Trees are a desirable element for most yards in that they create shade, provide privacy, and—obviously—add greenery. But certain trees can also offer up a sweet-smelling fragrance, in addition to their other benefits. Here are some trees you might consider planting, depending on the type of aromas you like.
Why it’s beneficial to plant trees in your yard
Tree canopies provide ample shade and reduce heat in and around your home—and the cooler temperature can result in less air conditioning use inside the home and lower electricity bills.
Trees also absorb greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, ozone, carbon monoxide, and more. Grade-A Tree Care reported on the U.S. Forest Service findings that “one tree can clean about 330 pounds of carbon dioxide from the air each year,” providing enough oxygen for a family of four.
In addition to the practical benefits, certain tree species, such as apple, lemon, silk, linden, and birch, can also turn your yard into a sweet-smelling oasis.
An apple tree’s fruit and its blooms smell sweet
Of course, the apples themselves give the fruity smell you’d expect, but the tree’s white and pink flowers smell sweet when in bloom, too. Apple trees can be hardy and long-lasting, depending on the species. They love full sun and moderate moisture—and they need company, so plant at least two so they can thrive and produce fruit in the long run.
Plant lemon trees for fruit and fresh scents
Another aromatic fruit-bearing tree is the lemon tree. While the lemon tree does not produce flowers like an apple tree, the small yellow fruit gives off a pleasant citrus smell that will linger throughout your garden.
Lemon trees love light and lots of water, but make sure the soil has good drainage and acidity for the tree to grow healthy roots. To help your soil along, mix sand or perlite into the ground, and fertilize as needed during the growing season.
How to produce a sweet smell and focal point in your garden
Silk trees are an Asian native tree introduced to other regions by Italian naturist Filippo delgi Albizzia, where it gets its genus name, Albizia. Its vibrant pink fanning flowers resemble strands of silk and smell like sweet perfume, blooming later in the summer months. This ornamental tree is a bit finicky, though, and requires a lot of attention.
They are accustomed to a warm climate, so they need plenty of sun. Although the warm climate suits them, some species like the summer chocolate silk tree can tolerate as low as about 68 degrees—as long as they are planted in a sunny area. The important thing to mention is that they are invasive species, so you will need to monitor their growth and remove “suckers” or shoots that grow at the bottom of the tree to keep it contained.
Create a honey-sweet retreat
Linden trees, also known as little leaf linden, are low-maintenance trees with beautiful long green leaves and hanging nutlets of beige, yellow flowers. The flowers bloom from the spring through July and have a honey-sweet perfume that carries across your yard.
Linden trees can grow anywhere from 50 to 80 feet tall and 50 feet wide, making them an impressive sight that provides ample shade. The large and sweet trees attract all kinds of wildlife, from bees to butterflies and hummingbirds.
These hardy trees only need about two to six hours of full sun per day, can adapt to varying soil conditions (as long as it is well-drained), and need moderate watering to thrive.
How to achieve the spa-like scents in your backyard
Sweet birch, also known as cherry birch, is native to North America and produces long stem-like flowers. The black-brown bark is scaly and leaves a green oval that turns a vibrant yellow in the fall. These ornate trees give off a wintergreen smell from their twigs and leaves, and they grow up to 50 to 75 feet tall.
The best part about sweet birch is that they are low maintenance and attract beautiful wildlife like bees, birds, and deer. They like plenty of sun but also part shade, and they thrive in acidic, moist soil. Every part of the tree can be harvested, from the bark to the twigs, flowers, leaves, and sap. These hardy trees, sap bark, and other elements create syrups like maple and oils for aromatherapy.