Ask An Arborist: What Should I Plant?

We just bought a house with no trees or even shrubs in the yard. We want a bigger shade tree, and some smaller ones. We both want fruit or nut trees. And I love birch trees. We have our lot our house is on and a whole additional lot, so we have plenty of space. Can you recommend some types of trees and tell me when is a good time to plant them?

José Fernández & Joe Russell, Russell Tree Experts:
Prior to planting any new trees, a complete soil analysis of the site is recommended. Match the plant to the site. Native tree selections are best for large, medium, and smaller ornamental trees. Apple trees need to be selected for proper pollination and disease resistance. There are several cold hardy nut trees available. Regarding Birch trees, in Ohio we do not have cold enough winters to kill Bronze Birch Borer which is an insect that will ultimately kill white bark varieties of Birch trees. If soil tests are good, the best choice for a Birch tree in Ohio is River Birch. Other great choices would be large shade trees: Swamp White Oak, Hackberry, Ginkgo or Sugar Maple.  Medium/small trees: black tupelo, Japanese Zelkova, Red bud. Shrubs: spice bush, Korean spice viburnum, Nine bark, oak leaf  hydrangea.