How to Choose the Best Site for Planting a Tree

Trees will enhance your yard by providing a frame and background for it. Trees also improve curb appeal, offer shade and privacy as well as absorb sound and freshen up the air. How can you select the best location to plant a new tree?

The actual location of the tree is often overlooked by homeowners who spend a great deal of time and energy choosing the perfect tree and digging the proper size hole. Most problems are caused by planting the wrong tree in the wrong place. It is essential to understand the site requirements before planting trees. Each tree has unique qualities, needs and benefits.

Consider which trees are best suited to your climate, soil and growth conditions. The USDA Plant Hardiness Zone map will help you determine your hardiness zone. This map indicates the minimum temperatures required for plants to survive in any given area.

Be aware of how much sun and shade your home receives. Trees need six hours of sun per day to grow well. South-facing trees are the most suited to plant growth.

Be sure to think about drainage before you plant a new tree. The trees that are planted at the bottom of a sloped yard will retain more moisture and be more susceptible for drainage issues. Here are some tips to help you fix drainage problems in your yard.

Consider the soil and chemicals of your property. It could be a very different environment than the natural habitat of the tree. Use soil testing to determine what soil amendments are needed for your tree to thrive.

Keep an eye out for obstacles both above and below

It is vital to know about underground and overhead utilities before you dig. Planting tall trees close to power lines is a serious safety risk. Maintaining a safe distance is essential between wires and branches.

The placement of the roots is important as well, because they can grow farther than the canopy. Contact a utility to mark underground lines before you dig. If you dig accidentally into utility lines, it could cause serious injury. Mark your utility lines and then dig. Call 811 before you dig. Anyone planning to dig before digging should call 811 or go to the website of their 811 center.

Before you plant trees, make sure to check both the tops and bottoms of each tree.

Attention to nearby structures

Before you plant, it is important to measure the height, crown span and root space of your tree. Most people don’t realize that trees require more space. If trees are not spaced properly, they can grow rapidly and become a danger. Space is the most important thing to consider when planting trees. Too close roots or branches to buildings or septic tanks can cause damage.

Canopies that are too large can cause damage to a home’s siding. If they are planted too close, their large roots can also cause the sidewalk to buckle. Be sure your newly planted trees do not block street lights or signs.

Discover the size of your tree at maturity

Knowing the mature size of a tree and the spread of its branches is important. Keep trees at least 5-10ft away from your house, as their roots can damage the foundation and make it difficult to maintain its exterior.

Landscape trees are classified into medium, small or large.

Small trees under 25 feet

Medium trees = 26-74 feet

Large trees = 75 to 100 feet

Depending on the size of mature trees, there should be a reasonable distance between them and powerlines. Trees that are less than 15 feet away from a powerline shouldn’t be taller than 20 feet. The height of trees between 20-50ft and a powerline shouldn’t exceed 40 feet. Plant trees taller than 40ft 50-50 feet away from powerlines.

For future landscaping, plan ahead

Your property’s value can be increased by planting trees. What about your long-term plan? By planning ahead, you can avoid future problems.

To maintain the space, trees can grow. They need to be cut back to keep them at a manageable height. Trees that grow too high above your home are a safety hazard and should be cut down. Take into consideration the cost to remove a tree which has become dead or a problem.

Do you plan to build a new garage, driveway, or shed soon? What will the size of trees be around your house and how much shade they will provide? If you want a garden, but the trees are blocking out too much light, then it is necessary to remove them.

All Four Seasons

Consider the seasons to determine how your trees perform over the course of the year. How much sun is there in the winter and summer on this site? What problems will falling leaves and needles cause at this location? Removing a fruit tree or a flowering plant from a sidewalk can be a difficult task. Your cars will be covered in sap if you plant a nearby pine tree.

Think about the purpose of your trees

You plant trees sometimes for their beauty. Other times, they are planted to serve other purposes, such as noise reduction, wind barrier, or shade. It might be necessary to have it do multiple things at once! Choose a strategic location for your tree.


