WACO, Texas – As our country celebrates National Arbor Day, many property owners will plant a tree. Trees add natural beauty and cool shade to residential and commercial landscapes, provide habitats for local wildlife and supply the earth with oxygen. The key to enhancing a property with trees, however, is ensuring that the right trees are planted in the right places.
To lessen confusion on choosing the right tree, consider these tips from the experts at The Grounds Guys:
- Determine the purpose of the tree. Will it be used for shade, ornamental display, fruit, screening, or windbreak?
- Check with the local agricultural office to find out what types of trees are most suitable or appropriate for your area, or visit the Tree Wizard on the Arbor Day Foundation’s website.
- Decide on the best size and shape of tree that will best fit the landscape. Remember that while a tree is small at first, they may grow and become too large for a space over time. Look for trees that will fit the height and width of the space you have allotted when they are full grown.
- Review the moisture requirements of the tree. If the area is prone to drought, select trees that don’t need a lot of water. The same is true if you have a lot of rain. In this case, select trees that can handle a surplus of moisture.
- Have the pH levels of the soil tested. Then, find trees that fit the pH levels for the area.
- Choose trees that meet the level of sunshine in your area.
- Weigh the pros and cons of Deciduous (shed leaves seasonally) versus Coniferous (evergreen) tree.
Once a tree is chosen, consider these tips on finding the perfect spot to plant:
- Research how large the tree will get when it is fully grown. Ensure that it will be able to fit in the available growing space without causing damage to your home.
- Plant trees a safe distance away from power lines to prevent the tree’s branches from growing around the lines.
- Place trees 10 to 30 feet from your home for optimal shading. To maximize shade in the summer, plant on the west side of the house. When properly placed, trees can reduce air conditioning costs, saving energy and money.
- In areas where wildfires may be a concern, plant trees far enough apart so that their branches do not touch.
COVER PHOTO: ISTOCK