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How to choose the right trees to plant on your property?

By August 25, 2020 No Comments
Tree planting

With hundreds of types of trees, figuring out which one is right for your property may feel a bit overwhelming.

Tree planting doesn’t need to be so daunting though. In this blog we look at a few simple ideas to help you get started on finding the perfect trees for your property.

Start your search by answering “why”

What would you like your tree to do for you? This question is important because not all trees offer the same features. Some of the reasons why you could be looking to plant a tree are:

  • Casting shade
  • Creating a windbreak
  • Adding beauty with flowers
  • Providing wildlife habitat or food source (seeds, fruit)
  • Giving your backyard some colour, particularly in autumn
  • Growing edible fruit
  • Screening a view (no one likes nosey neighbours!)
  • Building a family legacy

Start by planning with a purpose, and you’ll be happier with the results.

Next, move on to the size. It matters!

The most common reason for tree removals is bad planning – people don’t consider the size of a tree and its impact on objects nearby before planting.

Think about driveways, power lines, your house and fencing when assessing a tree for its size and suitability. Read the tag of the sapling you are picking very carefully and then imagine how it would look when it has grown to its full size. Most shade trees have a spreading canopy on top of a much narrower trunk, so the views aren’t impacted as much at the ground level. However, many evergreens have branches that reach all the way to the ground, which may mean that everything behind them disappears.

Along with the height of a tree, you also need to consider its width. You don’t want your carefully chosen evergreen to devour your house!

While it is important to consider the size of a tree before planting, it is important to remember that trees must be pruned regularly to manage their height and width in relation to their location.

Tree shapes
Image source: https://organicallygreen.org/blog/292/

Evergreen versus deciduous

Are you looking for privacy or year-round shade? You probably want to consider an evergreen tree. They look lush even over winters. Deciduous trees shed their leaves over winter but provide a lot of summer shade – perfect for cooler temperatures such as ours. Their colourful show in autumn is always an amazing sight.

Deciduous vs evergreen tree
Image source: http://sweetgum.nybg.org

Understanding the environment

Different trees have different growing requirements. Some like cooler temperatures, others flourish in hotter climates. Some trees prefer lesser water, other require more – this requirement may even vary as they grow. What’s your soil type? Some trees can tolerate heavy clay while others prefer light sandy soil. Rich, fertile soil versus barren, rocky ground or alkaline versus acidic – what does your chosen tree type prefer? More importantly, does your property cater to this soil type?

Environmental understanding is probably the hardest part of choosing a tree. If you don’t get it right, your sapling will not grow into a healthy tree. It is important to consult a qualified arborist for advice.

Maintenance and care

Matching a tree with the conditions of your property goes a long way toward minimising maintenance. If you plant a tree that likes moisture and rich soil in a dry, rocky area it will need a lot of fertilizer and irrigation to blossom. Likewise, a tree that grows too big for the space will require a lot of pruning to maintain the size.

Along with trees, you need to consider maintenance of the group they grow in. Fallen fruits, nuts and leaves can quickly become a nuisance – you need to think of these issues before planting and be certain you can cope.

Aesthetics

Looks are a matter of personal preference but require consideration as they could make or break your landscape. You need to look at things such as the colour and size of flowers and leaves, growing habit and leaf texture.

Where to plant?

This is defined by all of the above factors. Remember to think about your long-term plan for both the tree and your backyard. Will you want to put in a shed or play structure in the future? How big will the surrounding trees grow? Do you have plans to eventually put in a driveway or a garage? How much will the tree shade your yard 10 or 15 years from now?

Call in the experts

As you run through the above considerations for tree planting, you may need another opinion or consultation from someone more knowledgeable.

Treescape® has a team of qualified arborists to help you plant trees that fit your need and backyard perfectly.

Get in touch
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