In northern Utah, trees are an essential component of our lives.
They provide shade for our homes and parks, and a habitat for wildlife. They feed us with their bounty of fruits and nuts, and they filter pollution and turn carbon dioxide into life-giving oxygen. They cool our concrete jungle in the summer and shelter us from winter’s harshest winds.
Many species of trees are native to our growing zone, yet we regularly choose to introduce non-native varieties into our landscapes. Many Utah arborists, environmentalists and forestry experts believe this is unwise, and that we should limit — or eliminate — non-native varieties.
Why Do We Plant Non-Native Trees?
For most of us, the reason has mostly to do with aesthetics. We like the way a particular type of tree flowers, or the shape of its canopy is a perfect fit with our landscape design.
We often choose trees without regard to their provenance, in pursuit of a specific function, size, shape or appearance. Sometimes we make our selections based on how fast a tree will grow, or maybe even what’s on sale at the nursery.
The truth is that, with a few notable exceptions, most of us have no idea which species are native Utah trees and which ones aren’t.
What Are the Drawbacks of Non-Utah Trees?
The biggest problem with planting trees not native to Utah is the burden of care. Native species — and, to a similar degree, well-integrated species — are well-suited to our climate. Consequently, these varietals do not require any extra water, fertilizers or special treatment.
In some cases, introducing a non-native plant can create an invasive scenario, where the alien plant takes over an ecosystem and chokes out native species. This causes environmental imbalance, as wildlife and other flora that depended on the species become displaced or, in extreme cases, die off in the region.
The third drawback to planting non-Utah trees is adaptation. When a non-indigenous species evolves over time, separate from its native ecosystem, the varietal’s integrity can become compromised.
Unless you’re a self-taught expert on native and non-native plant species, how can you determine the best Utah trees to choose for your landscape?
Trust an Arborist to Recommend the Right Utah Trees
Ultimately, the right selections for you will depend on your needs and your tolerance for care. You can find all the guidance you need by consulting a local arborist for recommendations. A Utah arborist will take the time to learn about your wants and needs, to help you make the best selection.
And whatever species you choose, your arborist can help you design a tree-care plan to ensure a long, healthy life for your newest additions. Your arborist can recommend an appropriate schedule for pruning as well as pest and disease control. And with periodic evaluations, they can address any potential problems proactively.
Reliable Tree Care, based in Murray, Utah, understands the challenges and benefits of both native and non-native species. Our expert arborists can provide services including fertilization, pest and disease control, pruning and trimming. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with an arborist to learn more about selecting the best Utah trees for your needs.