Zone 8a trees arrive in various shapes, sizes, and colors that could add more beauty and shade to your hardiness zone.

Seven Zone 8a Trees Plant America

However, choosing these trees for your backyard can be overwhelming, considering that you will have to consider several variables like temperature and hardiness zone.

Keep reading to find out trees you can grow in your gardens and backyards.

List of Trees for Zone 8a Territory

1. Apricot

Hardiness zones, such as zone 8, are somewhat tricky spots for growing fruit trees. Not all can survive the mildness in the winter, but apricot are able.

This wonderful tree is one of those that don’t need a pollination partner to grow fruits, meaning it is self-fruitful. This tree has been cultivated for more than four centuries and grows typically in most western regions with an abundance of heat and sunshine.

It is crucial to know that some apricot varieties can be affected by frost in extremely cold regions, so plant hardiness matters.

Decide a hardy variety like Royal Blenheim, Moorpark, or Goldrich and planting zones that will offer some degree of protection to the plant. Apricots also need at least 700 hours to get fruit, so plant in areas with a lot of warmth.

– Planting and Soil Requirements

Once you have selected your species, then it’s time to grow apricots, note that the planting zone and soil are the most vital considerations. Growing apricots require well-drained soil with an abundance of organic matter. Before you begin planting, you need to perform a percolation test to determine the water level.

Apricot require well drained soil Plant America

You must begin by digging a hole one foot deep and about 10 inches wide, and filling it with water and wait for a day. Fill the hole with water again and place a stick over the top. Take a reading of the water level every hour. 

The recommended readings will be around two inches every hour. Once the soil has sufficient drainage, dig a deeper hole and plant your tree. Add water to it. To prevent frost, plant the trees on higher ground.

– Tree Care

Growing apricot trees is relatively easy, provided the sun is adequate, and the soil must be a well-draining one. The tree will need to be watered weekly, mainly during bloom, which is during spring. An inch of water will suffice. We recommend a deep irrigation system to avoid wetting the leaves and flowers.

Thinning is another aspect you should pay attention to when caring for this blushed tree. Once the fruit comes, endeavor to thin the fruits, you may thin them to about two inches apart. You must note that you don’t thin, the fruits will be smaller.

Also, apricots need to be pruned annually and treated occasionally. Fungal diseases can set it, so spray fungicides to prevent such diseases from causing more harm.

2. Walnut

Walnut trees aren’t only known for producing nutritious nuts and wood for fine furniture. They also provide shade in the backyard, thanks to their stretched limbs. 

– Different Types

The most common type of walnut is the Persian and black walnuts. The former is typically grown in places like California and comes in large sizes.

Because they are most suited to Mediterranean climates, Persian walnuts barely survive in extremely cold conditions. Therefore, choose a variety that’s most suited to your weather.

Most growing walnuts reach a height and width of 50 foot and can be seen in the United States. A mature walnut produces around 80 pounds of nuts every year. The earliest ripening cultivars require about 150 days to grow over 28 degrees Fahrenheit.

Walnut Tree for fine furniture Plant America

– Planting and Soil Requirements

Growing walnuts require moist soil and an area devoid of grass and other plants that will compete for nutrients. Cultivate a 12-square-foot area to a 10-inch depth to remove weeds and other surrounding plants.

Dig a one-inch hole larger than the root ball and put the seedling inside. Fill in the hole and press down tightly to prevent air from penetrating the roots. The tree should be moist and surrounded with organic mulch to retain moisture and eliminate weeds.

– Tree Care

Walnut trees have wide roots and don’t need to be watered often except the topsoil is completely dried, and then you may water it.

When there’s a dead limb, prune to give room for more maturity. Walnut trees don’t produce immediately. Their peak production is around 30 years, so you have to be patient. This won’t be a bother if you mostly care about the shade they provide.

3. Beech

Beech trees are best for growing if you have a gargantuan property that needs shade in certain areas. Beech comes in various types that you can find in Asia and Europe, but the most common species is the American Beech or Fagus grandifolia. 

