Things to Consider When Planting Trees in Your Yard

It is always nice to see a beautifully manicured lawn with a selection of ornamental and shade trees to accent the landscape. It is also equally frustrating to see a lawn where no consideration has been given for mature plant and tree size. The landscape looks more like a deformed jungle with half dead and unhappy plants. Unfortunately, the latter is the landscape which was thrust upon us when we moved in our house. Plants placed willy-nilly and trees placed too close to the house and too close to each other to look good.

When buying trees for your landscape and choosing the proper location for placement consider the following:

  • Is the tree best suited for placement in full sun or will it do well in woodland type conditions?

Think about the light conditions on your property.  What existing tall trees are there?  Which side of the house gets the most sun?

  • What are the water needs of the tree?

This can go hand in hand with the light requirements of the tree.  Depending on where the tree is placed it could dry out faster or get water logged.  Is your property prone to flooding or marshy conditions?  Do you live in a more arid area that would require watering by other than natural means?  Think about how much work you are willing to put into the tree to get it established in your yard.

  • What is the mature size for the tree? How long will it take to get to that size?

It will be very important to know the height as well as the spread of the canopy of the tree. The tree will be equally large below ground as it is above ground. Keep this in consideration when deciding the placement of the tree near major features of your property – the house and foundation, the septic tank, poured walkways, the property line and any outbuildings.

A tree that looks beautiful near the house when it is young can become a severe maintenance headache once full grown.  Also, don’t forget to think about this when considering placing the tree in a grouping or near other trees.  There is nothing less attractive than to see a tree’s canopy with a depression in it because it was placed too close to other trees.

  • How dirty is the tree?

Does the tree drop a lot of leaves, not only in the fall, but year round? What about in the spring – will the blossoms turn in to a brown, mushy mess when they fall from the tree?  What about shedding bark and branches?  If you like being outdoors and don’t mind yard cleanup then these will not be issues for you.  If you like to have your yard clean without an excess of work you would do well to research these points before you buy a tree.

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