Trees have a lot to offer. They can help to conserve energy by shading buildings from the sun. They can add value to your property. They can even help to instill a sense of pride in a neighborhood or community. But there are many factors to consider when determining where to plant a tree. In fact, the proper placement of a tree is critical to both your enjoyment as well as the tree’s long-term survival.
First, you’ll want to check with local governing bodies regarding any restrictions for planting trees. This would include the city or even your homeowner’s associations. Many HOAs have tree planting and other landscape restrictions in place to protect the common areas of the neighborhood.
It’s also good to have a rough idea of where you want to plant the tree and what you’re hoping to accomplish with it. Is it for aesthetics? Do you want it to provide shade or wind protection to your home or office? Do you want the tree to attract native wildlife? Or do you want a tree that is relatively “mess free”? Trees can be used in a variety of ways for your landscape, so these are all things to consider before you go tree shopping.
You should also think long-term as you plan your tree planting project. A red oak tree may look good in the middle of the yard now, but what about 25 years down the road when it reaches maturity? You must also consider other things such as building structures, walkways, driveways, patios, and property lines. A good rule of thumb is to plant trees at least two feet from property lines and at least five feet from paved structures. Are you planting within 15 feet of power lines? If so, you will need to use a tree that will be less than 20 feet at maturity. In this case, flowering crabapple, flowering dogwood, redbud, sweetbay magnolia, or common hawthorn are all excellent choices.
Lastly, you must consider the needs of the tree. For instance, you wouldn’t want to plant a tree that does well in drier conditions in a low-lying area on your property that tends to collect and retain water. Nor would you want to plant a delicate tree in an area that is prone to wind and weather. Soil, drainage, light, and space are all important considerations that should be given thought prior to planting.
Other things to think about:
- Be considerate of your neighbor’s property, view, and plantings so that you are not in conflict.
- Use smaller trees to help create a framework for your home or office building. Large trees should be planted at least 25 feet from building structures.
- Evergreens can be used on the north and west sides of your home or office for wind protection.
- Shade trees work best on the south and southwest sides of your home or office for energy conservation.
- Call 811 before you dig.
Choosing the right tree for the right place is a critical first step to getting the most out of your investment. The ultimate objective should be to give the tree what it needs to thrive while making sure it will be enjoyable for years to come. Be sure to check out the following step-by-step tutorial videos on planting your new tree:
If you would like to speak to a landscape professional about your property, give us a call at 317-575-1100 or simply fill out the form below.