Information on Yard Trees
What Is a Yard Tree?
Yard trees are the trees that grow on private property in landscaped or manicured settings. In many cases, they are planted for their landscape or ornamental value. Yard trees are a critical component of Connecticut’s tree canopy, providing benefits such as reduced energy consumption and costs due to shading, increased property values, improved mental health, and many more.
Planting and Care for Yard Trees
Just like your house, yard trees require ongoing care and maintenance. Early investments in planted trees can greatly reduce the need for costly interventions down the road. The Connecticut Tree Owner’s Manual is a great resource on selecting, planting, and caring for young trees. Before planting, you should consider testing soils to ensure that they are capable of sustaining the tree species you wish to plant. The Morton Arboretum has a publication outlining ideal soil conditions for new trees and both the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station and the UConn Coop Extension Service offer services to test the soil conditions on your property. In determining which tree species to plant, you will want to consider the Right Tree Right Place concept, which encourages proper tree selection and planting. You may also wish to consult UConn's Plant Database for a guide specific to Connecticut's landscape. Depending on where you live, there may also be options to have trees planted on your property for free or at a reduced rate – reach out to the tree warden in your municipality for more information about these programs.
Trees can also succumb to pests and diseases. The Plant Pest Handbook, prepared by the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, is a great resource for identifying these pests and potential treatment options. For further assistance or for trees with structural damage or in decline, you will want to reach out to a Connecticut licensed arborist. The Connecticut Tree Protective Association maintains a list of licensed arborists in the state.
Removing or Pruning Yard Trees
Can you sell the trees in your yard for timber
Typically, sawmills listed in the Primary Producer section of our website do not accept yard trees for timber. In most cases, sawmills do not find it economical to pick up single logs on their trucks. Typically, these trucks are capable of holding 30 or more logs. Yard trees are often known to contain concrete, metal, or other materials which can cause extensive damage to sawmill blades. It is recommended that homeowners search for individuals with portable sawmills if they wish to process their own yard trees into usable wood products. Portable band mills use blades that are significantly cheaper and easier to change out than traditional circular sawmills. The Division of Forestry does not register or keep track of individuals with portable mills. It is recommended that interested homeowners seek out portable sawmill manufacturer websites for directories of individuals who may provide such services.
For more information, please read this pamphlet about selling yard trees for timber.
Content last updated in March 2022.