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The 8 Best Trees to Plant in Southwestern Ontario

Planting a tree is an experience that produces benefits far beyond the property of who planted it. This simple act not only improves your local environment, but also positively impacts human and wildlife health at large.

But there are a lot of factors to take into consideration in order to choose the right tree for your property. Which trees will thrive in your local environment? What benefits do they provide you?

Read on to find the information you need to find to answer these questions, and to determine the best trees for you to plant in Southwestern Ontario.

Tree Planting Considerations

In addition to improving the health of your local environment, different trees provide different benefits to the owner of the property. Prior to selecting a tree, establish the reasons why you want one, which may include:

  • Privacy
  • Shade
  • Food
  • Attracting local wildlife

Next, determine where you will plant the tree, and what kind of soil, drainage patterns and light conditions you are working with to ensure that the tree will thrive among its local surroundings.

It is also highly important to choose a species that is native, or adaptable, to the environment where you are planting it – ours being Southwestern Ontario. This way the tree will easily adapt to region and its soil structure allowing it to thrive and help maintain local biodiversity.

Keeping these considerations in mind, determine the right tree for you using our list of the eight best trees to plant in Southwestern Ontario.

White Oak

White Oak Tree
Even though White Oak trees are known to grow in Midwestern states, they are also a great choice for people living in Southwestern Ontario. When full grown, White Oak trees can provide a large amount of shade coverage. However, they do grow at a slow pace, so they aren’t recommended for people who want quick results.

      Used for: shade, strong branches/wood

Alternate-leaved Dogwood

Dogwood Tree
If you want a tree that is just as aesthetically pleasing as it is suitable for Southwestern Ontario soils, the Alternate-leaved Dogwood is a great match. Large clusters of white flowers appear on these trees in the spring, followed by dark blue berries in the mid-summer.

      Used for: decoration, attracting wildlife

Bitternut Hickory

Hickory Tree
If you’re a fan of smoked hickory flavouring, chances are what you’ve tasted has come from a Bitternut Hickory tree. But this species isn’t just great for working with food — it’s also a smart choice for those who are looking to plant within a bigger group of trees as it grows well even in the shade.

      Used for: cooking, material for tools and sport equipment

American Beech

Beech Tree
Birds, chipmunks and squirrels will likely frequent your property if you plant an American Beech, as these small animals enjoy the edible beechnuts the species produces. With light blue-grey bark and large oval leaves, American Beech trees can grow up to 25 metres in height, but require extra attention when seedling. Protect your tree from wildlife when first planted by surrounding it with chicken wire.

      Used for: shade, attracting wildlife, decoration

Black Willow

Willow Tree
If you need a tree that will tolerate seasonal flooding, a Black Willow tree might be the right fit for you. Even though they are intolerant of shade, Black Willow trees root very easily. If you cut off a young branch and stick it into moist, warm soil in the spring, chances are a new tree will grow.

      Used for: attracting wildlife, maintaining biodiversity


Sycamore Tree
Sycamore trees are perfect shade trees, and can grow to up to 100 feet fat. These trees shed a large amount of leaves, which can mean a lot of fall yard work, and they should avoid being planted near pools, sidewalks or driveways. The large size of sycamore trees means that they are likely to be too large for the average backyard. If you have the space, caring for a sycamore tree is very straightforward, with fertilization required every other year. Keep soil wet, but not soaking.

      Used for: shade, decoration

Black Walnut

Walnut Tree
As one of the most treasured trees in North American history, Black Walnut trees are one of the best trees to use for high quality furniture and veneer. The species, which can live to be 150 years old, creates rich and flavourful nuts that can be eaten by humans and wildlife. However, Black Walnut trees also release juglone — a substance that can inhibit the growth of other plants — so it is important to research what can tolerate it before adding it to your garden.

      Used for: food, furniture, shade

Sugar Maple

Walnut Tree
There is nothing more Canadian than a Sugar Maple tree, as its leaf is proudly displayed in the centre of our country’s flag. The Sugar Maple is a very popular choice for Southwestern Ontario because it is tolerant to a variety of soils. It also features beautiful, vibrant colours in most seasons.

      Used for: decoration, shade, easy maintenance

So, you have your dream property in mind. Is it shaded by the branches of red maple trees? Or are you looking for the decoration of the American Beech? No matter your needs, make sure to keep in mind what your environment can sustain and which tree will thrive best. If you do you’ll be reaping the benefits of the tree you plant long into the future.
If you’re looking for advice on the type of tree you should plant in London, Ontario & Area ask the experts at Olympic Tree Care. Call us or email us today!