Top 10 Trees for Wisconsin Yards

willow tree in wisconsin yard

Trees are a great way to add value and beauty to your yard. They help improve the air quality, reduce stress, protect natural wildlife, and can even save you money by reducing your energy bill. On average you can save $31 per year just by planting a tree, so what’s stopping you?

Here are 10 hardy trees for Wisconsin yards

  1. Crabapple Tree
    One of the prettiest trees native to Wisconsin is the Crabapple Tree. While the “apples” on the tree are mainly grown for decoration they add a lovely pop of color to any yard. This tree is one of the most popular Wisconsin flowering trees as it thrives in Northwest America. The Crabapple Tree also benefits native animals, birds, and can even attract butterflies. The fruit produced can also be used as an ingredient in jellies, ciders, and syrups. Crabapple Trees enjoy bright sunny areas and only require a bit of care during the springtime. If you are looking for small trees to add to your yard that attracts beautiful native birds, then a Crabapple tree is a wonderful addition.
  2.  Ginkgo Tree
    The Ginkgo Tree is a widely popular tree in Wisconsin that is also prominent with urban homeowners due to its resilience to insects, drought, and diseases. This ancient tree has been around for over 270 million years and is both a shade and an ornamental tree. The Ginkgo Tree can be planted in almost any soil and come fall the leaves turn a brilliant yellow color. The ginkgo tree growth rate is medium but can vary. It requires a lot of sun and space, but it can also be grown in confined spaces, it just will not grow as large. The Ginkgo is even known to have several herbal uses. This tree can live up to 3,000 years so it will be a part of your family for generations to come. This very popular Midwest tree is an amazing addition to any yard.
  3. Northern Red Oak
    For those looking for fast-growing trees, the Northern Red Oak is what you’ve been searching for. This Oak will provide shade for your yard and add a stunning pop of red every fall. Come autumn, it is also known to drop acorns which can be eaten or used for crafts. This tree is fantastic for growing in urban areas or near sidewalks as it has a deep root system. This tree requires minimal care and can be grown in almost any condition, making it a favorite across all of Wisconsin and is very popular within Wisconsin state parks.
  4.  Chinese Dogwood
    If you are looking for a yard to plant in your front yard the Chinese Dogwood is an excellent choice. The Chinese Dogwood is a shade tree which makes it a perfect addition to any space that does not get a lot of sun. While it grows slowly, this tree is both pest and disease resistant. This small tree has white blossoms in the summer and scarlet or purple leaves in the fall. This is a tree that can add color to your yard all year round.
  5. Concolor Fir
    The Concolor Fir is a popular fragrant tree across all of Wisconsin. This native tree stays green all year round and can grow up 30-50 feet tall. These resilient trees have a long lifespan – with some known to be 350 years old. This evergreen has a very shallow spreading root system, which makes it very popular with homeowners who have smaller yards. Deer and other native Wisconsin wildlife love snacking on the needles of this tree. The Concolor Fir can add a beautiful citrus pine scent to your yard for generations to come.
  6. Sugar Maple Tree
    The Sugar Maple is one of the most popular types of maple trees in Wisconsin, so popular that it was declared the state tree in 1949. The sugar maple is an excellent shade tree that can live up to 400 years, giving your yard a cool place to relax. Sugar Maples have gorgeous fiery orange leaves in the fall and can also be tapped for sap when they mature. This tree will provide your yard with shade, beautiful colors, and even maple syrup.
  7. Japanese Tree Lilac
    This flowering tree adds a serene touch of elegance to your yard. The Japanese Tree Lilac has soft white flowers that bloom in the early summer and has bright red bark during the winter. It enjoys being planted in full sun and while it prefers well-drained loose soil, it will also grow in clay soil – perfect for Southeastern Wisconsin. The Japanese Tree Lilac can grow from 20-30 feet tall, making it ideal for homeowners looking for a small tree.
  8. Serviceberry
    The Serviceberry can look like a large shrub or a small tree. They work very well as backdrops and privacy borders to help landscape and add character to your yard. This tree has smooth, gray bark, and provides year-round beauty. In the spring, the Serviceberry has white flowers and then transitions from yellow to red foliage in the fall. It also has edible purple fruit that attracts Wisconsin wildlife. This tree is also known as the Juneberries or Saskatoon berries across the country as there are several different species of these trees native to Wisconsin.
  9. Honey Crisp
    What is there not to love about a tree that is both gorgeous and that you can use to make an apple pie? The Honey Crisp is a very popular Midwestern tree that has white blossoms in the spring and provides apples in the fall. While this tree can be prone to disease and pests, the work is well worth the reward. The apples that are grown from this tree are juicy and crispy when it matures. The best part of this tree for Wisconsin yards is that it is a very winter-hardy tree and does well in Zone 4. Adding a Honey Crisp tree to your yard will add value to your home in more ways than one.
  10.  Willow
    The Willow is a very popular shade tree for the serene tranquility it can add to your yard. This is a tree that is very easy to grow and requires little maintenance. This tree can grow into a large tree and can reach the age of 85 years. The Willow enjoys growing in full sun and thrives by being by streams in wet soil. For those who love to sit in the shade, the Willow is a perfect addition to your Wisconsin yard.

