The Pacific Northwest is a wonderland of forests, mountains, and some really great landscaping opportunities. The rainy weather provides the perfect environment to grow lush vegetation and makes yards in this area stand out from the rest of the country. When it comes to landscaping in the Pacific Northwest, it’s a good idea to know a few facts about the region beforehand.
For over 30 years, Mr. Tree has been providing tree services to popular Pacific Northwest locations like Vancouver, WA, and Portland, OR. It’s safe to say we understand the landscapes of the area. These Pacific Northwest landscaping facts will help you know what to expect when planning your next yard improvement, as well as give you some ideas for what additions would work well.
#1. It has a temperate oceanic climate
For the most part, the Pacific Northwest has a temperate climate. The summers are dry with moderate temperatures, but the fall and winter months include grey clouds and a near-constant drizzle. Snow isn’t a huge concern for most areas.
When you’re considering what natural items to furnish your yard with, make sure they’re suitable for the climate in the area. A plant or tree that needs a lot of sunlight year-round probably won’t have the environment it needs to thrive in the Pacific Northwest. Likewise, plants that like very dry soil and need little watering will also find it difficult to grow successfully in this area.
#2. It’s a paradise for lush plants and moss
The greens will look greener in the Pacific Northwest due to the continuous precipitation during the colder months. This makes the perfect environment for moss to grow on trees and rocks, creating a bright green color on surfaces that wouldn’t typically host them. Moss thrives in wet and shaded places, and with the Pacific Northwest’s grey and cloudy weather, don’t be surprised to see moss pop up in your yard naturally. So keep this bright green in mind when you’re planning out your yard.
Though not particularly damaging on its own, a downside to this moss growing is that it can make it harder for you to stop fungus or disease on your trees, as the moss will cover problems and keep them from being visible. It’s best to get in touch with a professional arborist to figure out if your tree is suffering from disease that’s hidden behind moss.
#3. It’s home to the City of Roses
Portland, Oregon, is affectionately known as the City of Roses because of the flowers that line many of the streets and the popular International Rose Test Garden that sits in Washington Park. Walking around Portland, you’ll see that many yards and streets have roses growing around them. Planting roses on your own property is a great way to add a pop of color to your landscape. They’re generally easy to maintain and will help you blend in with the many areas in the Pacific Northwest that boast these beautiful flowers. With so many varieties to choose from, it won’t be hard to find a rose bush that will work for your property.
#4. Water runoff is common
Depending on where you live, water runoff could become an issue in your yard. Homes at the bottom of a hill will fall victim to the water flowing from the top of the hill and possibly pooling in your yard. Before you start your landscaping project, consider using underground drainage systems to solve this problem. You might also consider planting rain gardens.
A rain garden is a depressed area in your landscape that collects rainwater and helps it to soak into the ground. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, “Rain gardens can also help filter out pollutants in runoff and provide food and shelter for butterflies, songbirds, and other wildlife.” With grasses, flowering perennials, and native shrubs, rain gardens enhance the appearance of your landscape while combating water runoff.
#5. Large trees thrive in the Pacific Northwest
The Pacific Northwest prides itself on the large trees that cover the region. The western hemlock and Douglas fir are just two of the most popular trees in the Pacific Northwest, and they tower over you in most parks and forests. When incorporated into your property, these large and expansive trees are an asset to the land, creating shade, as well as contributing to a woodsy and secluded appearance and ambiance. If your land can accommodate them, in just a few years, they can also become a valuable resource. When they’re old enough, you can even look into commercial logging services to safely cut them down so you can sell the timber.
#6. Sunlight is scarce
When summer comes to an end, the sky in the Pacific Northwest tends to stay grey with lots of clouds blocking the sun. This means the plants in your garden won’t be getting much sunlight. When the sun finally decides to come out, your plants will want to soak it up. It won’t help if you have a tree growing so wildly it blocks the sun your plants have been waiting for. Making sure your trees are well-trimmed will help with that problem, while also giving your yard the well-maintained look you want it to have. Tree service companies like Mr. Tree can offer residential tree trimming that will keep your tree in good, attractive shape and help get more sunlight onto your property.
#7. Fruit trees fare well here
The Pacific Northwest is the perfect area to grow certain types of fruit trees. Oregon and Washington are two of the primary states where fruits like delicious sweet cherries are produced. They’re also among the top 10 states to grow apples in. So if you’re thinking about adding a fruit tree to your backyard, it has a great chance of growing well in the Pacific Northwest area, so long as you take good care of it and have it pruned regularly. A fruit tree needs to be planted in a place that receives sunlight when it’s not in a dormant state, and it also needs to have enough space for when it grows to a mature size.
Though the weather can be rainy at times, it creates a unique environment for specific plants to thrive in. These Pacific Northwest facts are just a few things that can help you plan for a landscaping project you’ll be happy with for years to come.