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Keeping Trees in Their Right Place (You Can Grow That Oct.)

As many know,  Autumn is a great time to plant a new tree . Whether it’s those fruit trees you’ve been wanting to plant for a few years or a young shade tree that will grow up to cut down your AC costs in the summers, The fall is a nice time for that tree planting.  With the great care that you put into the decision of which tree  you will plant, don’t neglect to put the same care and consideration into the location of that new tree.

Guidlines for selecting tree planting location

Above are some general guidelines for proper placement of your new tree planting.

In a few years this PLum tree will be crowded against the house.This will not be a good situation for the house or the trees.

All to often  our professional tree crews get called in to remove an otherwise valuable tree that was just planted to close to the house and has since grown into a liability rather than the asset that tree should have been. Don’t forget when selecting the location for your young tree that this new addition to your landscap will not stay as small as it is. It seems like a statement of the obvious but trees grow. What seems like a suitable placement of your tree now may not be such a good thing a few years from now.

Another common tree planting mistake we see is planting the wrong tree too close to overhead electric and phone lines. If  you are planting a tree that will develop a large and spreading canopy it should not be planted within 30-40ft of overhead lines. Otherwise the tree will continually interfere with the lines and will need continual, severe pruning to keep the trunk and branches away from the wires. I have much respect for the dangerous job that utility line clearance tree trimmers have to perform every day but lets not make their jobs harder. Further more, lets face it, their jobs is to clear back trees for the safety of the power lines and the community; not to make your trees beautiful.

Notice the tree in the photo below.This tree will be a continual problem and will never be able to grow into the beautiful form that it should have. Eventually this tree will need to be removed. If you need to plant a tree near overhead lines, select a tree that will not grow any taller than those lines.

 

this tree was planted in the wrong location.

This tree will unfortunately have to be mal-pruned to not interfere with the overhead lines.

Your tree will grow! Do not plant your tree where it will interfere with buildings, overhead utility lines, pavement, or intersection sightlines as it gets bigger.
Make sure your planting spot is at least. . .

  • 3 feet from pavement or fencing on all sides
  • 15 feet from buildings or other trees
  • 25 feet from overhead electric wires, if your tree will grow taller than 30 feet.

If your tree will grow taller than 30 feet, do not plant it within 25 feet of overhead electric wires.

This tree will pose a danger in the event of a wind or snow storm

Large spreading shade trees should never be planted near untility lines. This Sycamore trees is quite beatuiful and can add much asthetic value to a property, but now it has become a liabilty in the event of a storm.

You may also want to consider if the tree will grow into any walkways, patios, and other features in your landscape.  Also will that tree later block a view that you enjoy now.

Before you make the purchase of your new tree, talk to the staff at your local nursery. Describe to them the location that you are wanting to plant and they can help you decide which tree will fit that spot just right. Likewise, if you have a particular tree in mind already, make sure that you learn the growing habit of that species so that you can make the best decision as to its long term and  proper placement.

So if you want to grow the best tree in the best spot; just do a little bit of homework first and you can grow that!

4 Comments
  1. Nicely done. I’m often frustrated and saddened by the not-well-thought-out choices you refer to. But we can teach them.
    Thanks.

  2. Great advice. So often I see trees planted too close to buildings. What a waste of resources.

  3. Planting a tree is like taking a pet…. it to will grow up and needs a commitment for a long period. I absolutely hate it when tree’s need to be taken down because the owners choose the wrong one. We are very much looking forward to plant our first tree but we definitely do a lot of research!

  4. What a great post. I’m always amazed at how many homeowners don’t factor in the growth of a tree when they plant it. Here in southwestern CT, when the utility companies prune the street trees they leave gaping holes in the canopy that look ridiculous and don’t actually protect the lines from possible damage. A little knowledge before planting is a powerful weapon.

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