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We know how frustrating it can be to keep up with trees outside of your home. Not only do we plant trees as a part of our services, but we also perform annual maintenance on them that will completely transform your yard and save you valuable time. If you have questions about what trees fit your home the best or about the best trees for Wisconsin yards, contact us for more information!

5 Signs of Drainage Problems

Flooding in your yard can happen spring, summer, and even fall in Wisconsin. As long as there is rain flooding has an opportunity to occur. Flooding happens as a result of drainage problems. Central Services, an expert in landscaping and grounds maintenance, helps resolve any drainage problems you might have. Here are 5 signs you might notice around your home hinting that you need drainage correction.

Water Ponding

Yes, this may be an obvious sign of drainage problems in your yard, but if you notice water ponding occurring, don’t put off addressing it. Hoping that the water will find other areas in the ground to be absorbed or that it’ll evaporate could lead to other damage on your property.

Wet Garages

You may think a little wetness in your garage after it rains is no big deal, even normal. But depending on where the wetness is coming from it may be pointing to a bigger issue, like a drainage problem. Especially if you have a driveway that slopes towards the garage, a trench drain will help save you a lot of trouble and water damage.

Damp Basements

A damp basement may not be the worst thing, but if you’re like most you store belonging in the basement. Having them exposed to moisture may cause mold as well as other damage. More than that, a damp basement may be a precursor to flooding in your basement. Make sure that doesn’t happen by being proactive and save yourself a lot of hassle and costs.

Foundation Damage

Foundation damage can be caused by a number of things but water is definitely one of them. Rainwater that doesn’t flow away from your home can cause foundation damage. Foundation damage isn’t always immediately obvious either. Look for things like gaps between exterior windows and walls, musty smells, and any cracks in the walls or floors. Hopefully, these things aren’t what tips you off to foundation damage, but if they are caught early they can be repaired before they get worse and you can look for the cause.

Loss of Plant Life

Many factors can contribute to a loss in plant life. One is them being oversaturated by water pooling too much in one area. If you notice plant life dying in just one spot, a drainage issue might be the culprit.

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If you see any of these problems, you may need drainage correction that will repair landscaping drainage elements so that they properly drain rain and other water sources away from problem areas. Central Services can repair many types of landscaping drainage systems, including French drains, sump pumps, surface drainage, and dry creek river beds. Contact us today if you think you may need help correcting a drainage problem and we’d be glad to assist you.

5 Reasons to Add Pavers to your Landscape

With fall around the corner and winter approaching in Wisconsin, there’s still time to do some outdoor home makeovers. Whether you’ve been considering a redesign for your landscape or updating your patio, walkway or driveway with a new, modern look, Central Services has great options for you with pavers. Here are five reasons to add pavers to your landscape.

Aesthetic Appeal

No matter where you use pavers, they will enhance the aesthetics of your home, whether it be the driveway or in your yard. Your taste in preference may be classic or modern chic, and the endless design options will help create the look you want.


Don’t let the beauty of the aesthetics pavers can provide make you think you’ll need to spend a fortune to get that. They are more affordable than other materials you might use. The way in which they are manufactured makes them considerably less expensive than poured concrete or asphalt. Also, the cost to repair them is less than concrete because you typically only need to replace one or two pieces in the event of damage.


