Tree Options for Front Lawn


Good Evening, I am trying to decide on a tree for my front lawn and have narrowed it down to two, but am definitely open to other options. I live in the city of Toronto. The soil in my front yard is a mix of soil and maybe a bit of clay when you go deeper down. My lot is 27′ wide and the area in the front is about 27′ x 25′. For the front yard my goals are to have a tree with lovely structure with and without leaves, not messy (i.e.: no honeydew issues), pest resistant and that doesn’t attract wasps of any sort. I am also hoping that when it is mature that I can see out to the street under the lower branches from the main floor of my house which is just above ground level (not elevated above street level garage). I would also like to maintain a lawn under the tree. I have narrowed it down to a Japanese Katsura and an Ironwood. The Japanese Katsura is my first choice but do you think this is a mistake given my goals? Is there another species that I should consider?

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer this question.



Your two choices for trees seem like excellent and appropriate ones. The Katsura tree or Cercidiphyllum japonicum has attractive leaves and spectacular fall colour. It is sensitive to drought and requires ample moisture in its early growth. Its leaves may be scalded by the sun. It is relatively free of insect pests and diseases. There are trees available through the City of Toronto’s tree planting program

For more information on Katsura trees, please see:

The Ironwood ( also commonly known as Hop-Hornbeam) or Ostrya virginiana is a slow growing tree which is native to Ontario. The seeds, buds and catkins serve as a food source for songbirds, squirrels, pheasants, and grouse. It is shade tolerant and needs a moist, slightly acidic soil. It is relatively free of insect pests and diseases but is vulnerable to trunk or butt rots. This species is also available through the City of Toronto’s tree planting program

For more information about ironwood trees, please see:,_hop-hornbeam.html

Finally you mentioned that you want to grow grass under your tree.  A shade tolerant species such as fine fescue would work best under a tree. For more information for growing grass under trees please see: