You have chosen to plant a tree – now what? Among things to consider when making your choice:
Look at your space and ask yourself where a tree is needed. Try to imagine the full grown size of the tree you want to plant because you don’t want it to grow up and outgrow its space. Large trees grow at least 60 feet tall; medium between 30-60 feet and small up to 30. Your choice may be available as a dwarf variety (12-20 feet).
Do you want your tree to provide shade, bear fruit (Golden Delicious apples originated in WV) have a flowering season? Would you prefer an evergreen (conifer, yew, fir) or a deciduous (leaves turn color and fall)?
Consider the amount of sunlight your tree will receive – some like full sun, others prefer partial.
Don’t worry about choosing between a tree and a large shrub since it’s often hard to know the difference. Basically, trees have one main trunk and are over 15 feet tall; shrubs usually don’t have a central trunk, have shoots from their base instead of branches, and are under 15 feet tall. The native Serviceberry, one that blooms early in spring, is called both tree and shrub, and it’s not worth arguing over but well worth enjoying.
If you buy your tree(s) from a local nursery, the staff should be able to give you good suggestions and answer your questions about planting. Also, most nurseries guarantee their trees for their first year.
Online resources to help with selection of native to or naturalized in West Virginia trees:
WV Conservation Agency: www.wvca.us/environthon/f3.cfm
WV Forestry: WV/Trees: https://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/779