Pavers are highly durable which makes them low-maintenance. Unlike poured concrete that can crack from changing temperatures, pavers can expand and contract with the changing seasons. They don’t require the maintenance that poured concrete could need after just one year. Other than some simple sweeping or rinsing off with a hose, once you have your paver design set in, all you have to do is enjoy it.

High Quality

As mentioned, pavers are highly durable. Additionally, they are also economical without sacrificing that high durability and quality. They can last up to 30 years before needing to be replaced. While a concrete driveway should be re-sealed every 1-3 years.


Formerly stated, but a point worth emphasizing is that pavers offer a wide range of options for looks that can be created. If you like having things that are unique, that’s entirely possible with the finished look of your pavers. Pavers are fully customizable and come in a variety of styles, designs, and patterns.

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At Central Services, we have the expertise to create a unique design for you. With a variety of materials such as slate, flagstone, natural stone, bluestone, and even clay and concrete pavers, we’re sure you’ll find just what you’re looking for. If you’re ready to install a custom paver patio, walkway, driveway contact us to set up an appointment today.

4 Facts About Aeration

As a homeowner, there is a lot to know about lawn care if you want a beautiful looking yard. One of those things is aeration. Knowing what it is, when to do it, and if you need it are good to know so that you can have, not only a beautiful yard, but also a healthy lawn. Central Services, the expert in lawn care and lawn maintenance, offers aeration services and can help you determine if your lawn would benefit from an aeration treatment. Here are four facts you should know about aeration.

1. What is aeration?

Aeration is a process of perforating soil with small holes which allows air, water, and nutrients to penetrate the grass roots. The main reason for aerating is to decrease soil compaction and help roots grow deeply, producing a stronger and more vigorous lawn. Compacted soils have too many solid particles within a certain space which prevents proper circulation of air, water and nutrients within it. Excess lawn thatch or heavy organic debris buried under the grass surface can also starve the roots from these essential elements.

2. How to determine if lawn aeration is needed?

There are a few determining factors that would indicate if an aeration treatment would be good for your lawn. If you’ve noticed that your turfgrass isn’t looking it’s best or water is having difficulty penetrating through the soil surface, it may be time to aerate. Also, if your lawn gets a lot of foot traffic or use, such as children and pets running around the yard, that contributes to soil compaction. Finally, if your lawn dries out easily or has a spongy feel it might mean there is an excessive thatch problem. To check, take a shovel and remove a slice of lawn about four inches deep. If the thatch layer is greater than one-half inch, aeration is recommended.

3. When should you aerate?

Some may think that summer is always the perfect time to work on your lawn when the days are longest, and the benefits of the sunlight is at its most. However, the ideal time to aerate is during cool seasons in the spring or early fall. Planning for aeration and fertilization in the fall gives cool-season grasses a buffer to protect the grass from summer drought stress and ideally enough time before the first winter frost arrives. Spring is also a good time for aeration because it’s the growing season.

4. What are the specific benefits achieved by aerating?

One of the best benefits of lawn aeration is that it can improve the overall health of your grass and reduce it’s maintenance requirements. 
Regular aeration breaks up compacted soil and lawn thatch that make it hard for your lawn to breathe. This improves your lawns ability to get nutrients and oxygen, encouraging more vigorous root growth. Reducing soil compaction also helps reduce water runoff and/or puddling and enhanced heat and drought stress tolerance.

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If you think your lawn could benefit from an aeration treatment, contact us today to schedule this service or just to discussion any questions you may have. We look forward to hearing from you!

Five Benefits of Mulching

Many homeowners recognize the benefits of mulching as a part of their landscape design. Wisely so, as it offers practical benefits as well endless creative options. Central Services provides mulching services and products and here are five reasons we think mulching is a great idea for any yard.

Why We Say Mulch!

1. Conserve soil moisture

There are several kinds of mulch, but no matter what kind you use it will help slow moisture evaporation so more water remains in the soil and is available to thirsty plant roots. Not only is it beneficial for your plant life, but you’ll also benefit too by having to spend less time watering, especially if you have a large yard and lots of plants or flowers.

