Ohio landscapes naturally offer a huge range of diversity, but homeowners in cities like Cincinnati or Dayton might not realize it. Unlike cities like Youngstown, they don’t benefit from a large wilderness area outside the city or a major river that offers biodiversity.
Typically, you would learn about the wide array of native plants from a landscape design services company, but in this article, we’ll share some important landscaping facts that can help you plan small yard improvements yourself. For those without a green thumb or the time to devote to serious gardening, we’ll also cover the average costs of hiring various landscaping professionals. Let’s start with some landscaping facts about native grasses and plants.
Planning a Xeriscape for a Drought Hearty Landscape
A xeriscape refers to a landscape that features native plants and grasses. These plants require less water than non-native plants and number among the most drought-hearty for yards throughout the state. For example, 261 species of native grasses call Ohio home. Forget deciding between Fescue or Bermuda; choosing a native grass offers immense choices naturally tough to kill and that grow well in the state’s climate.
The state offers a cornucopia of native trees from which to choose. You might find it tough to decide between the many options, but Ohio’s native trees look great in most landscapes. Choose from mighty oaks, the ubiquitous Ohio buckeye, maples, and dogwoods.
Oaks: Several oak species grow natively in Ohio, including the white oak and red oak. These large shade trees shelter a yard well from the sun. Groupings or groves of oak trees make ideal wildlife attractions, so if you want to attract deer or other native animals to your yard, oak trees will do it. They also draw insects though.
Flowering dogwood: Central Ohio teems with flowering dogwood and its large blossoms dot the landscape in spring. This hardworking tree also offers gorgeous fall colors from its leaves and vibrant red berries.
Ohio buckeye: Of course, Ohio’s state tree grows well here. This medium-sized tree also offers birds and other pollinators with nectar from its yellow-green flowers. This tree produces small buckeye nuts carried by Ohio State University Buckeye fans as good luck charms. That might explain the strangers combing your yard during fall if you plant this tree in the front yard.
White pine: Plant this snowy shaded tall conifer away from the street, so it doesn’t suffer injuries from road salts that melt snow and provide tire traction. This tree can reach up to 80 feet in height in full sun and well-drained, moist soil. White pine offers a nice contrast to red oak or red maple, and dotting the landscape with both can create a colorful landscape, including in fall and winter.
Red maple: Known for its red leaves in fall, the red maple represents one of Ohio’s favorite trees. It also provides tons of shade for a cool summer yard. This tree thrives in moist conditions, hence its nickname, the swamp maple.
Pawpaw: Native to Ohio, it’s a landscaping fact that this represents the state’s only native fruit tree. Picture a taste somewhere between a banana and a mango, and you have the taste of the succulent pawpaw. Its light green fruit offers a soft fruit, ideal for eating from the tree once washed or making jam. Plant in an area with filtered sunlight and provide it a mate, so it can germinate and thrive.
Eastern redbud: Provide your yard with breathtaking color most of the year with the Eastern redbud. Although this small tree maxes out at a height of about 30 feet, it makes up for its lack of stature with vibrant-colored flowers in spring and leaves in fall. The spring flowers vary in color and include white, pink, and purple. In summer, it develops heart-shaped leaves, which hold their amazing looks through fall.
Eastern red cedar: Choose this conifer to provide your landscape with year-round greenery. This member of the juniper family stays green, just as a pine does. Better yet, this native Ohio tree can grow in any soil but prefers non-wet soil with a neutral pH level.
Tulip tree: Consider tulip trees as a height compliment to white pines to create a breathtaking landscape. Tulip trees can reach up to 90 feet in height. Although they don’t actually produce tulips, they do grow a flower shaped like a tulip in spring, and tulip-shaped leaves.
Shagbark hickory: To landscape your own old-growth forest, or seemingly so, plant shagbark hickory trees, which eventually reach heights of about 120 feet tall. It provides awesome shade and features bark that peels off. Its peeling bark goes on all year.
A quick note about tree heights. Among the landscaping facts of every state is the fact that tree heights refer to mature trees. When originally landscaped, you typically receive either a sapling or a seedling. Expect to pay quite a bit above the per-tree fee quoted below for an arborist to transplant a fully grown, but not yet mature tree.
Trees mature over decades of time. Landscaping your yard with saplings may result in full trees within a decade or so. Most trees with require a few decades to reach the taller full heights of 80 to 120 feet. Homeowners who plant when they first purchase a home can expect to enjoy forest-like results by their second decade in the home.
By choosing native plants that inherently grow well in Ohio, you can guarantee yourself a beautiful landscape over time. Any of the native grasses will grow quickly, especially if sodded. Once you plant grass and trees, you only have shrubs and flowers to add.
The state offers a plethora of flower choices to enliven any landscape. White trillium, the state wildflower, grows well throughout the state, so you can choose it no matter in which of Ohio’s 88 counties you reside. It looks lovely when paired with the state flower, the red carnation.
