Caring for Your Trees

5 Aspects Of A Tree That Can Dictate The Best Place To Plant It

Planting a tree shouldn't be done haphazardly. Like with many other landscaping and home improvement projects, you need to plan well before completing the job for the best results. Here are a few of the aspects of a tree that can dictate the best place to plant it.

1. The tree's adult shape and size

Both the size and the shape of your tree in adulthood can affect where it will fit in your yard. For instance, if you only have twenty feet of clearance between the outer branches of two nearby adult trees, you may not be able to fit an oak tree in there. But a tall, narrow, or dwarf tree or a small, shrubby tree may fit in that spot.

2. The tree's root system

Your tree's root system requires two important considerations. First, ensure that the root system will be able to stay healthy as the tree grows. So the site will need to have the right kind of soil and the right amount of moisture for your tree species. Second, you need to ensure the roots have lots of extra room so you won't end up having to chop them back to keep them out of your plumbing pipes.

3. The tree's hardiness and bloom requirements

If you live in a cold climate, you may need to be extra careful when choosing a site for a tree that flowers in spring. For example, you may instinctively want to plant a magnolia tree on the south side of your property to increase the amount of sun it gets. But planting it on the north side of your house instead can help it bloom a little later, for less frost damage. Knowing about your tree's specific needs will help you understand how to nourish it correctly.

4. Whether the tree will get along with other plants in the area

Take a good look at surrounding plants before you decide to plant a new tree. One reason is that the surrounding trees and shrubs could affect the amount of sun in the spot, and many trees require a lot of sun to thrive. But another aspect is that some plants may carry diseases or pests that could affect your new tree and others may compete for water and nutrients.

An arborist can help you ensure that you don't have any other plants in the area that don't mix well with your new tree.

5. Whether the tree takes well to pruning

If your tree's mature size will be just a bit too large, you may be able to simply keep it trimmed back with a technique called crown reduction every few years. However, some trees take better to this type of pruning than others. A tree with a pyramid shape shouldn't be subjected to crown reduction, so you have to make extra sure it will still fit when fully grown.

As you can see, more factors go into tree planting than just light and water requirements. Your arborist can help you evaluate the site and tell you which trees will do well in that area.