Plant the Right Tree in the Right Place

Right Tree Right Place

Trees provide a host of benefits to the homeowners and communities they are planted in, whether it’s shade, beauty, privacy, windbreak, or higher property values. But these benefits are only enjoyed when you plant the right tree in the right place.

If you want to ensure the health of the tree you are planting, it is very important that you are planting the right species in the right location. Planting large trees in tight spaces, or trees that aren’t compatible for the region are detrimental to the health of a tree and can result in higher maintenance costs. Planting species that are native to your area is a safe way to ensure your trees will thrive.

There are a few factors to consider before planting. First, decide what function you want the tree to serve. The type of tree you select will vary depending on the purpose for planting. Once you know why you’re planting, select from species that serve that purpose well.  For example, large, deciduous trees are ideal for shade, evergreens work well as a privacy fence or a windbreak, and if you’re looking to add beauty to your yard flowering trees are great options. Some examples of good shade trees include: Quaking Aspen, Northern Catalpa, Hackberry, Red Sunset Maple, Northern Red Oak, Tulip tree and more.

Once you have determined the function of the tree, you can begin scoping out good areas in your yard/property to plant it. Be cautious of nearby structures, overhead utility lines, underground work such as water mains or pipes, and houses nearby. It is especially important to be very cautious before you dig a hole. If you hit a gas line, it can be deadly and also result in huge fines. Before you dig, be sure to contact MISS DIG to flag areas where there are underground utilities present.

You also should consider how tall the tree will grow when it reaches maturity; will the spot you’re planting in support the tree? Any space less than four feet wide is not suitable for trees, even small trees. So many trees are removed because they were the wrong tree planted in the wrong place. If a tree is properly planted, it can help avoid unnecessary conflicts down the road. Don’t plant large trees under utility lines, and don’t plant moisture-dependent species in dry areas. Diversity is also important. Always plant more than one species of trees, as filling your yard with the same species is problematic, especially if the species is prone to pests or disease. A good example of why you should diversity your plantings is the Emerald Ash Borer infestation. Some neighborhoods were heavily affected by the pest as most of their neighborhood’s trees were ash. If a disease/pest targets a certain species and you have ten of those same trees, you will most likely lose all of those trees. If you have a diversity of trees, you can prevent this from happening.

Here are some helpful tree planting resources:

Why it’s Important to Plant the Right Tree in the Right Place

Arbor Day Foundation Right Tree Right Place YouTube Video

Tree Selection and Placement 

Tree Planting and Care

Tree Owner’s Manual – Forest Service – USDA



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