The Right Tree, The Right Place:
A Guide to Placing, Planting and Caring for
13 , 2004
ahead is the most important step you can take to ensure that
the time and money you invest in planting a new tree is well
spent. The key to successful landscaping is to plant the right
tree in the right place. To help you choose the right tree
and the right site, here are several questions you should
answer before you get started.
residential landscape: A large tree is planted to shade
the air conditioner and other trees are carefully located
to shade windows from the morning and afternoon sun. Shrubs
planted on all sides of the house help reduce the temperatures
of the soil and walls. Be sure to prune shrubs under windows
so they don't block cooling trade winds.
function will the tree serve? Along
with providing shade, trees can be selected for their ability
to provide a windbreak or privacy. You might also choose
a tree for its ornamental or aesthetic value, for its ability
to prevent soil erosion, or for the fruit it provides.
will the tree look like when it is mature? Find out
how tall and what shape your tree will be when it is fully
grown to make sure that it fits the space and purpose you
have for it.
will the tree fit into its surroundings? When choosing
your tree and planting area, keep in mind possible interference
with overhead power lines and underground cable and sewers.
Also, is the location far enough away from sidewalks, driveways,
and neighboring properties? Will the tree block your view
or drop leaves into a swimming pool?
the tree grow well in your neighborhood? One easy way
to answer this question is to take a look around your neighborhood.
See how others have used trees in their landscaping design
and find out what kinds of trees are growing well. Your
local plant nursery can also suggest appropriate trees for
your climate and soil conditions.
other positive or negative traits does the tree have?
A plant professional or books about trees can provide information
about the characteristics of specific trees. You may want
to find out about the maintenance required. Some trees need
very little attention while others may drop messy fruit
or seed pods that result in more yard work than you want.
there power lines nearby? If you are planting near power
distribution lines that run through residential areas, the
most important thing to remember is the 20 foot rule: trees
and plants within 30 feet of power lines should not be higher
than 20 feet tall when fully grown. Consult your nursery
or landscape professional for trees whose mature height
does not exceed 20 feet. (Planting around higher voltage
transmission lines may require greater distance for clearance.)
Select trees and plants within 20 feet of power lines that
grow lower than 20 feet. You don't want your shade trees
to interfere with safe, reliable electrical service.
to fixed structures?
Check the size of the tree before planting. Most large trees
have even larger root systems and are water seekers. Swimming
pools, hot tubs, house foundations, driveways, and sidewalks
often are destroyed by the roots. Some root systems are
3 times the size of the above ground structure. Be safe.
Get this information from experienced tree companies who
have a successful history of planting trees.
Ynez Valley Tree Care
P.O. Box 1147, Santa Ynez, California 93460
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