Trees & Shrubs
Put the right plant in the right place to maximize your investment.
Tree Placement and Planting
Proper placement of trees is critical for esthetics, maintenance and their long- term survival. Check with local authorities about regulations pertaining to placement of trees. Some communities have ordinances restricting placement of trees within a specified distance of sidewalks, streetlights, utilities, rights of way, etc.
Before planting your tree, consider the tree’s ultimate size and shape. When the tree is mature will it be too near your house, fence or other structures? Check the tag or other sources to find out the tree’s width at maturity. If the tree will grow to be 30 feet wide, plant it 15 feet from the house if you don’t want branches touching the house. If you are planting more than one 30 foot wide tree, space them 30 feet from trunk to trunk. Trees of the same species can often be planted closer together to form a grove more easily than if they were different species. Avoid planting fruit or nut trees near your property line as your neighbors may object to the fruit dropping onto their property.
Large shade trees planted to the south and west of your house, patio, or deck will bring welcome relief from summer heat but will allow winter sun to filter through their bare branches. If you have a vegetable garden remember to keep trees well away from it as most vegetables need all day sun to do their best.
Some tree species have large surface roots that may break sidewalks or other pavement if they are planted too close. Sycamores, mulberrry and honeylocust are some trees that should be placed away from pavement. Look up before planting a tree. Are there overhead power lines? Will this tree eventually obstruct my view or my neighbor’s view? There are varieties of smaller trees that may suit your needs without blocking the view. Call the utility companies before you plant and have them mark the location of any buried lines. Avoid planting directly over utilities. You may lose a tree if the utility line has to be repaired or replaced in the future.