2. Protect against temperature changes

Mulch acts as an insulator, helping to regulate soil temperature to keep plant roots cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Mulching is especially important for new plantings done in the fall that are still tender as temperatures begin to plummet.

3. Improve fertility and health of the soil

Wood mulch and mulches made from other organic materials improve the soil as they break down. Microbes and insects in the soil naturally consume the mulch over time, adding the by-products back to the soil in the form of organic matter. Central Services offers a wide variety of mulches and can discuss with you which one can best meet your objectives.

4. Reduce weed growth

How much mulch you use and the area you use it, such as shady or lots of sunlight, will factor into how helpful it is in diminishing weed growth, but it will help. A 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch naturally helps prevents weeds from sprouting and taking over the landscape by blocking their growth and access to sunlight. It can take anywhere from 4-to 6-inch layers however to completely prevent weeds from growing. In shady spots, a 2- to 3-inch layer should suffice, but in areas with consistent sun exposure it may require a little more.

5. Enhance the visual appeal

If you have a creative streak, then this is the most fun addition to the benefits of mulching. Mulch instantly gives your landscape a beautiful, finished appearance. With a variety of color schemes to choose from, the landscape design possibilities are limitless. Use two different colors next to each other in an inventive arrangement and turn your yard into an artistic masterpiece.

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Mulching your garden beds is a smart way to reduce labor and energy consumption while enhancing the beauty of your beds and property. Whether revamping the look of your yard or working on it from scratch, Central Services provides the Milwaukee area with high-quality landscaping products and services. Contact us today to learn about our mulching services or to set up a consultation.

4 Reasons to Add Decorative Stone to Your Landscaping

Landscapes can be more than just trees, shrubs, and flowers. Decorative stone can be a modern and elegant addition to your current landscape for any homeowner. While adding a beautiful look to your property, decorative stone can also provide some very practical benefits, making it a great option for any property. Here are four reasons to incorporate it into your landscaping.

It Helps Reduce Weeds

Weeds are a common problem in all yards, some more than others. Although there are many weed-killing products available, there may be reasons why a homeowner prefers not to use herbicides. You may be concerned about other plant life accidentally being exposed to it. Maybe you have young children you know will need to be kept an extra close eye on to make sure they don’t play or walk through it. Decorative stone is a great option for helping reduce weeds because it blocks sunlight that supports weed growth.

It Helps Insulate Roots

For the plant life around decorative stones, it helps protect roots by insulating them from the heat in the summer and cold in the winter. This is especially beneficial during brief cold or hot snaps in weather that isn’t conducive to plant life. Cool soil-loving plants can die if their roots get too warm, just as plants that prefer mild climates will suffer if their roots get too cold.

It Is Durable

In addition to the benefits decorative stone provides with landscape upkeep and healthy plant life, it also is highly durable and will last a long time. You won’t have to worry about needing to replace it in just a few years. The durability and low maintenance of decorative stone mean it can tolerate any weather the elements may bring, making it a solid investment for any yard.

It Is Aesthetic

Last but not least, in addition to the practical benefits, decorative stone can give any yard an extra aesthetic appeal. Not only does decorative stone come in a wide range of colors and textures — from large red granite to multi-colored pea gravel and everything in between, but different shapes and sizes also offer many different options to give you just the right look to add to your yard.

Turn to The Landscaping Experts

With great practical and aesthetic benefits, decorative stone makes a great addition to any residential property. For superior decorative stone installation services, turn to the landscaping artists at Central Services Company. Be sure to visit Central Services website for more information and connect with a professional today.

3 Reasons to Hire a Professional Landscaper

If you’re a homeowner, you may see the necessity of hiring a professional landscaper. Those who do so take pride in making the outside of their home look just as good as the inside. Not only do you want the exterior of your house to look well-kept and up-to-date, but your yard as well. A beautiful yard is the perfect complement to your home. Whether you’re a new homeowner or have owned your home for 20 years, there is a lot that goes into the beginning formation of a new yard, maintaining an established yard, or making changes and updating your yard’s look. No matter which stage you’re at, a professional landscaping service like Central Services has the experience and means to meet your needs. In case you’re still not sure, here are three good reasons to hire a professional landscaping service.

