note: this post was written many months ago before we bought our home. I thought it was already live, so I decided to post as-is instead of editing the tense because it sheds light into our house hunting period.
We looked at our first two houses this past weekend and I have never been more excited. House hunting has BEGUN! Although I really liked both houses, my dad (our realtor) made a good point to notice how dark both lots were. Although they weren’t solid pine (a non-starter for me), they were still very dark and the grass seemed to be struggling underneath.
Ideally, we’ll have a yard that is mostly green and barren that will allow us to plant a tree or two of our own. I wanted to compile a grouping of trees that are native to North Carolina to go through my options and decide my favorite tree to someday plant in our back— or front— yard.
I’d say the three most planted trees around currently are: Oak, Magnolia and Pine.
Raleigh is the city of oaks and that is for good reason! I love a great oak tree. They age well and are beautiful year-round. Oak trees remind me of Virginia. I truly don’t think anything can top Virginia in the fall and I want to replicate it as much as possible. Two trees we didn’t have much of in Virginia? Magnolia and Longleaf Pine trees. I don’t mind magnolia trees all too much. Their leaves are hearty and beautiful but magnolias are far from your classic “tree climbing” tree. Longleaf pines are EV-ERY-WHERE. I strongly dislike the massive presence of pine in North Carolina. I want a lush green lawn and with pine trees come pine straw. It ain’t fun to kick a soccer ball and run around with your dog/kids in pine straw!
Two pretty options for fall foliage are maple and poplar trees. Both are fairly familiar and again, very pretty in the fall.
Last are two more familiar trees: the bradford pear and crepe myrtle. Both of these were widely planted in Virginia. My go-to tree climbing tree in my front yard growing up was a bradford pear. I don’t even mind the smell they give off in the spring! The one thing I don’t prefer about them is that they are fairly weak trees. One strong lighting bolt nearby will knock it out, ruining years and years of growth. Crepe myrtles are a pretty tree for the front yard but they aren’t the classic tree I’m planning for the back.
If I were to choose, I’d likely plant a oak in the back with a pink crepe myrtle in the front. Whew! I can’t wait.
What are some of your favorite tree species where you’re from? What do you love so much about them? Let me know!