For a regal look, plant the purple coneflower, plant butterflies and other pollinators find immensely attractive. Its blooms typically open pink though, despite its name. Consider pairing it with grass grass-pink orchid. Round these choices out the adorably named nodding onion, golden ragwort, or blue-eyed grass.
Ohio’s vast native flowers offer something in every color. You’ll find varying heights, too, from those that offer ground cover alternatives to grass to flowering shrubs of window height. Work with a landscape professional for the best results.
Hiring a Professional for Yard Help
Sometimes, you cannot landscape the property yourself. Perhaps you lack the skillset, or you might not have the time it would take to address a large property. In Ohio, it costs about $3,300 to hire a landscaping professional to design and plant a residential property. Of course, that charge includes the design fees and the plants.
Two positions in landscaping design yards and gardens – landscape designers and landscape architects. Typically, landscape architects earn a master’s degree and as a part of their training, undergo coursework in botany, landscape design with natural materials (plants), and hardscapes, the elements of a landscape that consist of the built environment. A landscape designer earns a bachelor’s degree and may only design yards and gardens using plants and garden bed trims. A landscape architect in Ohio typically charges between $70 and $150 per hour, while landscape designers charge a bit less, typically between $50 and $150 per hour.
If your home already features a landscaped yard and garden beds, but you want to change one specific thing about it, you can hire a specialist to do the work. The cost for specialized work varies widely from about $460 to $4,600. Let’s explore where in that range each service falls.
Perhaps you want to revamp the yard’s appearance, so it works well with a home improvement update you made, such as a new roof and trim or a new deck. Hiring landscape design services for the purposes of creating the design only costs between $460 and $1,000. This cost typically results in a paper copy of the design and a computer-assisted design (CAD) file of it.
Perhaps you want a new deck and landscaping to match it. For that type of design, you would hire landscape architecture services, which range in cost between $1,000 and $4,600, in Ohio. Like the landscape designer, this service provides a paper copy of the design and a CAD file.
When you need to install a yard from scratch use sod. You would need to sod when erecting a new building or re-landscaping a home that underwent repair work that required removing the grass and plantings. In Ohio, expect to pay between $1,000 and $2,700 to have sod installed. That price includes the cost of the sod.
Certain home improvements, like installing a swimming pool or building a deck can create an unleveled yard. Restoring the flat nature of the yard requires heavy equipment and landscaping professionals. Typically, Ohio residents can expect to pay between $1,000 and $3,000 to hire an excavator to level or regrade a lawn.
Perhaps your existing lawn needs a little help looking green after winter. It may have developed small patches lacking grass. A hydroseeding service can help with this for an average cost of $1,000 to $4,000. The lawn professional sprays a mixture of grass seed, fertilizer, mulch, and non-harmful dyes on the yard, which looks like green spray paint.
Hydroseeding doesn’t work as quickly as sod, which provides instant gratification. Instead, hydroseeding takes a few weeks to months to instigate growth. It costs much less than sod though, so many homeowners choose it. Many lawn and weed services offer hydroseeding as a part of spring lawn maintenance.
Sometimes, the edges of the yard need a little help. That’s when landscape curbing offers the answer for the small comparative cost of $700 to $1,700. This process can make your Ohio landscape sparkle, since, like edging a yard, it offers delineating points that call attention to the yard’s shape and highlight its features.
Creating a focal point in the yard or a rock wall can also define a yard. In Ohio, expect to pay between $700 and $1,700 for a professional to lay landscaping rocks and stones. Larger yards may increase the cost. Hire local landscape lighting companies to design exterior lighting for your yard to make it safe for night use.
Hire local tree services to either remove, trim, prune, or plant trees. Planting native trees requires less water and some varieties grow quickly. Consider the list of top native Ohio trees in this state landscaping facts primer.
Tree planting services differ from tree removal companies. An arborist will bring a fully grown tree to your home and plant it for a cost of between $120 to $200 per tree. Tree removal services safely remove trees, dead or overhanging limbs, and tree stumps. In Ohio, they charge between $460 and $2,850.
Doing the Gardening in Ohio
Perhaps you only need the help of lawn care services to get your yard started or to enclose it with a rock wall. Because you love gardening, you want to maintain the garden yourself. This requires a bit of lawn equipment and supplies that differ from warmer weather states. Think in terms of snow shovels, but forget the axes and just call a storm tree removal service.
Here are the Ohio landscaping facts; you’ll need to purchase equipment for warm weather, transitional weather, and cold weather landscape supplies if you want to do it yourself. This equipment includes:
- Lawn mower (spring, summer, fall)
- Leaf rake (fall)
- Power aerator (spring and summer)
- Wheelbarrow (all seasons)
- Snow shovel (winter)
- Drop or rotary spreader (spring).
The cost of purchasing and maintaining this equipment, plus making the time for lawn care tells you why most people hire a landscaping contractor or lawn maintenance firm.
Put Ohio Landscaping Facts to Work
Use these Ohio landscaping facts to find a landscape professional and work together to design a fabulous yard that looks lovely all year. Whether you xeriscape or plant just a few native plants, it’s a fact that your Ohio home can have a great-looking yard in every season.