We can help our trees help us is by picking the right tree for the right place! Then, trees do a better job of saving us money, providing shade and even reducing noise.

To do that, you first need to do some planning. That’s why Cedar, a blog reader in Ohio asked, “Can a willow grow at all on a gentle but significant slope?”

Find out how the right tree on your hillside can thrive and prevent erosion, too!

What to Plant on a Slope to Prevent Erosion

Soil erosion happens when rain washes away tiny bits of topsoil that contain the most nutrients. The more it rains, the more natural nutrients your plants lose. And on top of a hill, rainwater runs off much faster and makes this problem worse. But like usual, trees can help!

How Planting Trees on a Hillside Helps with Soil Erosion

Tree canopies block plenty of rain from reaching the soil in the first place. Then, tree roots act like glue, which helps keep soil in place and reduces the amount of soil washed away.

The best trees for hillsides and slopes have hearty, deep roots. Look for a good fit below, then make sure it’s in your growing zone!

Best Evergreen Trees for Slopes

  • Douglas fir (zones 4-6): A tall, pyramidal evergreen tree with emerald needles that you’ve probably gotten as a Christmas tree
  • Monterey pine (zones 7-10): A fast-growing, tall evergreen with its bushy green needles
  • Dr. Hurd Manzanita (zones 7-10): An evergreen with dark bark, light green leaves and darling white flowers
  • Manuka (zones 9-11): A multi-branched evergreen, bursting with white-petaled flowers

Best Shade Trees for Slopes

  • Sugar maple (zones 3-8): A classic tree with some of the best fall color
  • White oak (zones 3-10): A tall, round stately tree with vibrant red fall leaves
  • California live oak (zones 7-10): A breathtaking tree with a wide canopy of crinkled leaves and pointy acorns
  • Red alder (zones 7-10): A narrow, cone-shaped tree with silver-green leaves

Best Fruit Trees for Slopes

  • Black walnut (zones 4-9): A grand tree that produces fruity nuts in early to mid-fall
  • Hickory (zones 4-8): A tree that can tolerate all soil types and produce tasty hickory nuts in fall
  • Black cherry (zones 3-9): A tree with flowers that bees love in spring that develop into yummy dark purple berries in summer

Now that you picked a tree, learn the best time to plant it!

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