Thinking Outside The Box With Beautiful Landscape Trees

Unique Trees To Plant In Your Yard

“We are thinking of planting a new tree, but we aren’t sure what to get… is there anything you would recommend?”  

As Columbus arborists, this is a common question that we encounter, and a difficult one to answer.  The pallet of landscape trees is immense…or is it?  

Certainly, there are hundreds of types of trees that will grow in Central Ohio. However, one glance through a wholesale nurseries availability list will tell you that the options are far more limited than that. What good is it to recommend an Ohio tree that a homeowner can’t even find?

We’re not talking about your run-of-the-mill maples, oaks, elms, and crabapples, but something unique that fares well in Ohio. Here is a list of five trees that can be relatively easily sourced in Ohio that you can’t find in every backyard.

The Kentucky Coffeetree

The Kentucky Coffeetree (Gymnocladus dioicus) is a rather large tree, reaching 60 – 75 feet tall at mature height and 40 – 50 feet wide. It has a reputation for being somewhat “messy,” but this is offset by the fact that it has virtually no serious disease or pest insects associated with it. In the spring and summer, greenish-white flowers will bloom. Female trees’ flowers have a rose-like fragrance. This tree has a fantastic branching structure that adds a super unique display in the winter and has often been referred to as the quintessential “Halloween Tree.”

Kentucky Coffeetree in the winter before budding.
Kentucky coffeetree

Seven-Son Flower

The Seven-Son Flower (Heptacodium miconioides) is considered a large shrub, or small tree, reaching 15-20 feet tall. Its a member of the honeysuckle family but is not a vine, and its whorled flowers in sets of seven with glossy leaves make this a very attractive plant. Its tan-colored, striped bark makes it an interesting addition to your landscape, even in the winter. You can compare this shrub to a Crapemyrtle, but it will tolerate our winters better.

Seven-Son Flower, unique tree to plant in your yard.
Seven-Son Flower

The Amur Maackia

The Amur Maackia (Maackia amurensis) is a small to medium sized tree, reaching 20 – 30 feet tall. In the summer it has attractive white, spiky flowers and its interesting bark texture makes it a nice addition to your backyard in the winter. This tree also has very few insect or disease issues.


The Parrotia (Parrotia persica) is a small to medium size tree that grows 20 – 40 feet tall by 15 – 30 feet wide. Its beautiful orange fall colors and interesting bark are just a few of its spectacular features. This tree is very hardy and has a high stress tolerance, meaning it has very good pest and disease resistance.

Parrotia tree

Amur Corktree

The Amur cork tree (Phellodendron amurense) is a medium sized tree growing 30 – 45 feet tall. In the fall, the leaves turn a yellow-bronze color. This is a very low maintenance tree as it has very few pest issues and is very tough.

We’d Love To Help!

As always, if you have questions or concerns about planting a tree, don’t hesitate to reach out for advice! Our team would love to help you find the perfect tree to bring a unique natural touch to your green space.