1. Having a professional to collaborate with.

Regardless of what stage you’re at with your yard, unless you already know exactly what you want, it can be overwhelming making decisions with so many options available. If you’re not sure what you want but know you want to do something, having a professional landscaper to bounce ideas off of, brainstorm, and collaborate with about layouts, design, and aesthetics, is a great way to get to your ideal yard and remove some of the stress of trying to make all the decisions on your own. A professional landscaper can also talk with you about the best options for cost and ongoing maintenance. Central Services offers a free initial consultation to discuss your wants, needs, visions, and budget.

2. Knowing you’re getting the right plant life for your property.

Many homeowners decide to just do their landscaping on their own and that can work out just fine. The benefit, however, of having a professional landscaper is that they can help you make sure your property offers the right setting for the greenery you’re buying. With Central Services, a site evaluation will also be done on your current location and soil conditions. This will help determine what plants and hardscapes will perform best for your property. You can have peace of mind knowing your money is being well-spent and not having to worry about shelling out more cash because new plants or trees need to be purchased.

3. Getting to see what it can look like before going through all the work.

DIY projects can be a lot of fun and very rewarding. But sometimes what you picture in your mind and what actually is created can be two different things. A professional landscaping service can provide you with a visual of what the final product looks like and take away the guesswork of what the finished result will be.  Central Services will provide you with a site plan/design drawing that includes all planting and hardscape details; the design will have an individualized plant and material list as well that is included with the drawing for you.

Turn to the Professionals At Central Services Co.

Between having a professional to collaborate with, having peace of mind you’re getting plants that will thrive in your location, and getting to see a pretty good idea of what the final product of your financial investment will be, hiring a professional landscaping company is a great option for any homeowner. For more information on the landscaping services Central Services can provide for you, check out their website, explore the landscaping tab and more.

Protecting Your Garden from Rabbits and Deer

A common landscaping problem mid-westerners face is how to control the local deer and rabbit population. These creatures, while beautiful to observe, can cause a lot of damage to your landscape. Try the following if you have a problem with rabbits and deer.


If you want to keep rabbits out of your landscaping, you should have a fence high enough to prevent them from jumping over it. Three feet is typically a good height to keep rabbits out.

Rabbits may also try to dig under your new fencing. Be sure that your fence is buried six inches to keep this from happening.

Keeping out deer is another matter. A fence must be 10 to 12 feet high to properly keep deer from jumping over. This is unrealistic for many landscaping enthusiasts. However, there are a number of alternatives to fencing.


There are a variety of sprays being made to deter rabbits and deer from nibbling at your beautiful landscape. These sprays typically have a bad odor and taste to protect your plants from becoming lunch for deer and rabbits.

Repellent sprays should be sprayed on and around your plants. Don’t be afraid to use a lot, and remember to spray the soil and objects all around your garden. Spraying your yard’s perimeter deters many animals from entering in the first place. Continue to spray every 3-4 weeks.

Many landscaping enthusiasts also use predator urine as a sort of natural repellent for deer and rabbits. Coyote urine will deter rabbits, while Mountain Lion urine is the preferred repellent for deer.


There are a number of plants that deer and rabbits detest.

Rabbits have strong noses and strongly dislike plants with strong scents. They particularly dislike earthy smells. Plants rabbits are known to dislike include, but are not limited to: lavender, sage, butterfly bush, artemesia, and columbine.

Deer dislike certain plants as well. They tend to stay away from trees such as blue spruces, common hackberry, and Douglas fir. Deer have also been found to dislike lavender, chokeberry, goldenrod, delphinium, and chocolate flower.


The perfect way to keep rabbits and deer out of your garden or yard is a combination of all of the above methods. It is important to protect your landscape throughout the upcoming summer. Check out Central Services’ other landscaping blogs to create your perfect summer garden!

Creating a Butterfly Garden

Now that Spring has come around, you may be interested in creating a butterfly garden. Butterfly gardens add beauty and brilliant color to your landscape, but they also do so much more than that.