This deciduous tree stands out when planted on an open site. The shade is so dense that growing anything beneath it is impossible. It is recognized by its smooth bark, small crown, and straight trunk.

– Features

The trunk can grow to 80 feet or more, while the small crown spreads in full sun. The leaves have many side veins and sharp edges. 

The small male flowers blossom in round clusters along the branches, while the female flowers would be the ones to grow at the end of the branches during spring. Once pollination takes place, the red female flowers are replaced by beech nuts, which are eaten by birds.

Beech need fertilization Plant America

– Planting and Soil Requirements

Beech trees grow best in rich, moist, and acidic soil that isn’t closely packed. The crown spreads up to 60 feet when mature, so give it plenty of space.

Because of its solid bark, the tree can live for over two centuries, and this is a feature why it’s loved. That’s the reason why it’s crucial to select the right site for planting.

The planting hole should be three times more extensive than the root ball to break the soil around the planting space. This allows the roots to disperse into the surrounding soil instead of remaining in the hole. Add compost to the soil if it isn’t rich during planting time.

– Tree Care

Newly planted trees need to be watered consistently in the absence of rain. Additionally, you need to spread about a three-inch layer of mulch around the root area of young trees to aid in moisture retention. When the crown grows, mulch is no longer required.

Beech trees also need fertilization. Add fertilizer to the root area and water it, you can add a pound of 10-10-10 fertilizer per 100 square feet of the root area, and the tree will get its proper nutrients.

4. Maple

Maple trees grow into outstanding colors, and they come in various shapes and sizes. The advantage of maple trees is that it’s convenient to plant. You can grow it through cuttings or seeds. You can also grow maple by planting its nursery-grown species.

– Planting and Soil Requirements

It’s easy to grow maples through cuttings, and you have the benefit of obtaining a free sample. Take four inches cuttings from the tips of fresh trees and remove the leaves from the bottom of the stem.

Remove the bark as well with a knife and rub it with a powdered rooting hormone. A powdered rooting hormone facilitates the growth of the root, ensuring it becomes high-quality.

In this case, you must stick the lower end of the cutting into a pot filled with the rooting hormone. Ensure the air around the pot is moist by enclosing it in a plastic bag. Once the cutting is firmly rooted, remove the pot from the covering and put it in the sun, as the process would be successful.

The next option is to grow using the seeds. Maple seeds are best planted in the fall because the ground isn’t frozen. They mature in late spring or fall, but it all boils down to the species. Not all cultivars require cold stratification, but you should apply this treatment to them to be on the safe side. It tricks them into believing they experienced winter. 

Advantage of maple trees Plant America

– Proper Germination

Therefore, they germinate properly and safely. Plant the seed about an inch deep in a moist moss pot and put it in a plastic bag inside the fridge for a minimum of 60 days. When the pot is out, take it to a warm location.

Once it has been successfully germinated, you can now place the pot in a window to receive adequate sunlight, however you must always make sure that the soil is always moist.

When the plant is a few inches tall, transplant it into a pot by filling it with rich potting soil to enhance its growth. After that, add half a liquid houseplant fertilizer every seven to ten days. When planting maple trees, select a location with enough sunlight and well-drained soil. 

Dig a hole to the depth and width of 35 inches and place the plant in the hole. This should be done after a couple of months. Ensure the stem lines up well with the soil. Avoid burying the stem too deeply to avoid any rot.

Remember, that you should not add any fertilizer after filling the hole with soil. Tamp down with your hand or foot to remove air pockets. Once you fill the hole, press down the soil and water thoroughly. Spread mulch around the plant to keep the soil moist. 

You can fertilize the tree when in the second spring of planting. An alternative to 10-10-10 fertilizer is compost manure, which you must spread it evenly over the root zone. As the maple grows, add fertilizer if necessary.

– Tree Care

Maple trees require little maintenance. Adhering to all the planting steps above will leave you with little to no problems. Don’t grow maples too fast because they will develop inflexible branches and rot.

5. Crape Myrtle

Who doesn’t love an attractive summer bloom? It is one of the aspects that makes the Crape myrtle trees prominent in the southern landscapes. Aside from their bloom, these shade trees require limited care and grow pretty well in most hardiness zones of 7 to 9. 

