Delaware, or The First State, is the second smallest in the United States. With a rich history of American patriotism, it is not surprising Delaware commands the traditional American Holly as its state tree. With its small, pointed leaves and colorful red berries, the American Holly is a favorite among privacy tree planters as it will grow to quickly build barriers. Delawareans are not limited to the American Holly, though; there are dozens of trees that would make a great addition to any Delawarean back yard.
Due to its low elevation, proximity to the ocean, and variation in temperature and precipitation, the smart Delawarean grower will need to consider the following; soil type, climate, irrigation, average precipitation, weather damage and growing zones.
Best Trees for Delaware
Read about the specifics for your state in the following sections. If you’re looking for some quick ideas on what to plant, consider the following trees as expert-tested and The Tree Center approved:
- Rainbow Eucalyptus Tree
Ideal for providing stunning beauty and shade.
- Royal Empress Trees
Ideal for providing fast-growing shade, year-round beauty, and drought resistance.
- Cold Hardy Avocado
Ideal for bearing fruit for delicious, edible profits, color, and adaptable qualities.
- Muskogee Crape
Ideal for mildew resistance, fragrant lavender blooms, and fast-growing height.
As property in Delaware continues to be developed, land owners are searching for trees that will provide privacy from prying neighborly eyes and loud, unwanted noise. There are many fast growing privacy trees in Delaware, which will quickly grow after initial planting to offer your property and family long sought-after privacy.
The Thuja Green Giant, a staple of privacy trees throughout the United States, is a fast-growing pine that will quickly provide a barrier between you and your neighbors. Growing between 3-5 feet a year, the Thuja Green Giant will offer your yard classic French design with minimal hassle. Alternatively, the Italian Cypress and American Holly will also add color and privacy to your yard’s perimeter.
Despite being the second smallest state in the U.S.A., Delaware tracks impressive variations in temperature and precipitation. Located along a low elevation plain, the ocean has a large impact on weather patterns of the region. Often switching between two climate statistical ranges throughout the year, Delaware resides either in a humid subtropical or continental climate depending on slight annual fluctuations. The southern parts of the state are cooler due to the Atlantic Ocean, and the growing season is, therefore, longer. Like much of New England, temperatures can drop to below -15°F in winter while rising easily above 100°F in summer.
Most trees require well-drained soil rich with minerals to grow. Delaware is known for its Greenwich Loam, a well-draining soil full of rich nutrients. Almost every county in Delaware is covered with this loam, which increases agricultural growth, water quality, and wildlife habitats. While it is likely most properties in The First State are gifted with this prime farmland soil, a homeowner can perform a simple test to determine the type of soil he/she has on a given piece of land.
The test requires a handful of fresh soil from the layer just below the top. It should be damp but not wet. The tester should hold the soil in the palm of his/her hand and, not surprisingly, squeeze. The squeeze will produce one of three events.
1. The soil will hold its shape, likely forming a snake. If you touch the snake, the soil will maintain its original shape. You have CLAY.
2. The soil will hold its shape, likely forming a snake. If you touch the snake, the soil will collapse. You have LOAM.
3. The soil will fall apart as you open your hands. You have SAND.
Once you know what soil type you have, you can find trees best suited to the dirt’s properties. Loam is the best soil to have, as its unique qualities make it ideal for holding and transferring water to trees.
Precipitation varies across the state of Delaware, with areas receiving on average 45 inches of precipitation annually. Severe weather systems, traveling along the East Coast, frequently dump snow and heavy rains in the winter and spring. In the summer and autumn, tropical systems bring thunderstorms and flooding to the state. Rain is slightly more prevalent in the south of the state, where storms from the ocean tend to have a larger impact. This is balanced by milder temperatures from the maritime effect.
University of Delaware researchers have recently begun sharing their knowledge through the Delaware Irrigation Management System (DIMS), which seeks to regulate water dispersal and landowner needs. The system is primarily used by farmers who are seeking to increase production of watermelon, corn, and other produce. Both small and large properties can benefit from appropriate irrigation systems. Newly planted trees require consistent and controlled water access in order to successfully root. Simple sprinkler systems or drip irrigation systems can be easily installed in order to enhance tree growth.
Despite its relative small size, Delaware is still home to three unique growing zones. A growing zone simply refers to the USDA’s determination of areas where certain plants are most likely to thrive, preferring to focus on minimal temperature ranges in which a plant can survive. The main reason for this temperature variance is because Delaware runs north to south, measuring only 9 miles wide at points. Plants in Delaware’s northern border with New York can expect temperatures to dip to -5°F, whereas plants along the southernmost coast, near Rehoboth Beach, will only need to sustain temperatures reaching 5°F.
Delaware does receive severe weather systems occasionally, usually those that have traveled up from Florida and Central America. These storms do not usually cause extraordinary damage, although they tend to release a great deal of precipitation in the region. The rain Delaware receives is part of the reason it is such a strong agricultural area. Before planting trees, consider nearby buildings or power lines that could be affected by a fall. Also remember trees can help prevent erosion in flood-plains, and they will add property value to your home.