How to choose the right tree for the right place in your yard

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Put this tree. Right here. In YOUR yard. Sounds simple, right?

Carrie Tauscher, Community and Urban Forestry Coordinator, Indiana DNR, Division of Forestry, tells us what we need to look for when choosing the right tree for our yard…. AND knowing where to put it!

How to choose the right tree for the right place in your yard

Ornamental pear

Brought over from China in the 1950’s slowly became popular, and was used some as root stock for fruiting pears

How it’s become invasive 


                        Pears need crosspollination to bear viable fruit

                        Now that there are multiple cultivars the ornamental pears are creating viable fruit

                        Fruit is picked off plants by birds and rodents and spread by passing through the digestive system

            Why we are asking folks to stop planting these trees

                        Compete with native trees

                        The reverting ornamental pear can have thorns

                        If you don’t see them in your area, it’s even more important that you don’t plant them

                        We are learning from past mistakes like bush honeysuckle and fragmities grass that were once considered ornamental but have wreaked havoc; that if we identify that an exotic plant escapes cultivation that we need to act and it is clear that ornamental pear has escaped and will now require an enormous amount of effort and $ to manage. But it’s better to do it now before it’s impossible.

How to choose the right tree for the right place in your yard

Planting the right tree in the right place thinking about where you want to plant before you buy a tree  the things you need to consider:

            space plan for big trees

            potential conflicts “small puppies become big dogs”

            light availability


            soil conditions and soil volume

            plant them the right way

Link to Purdue Extension videos on plant selection and proper planting:  &

Native alternatives to ornamental pear


Black Gum




(basically anything native that isn’t pear)

How to find a professional to help you if you feel unsure:   International society of Arboriculture:   Certified Horticulturalist:

DNR CUF is a program that provides technical and financial assistance to cities towns local governments and not for profit organizations across the state. We help communities with inventories, management planning, planting care maintenance and promotion of the benefits trees provide to communities. The program is  primarily funded through the Urban and Community Forestry section of the USDA’s US Forest Service.

How to choose the right tree for the right place in your yard

We are the local partner of the National Arbor Day Foundation who reviews and confirms information for the national Tree City USA, Tree Campus USA, and Tree Line USA programs.

We also help connect partners that are working toward similar goals.

The mission of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources is to protect, enhance, preserve, and wisely use natural, cultural, and recreational resources for the benefit of Indiana’s citizens through professional leadership, management, and education. The DNR Division of Forestry supports multiple uses of State Forests: recreation, timber production, watershed protection, hunting, and healthy fish and wildlife populations. District Foresters can assist landowners with inspections and management plans tailored to satisfy individual forest stewardship objectives. State nurseries provide stock for landscaping, windbreaks, fire control, and other uses.

Indiana Division of Forestry’s Community Urban Forestry Program provides guidance and grants to communities for development and caretaking of urban forests.

An urban tree canopy is part of a community’s infrastructure and creates valuable environmental, economic, and social benefits. Well-managed urban forests pay back nearly three times the cost to plant and maintain them.

Over 80 percent of the urban forest is in our own back yard.  As society becomes more urbanized and sprawls into rural areas, forests, wooded edges, and woodlots in urban areas are an increasingly important resource.

Indiana Arborist Association is also on Facebook!

How to choose the right tree for the right place in your yard

Purdue Education store links to Urban Forestry resources:

CUF webpage:

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