Plus, they have a survival instinct. Crape myrtle comes in different varieties and colors, such as the Centennial, Victor, and Caddo. It is an excellent choice of a tree to plant. Now, let’s look at how to grow this deciduous tree.

– Planting and Soil Requirements

Growing crape myrtles is pretty simple, not so different from planting shrubs. They grow best in a sunny area. Because of their high adaptability and survival rate, they can grow in soils that aren’t rich. Don’t plant them in soggy soils because they can adapt to them. A well-drained soil and enough sunlight will give it abundant summer blooms and deter pests.

Newly-planted ones should be watered thoroughly until roots are visibly developed. Spreading fertilizer isn’t necessary unless blooms are scarce or the soil is below the required pH. 

Growing Crape Myrtles Plant America

Crape myrtle thrives in soils with a pH of 5 to 6 maximum. Note that full bloom may not happen in the first year after planting. When planting in limited areas, select a smaller hybrid specie so you won’t over-prune.

– Tree Care

Although crape myrtles require limited care, it can be daunting to maintain them sometimes. One area that proves how difficult it is to care for these trees is pruning. If you over-prune, you will ruin the natural shape and form of the specie. 

For enthusiastic homeowners, limited pruning and removal of branches are recommended, because you do not want to groom it extra, and stress it.

They are prone to sooty mold and mildew, as aphids feed on new growth and form honeydew that attracts sooty mold. 

The good thing is it can easily be fixed with an organic solution like spreading neem oil. Spray under the leaves to get rid of the insects and mold. 

6. Tulip Tree

Tulip trees are known for their incredible spring yellowish-green blooms that cover the plant. Tulip trees differ from the tulip flowers, although they belong to the same southern magnolia family. The tree isn’t ideal for all landscapes because of its height, but it is hardy enough for USDA plant hardiness zones like zone 8a.

– Features

The tree attracts several pollinating birds and tiger butterflies. It leaves that extend to about eight inches long. Since this tree is deciduous, it will lose its leaves in winter, but you get to see the spectacular color of the leaves between the months of April and June.

– Planting and Soil Requirements

Tulip trees grow well in sunny locations with rich and well-drained soils. Although the tree develops into an arching dome, it initially begins in a pyramid shape. In a low sunny location, the branches can get brittle, and the plant’s maturity gets affected. 

Tulip Tree Planting Requirements Plant America

Tulip trees have an extensive root system that doesn’t go out too far from the plant. The tree has a low drought tolerance, so water is essential for its growth. It also thrives in moderate to acidic soils. Since tulip trees grow extremely tall, choose ample space to contain their growth. 

– Tree Care

Tulip trees require low maintenance. Add fertilizers in early spring and occasionally prune because the branches can be hazardous to people, it is ideal if you do this in late winter.

Thinning should be done every two years, and don’t overwater the plant. Watch for canker diseases and weevils and treat them with the right fungicide. 

7. Sequoia

Sequoia or redwood trees are the world’s second-largest trees. Redwoods come in three types – giant, coast, and dawn. However, only giant and coast redwoods are grown in North America. Surprisingly, the coast redwood grows in a small habitat. 

– Characteristics

It is one of the oldest redwood types in the US, with most of them above 100 years old. Coast redwoods are also known for their extreme height, with the tallest one ever recorded measuring 365 feet tall. Giant redwoods grow fairly tall but live much longer than coat redwoods. Redwoods thrive in mild temperatures with a high level of moisture.

Sequoia Known as redwood trees Plant America

– Planting and Soil Requirement

Redwood trees are perfect for properties with large lawns and backyards because they have a vast root system. They shouldn’t be grown alongside other plants because they outcompete them for moisture and nutrients. Redwoods don’t grow from cuttings but from seeds. 

Plant the seed in a sunny location outdoors with organically rich, well-drained soil. You should know that redwoods grown outside their natural habitat don’t do well.

Prune the trees occasionally since they grow pretty fast. Also, the soil must be moist all the time to aid growth. Do all these and your tree will bloom beautifully and healthily. 


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