Butterfly numbers have been dwindling in recent years. Creating a habitat for these creatures in your very own yard will help the species survive. Furthermore, it can be fun and fascinating to observe butterfly behavior and identify different types.  

Butterfly gardening is not as complicated as you may think. Simply choose a sunny location in your yard and plant caterpillar plants as well as plants that produce nectar for butterflies. Try to avoid using pesticides and herbicides, take care to moisturize your plants, provide shelter with trees and shrubs, and learn to identify caterpillars.

Choosing the Right Plants

When deciding on which plants to use in your new garden, choose ones that are good nectar sources.

Plant large sections of each type of flower. You want to have a large diversity of flowers that bloom at different times to attract the most butterflies to your yard. The butterflies will enjoy having a variety of nectar sources to choose from.

You should also include caterpillar food plants in your butterfly garden.

Butterflies lay eggs on food plants, and caterpillars will rely on the host plants for food. When you plant groups of each plant species, any caterpillar damage will be less noticeable.

Creating the Right Conditions

Be sure to provide shelter and resting spots in your butterfly garden. Trees and shrubs are great places for butterflies to roost overnight and escape predators and harsh weather conditions. Pick a sunny spot for your new garden, and include large flat rocks. Rocks provide butterflies with a place to warm themselves in the sun.

Keep your plants well moisturized. When you mulch beds with composted leaves or shredded bark, you reduce the need for constant watering. This also adds nutrients to your soil.

You should avoid using pesticides and herbicides. Pesticides kill butterflies, caterpillars, and many other beneficial insects. Herbicides wipe out dandelions, which are a great nectar source.

Fill a small, shallow container with sand and keep it moisturized. Butterflies will sip water and nutrients from here.

Finally, do your research! Once you identify the kinds of butterflies you have in your garden, you can read up on their preferences. Some butterflies prefer rotten fruit or sap to nectar. You can place a dish of rotten fruit out for these special cases.

In Conclusion

Butterfly gardens can be as rewarding as they are beautiful. Take the time this spring and summer to create a safe space for endangered species in the comfort of your own backyard!

What to Do to Your Yard After Winter

A midwest winter can really take a toll on your yard. Heavy snow will kill your grass and create unsightly patches on your lawn. You can restore the appearance of your yard and make it beautiful for the spring season with the following tips.

Eliminate Dead Turf

Getting rid of any dead turf is the first step to restore your lawn to its former glory after winter. Inspect your yard for dead turf. To eliminate the dead turf, simply pull any dead grass from the soil. The dead grass doesn’t have any roots bound to the soil, so removing it should be a fairly easy task. You can remove the dead turf with your hands or use a rake to save time if you have a large yard. Eliminating the dead turf will allow water, fertilizer, and oxygen to reach the roots of your grass.


Reseeding is the next step to restore your lawn after winter. You should wait for the frost to thaw before you begin this process. Ideal soil temperatures for reseeding are between 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Be sure to till the soil on your lawn up to four inches deep. After tilling, rake the top of the soil in order to remove debris and weeds. If weeds are a big problem for you, you can apply a pre-emergent weed killer before your lawn resumes growth. Finally, scatter your seeds onto the soil. Be sure to do this evenly, using either your hands or a mechanical seeder. Rake the soil lightly, covering the seeded areas with a quarter-inch area of soil. Water the seeded areas regularly until the seeds begin germinating.


As mentioned, watering your newly seeded lawn is important. You should irrigate your lawn either daily or weekly depending on the amount of rain you are receiving. Deep watering helps greatly in the germination process, which is vital to restore your lawn. You want to supply enough water to your lawn so that it is moist, up to six inches deep, allowing the grass to form deep and strong roots. Irrigation stops your grass from drying and keeps it vibrant and beautiful.


If you want to restore the health of your lawn after winter, you must fertilize. The soil and roots of your lawn need nutrients in order to prosper and stay healthy. You can use either high-phosphorus fertilizer or organic manure to improve your soil’s fertility. You may want to consult with a professional to choose the right fertilizer for you and your lawn. The knowledgeable team at Central Services is happy to help.

Caring for your yard properly post-winter will leave it looking beautiful and refreshed. Once your yard is properly restored, consider implementing some of our Spring landscaping ideas.