Archive for May 11th, 2011


How to Marry the Right Tree to the Right Site

May 11, 2011

Monday, I shared a difficult and sad lesson about poor tree placement. The wrong site and tree choice can be costly and disfiguring to landscapes. I want to help you avoid these blunders. Below are some basic questions to consider. Take this list with you when shopping at your local nursery. Most nursery workers won’t question your choice or bring up these crucial considerations once you’re at the checkout counter. So take the time to ask a lot of questions.

  • What species or variety is suited for your zone and microclimate(s)?
  • What type of soil does the planting site have? Does it need amending? Does it have good drainage?
  • How much horizontal and vertical space is available in the planting site? In 30 to 40 years, that little sapling will be a mature tree. Will it still fit the space?
  • Will the tree encroach on the neighbor’s property, your roof, sheds, vehicles, or other pertinent structures?
  • Is the species or variety susceptible to particular diseases or pests?
  • Is it messy? Will it drop fruit, seedpods, bark, broken branches, or blossoms?
  • Will the tree interfere with overhead or underground utility wires as it matures?
  • Does it have a vigorous root system known to uplift hardscape or interfere with underground plumbing and septic systems?
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