or two included, masses of shrubs and flowers are placed in a low spot in the yard where rain and snow melt normally collect. This arrangement will only work if the plant choices involved are perennials and have deep root systems. Rain gardens allow excess water a place to settle instead of flooding into storm sewers or the home’s basement. In the process, the extensive root systems help filter the water to keep contaminates from finding their way into the groundwater supply.

Native Flowers
As part of the local ecosystem, native plants offer the best chances of success with the least amount of work. They can thrive in the regional climate and handle native pests and diseases. This isn’t always the case, so a little research should be done before choosing. These selections are also appealing because they tend not to be invasive.