Accent trees are small trees with attractive features, such as flowers or berries. Accent trees are usually small but any tree will do. Small accent trees can be planted on large properties to give them a more noticeable appearance.


Plant trees designed to provide a backdrop for your house, so the treetops are visible above or below the roofline. This will soften your roofline, making it easier for you to see the house.


Trees can frame a house. If trees are used to frame a house, it will appear larger and more stable. One tree can frame a house on smaller lots, but more trees may be required in rural areas and larger properties.


Tree screens can be used as a privacy screen, but they can also create a windbreak or wall to block out unwanted areas. Trees provide more protection than bushes and shrubs.

You can make a tree screen with small or medium-sized plants. A screen of trees is more varied than a fence because different trees can be mixed. Trees do not have to be straight in order to create a screen.


In trees, shade trees provide better shade than fences and other man-made structures. Plant shade trees in the southwest corner to provide shade for your home during the afternoon.

FAQ on How to Select a Site for Planting A Tree

What direction should trees grow?

Plant deciduous or evergreen trees for shade during the early evening and late afternoon. Place the tree so that it faces in the direction you want. Place the tree into a hole that is twice the size of the roots.

How can I kill newly planted trees the most effectively?

Poor drainage and excessive irrigation can cause tree death. The soil needs oxygen to grow roots, so water the soil well when you water it but let it dry out between waterings.

What is the distance between a wall and a tree?

Choose a spot that is at least 15 feet away from the wall. You should select a place that is 15 feet away from the wall if your tree grows 15 feet.

Take a deeper look at the hidden complexity of tree planting and removal:

Planting or removing a tree may seem simple at first glance. You dig a hole and plant the tree, or you pull out a stump. This seemingly simple task involves more than what meets the eye. Under the surface, there is a complex system of utilities which can make a simple gardening project a dangerous one if it’s not done correctly. This comprehensive investigation delves into the complexities of tree removal and planting, underscoring how important it is to understand what lies underneath our feet.

Understanding the Subsurface Terrain

Utilities Hidden: Under the surface of your lawn, you will find a network including telecommunications, electricity, gas and water lines. These are the lifelines for modern living. They’re like the services that we use every day, such as turning on a light or making a call.

The dangers of uninformed digging: Tree planting and removal can be dangerous if you are not aware of the utilities. These lines can be severed by a simple shovel strike, resulting in serious consequences such as electrical shocks, leaks of gas, and service disruptions.

Consequences for Hasty Decisions

Potent Hazards: Cutting an electrical cable can cause severe shocks, or even electrocution. Gas leaks can result from damaging a gas pipe. The risks can not only be a danger to your personal safety, but also have financial and legal repercussions.

Service Disruptions – Accidentally cutting utility lines can disrupt services to not only your home, but possibly your entire neighbourhood. Both the inconvenience and cost of repair can be significant.

Safety measures and precautions

Contacting Local Utility Companies Before beginning any digging, you should contact the local utility companies. In most regions, there is a service that is dedicated to this. They can mark the exact location of underground utilities.

Understanding Utility Markings. Once the area has been marked, it is important to know what each marking means. Different colors are used for different utilities such as water, gas, and telecommunications.

Use caution when digging, even if the utilities are marked. Hand tools are preferred to heavy machinery when digging near marked utilities.

Why Professional Assistance is Important

It is recommended to hire experienced arborists, especially for tree removal. Arborists with experience know how to safely remove trees without damaging underground utilities.

Expertise with Tree Planting. Professional landscapers are also able to assist in the planting of trees, making sure the location chosen is conducive to growth and safe, taking into account factors such as root spread and the height of the tree at maturity.

Considerations Legal and Environmental

Comply with local regulations: There are many regions that have laws regarding excavation and digging. By familiarizing yourself with local regulations, you can avoid legal issues.

Environmental Impact: It is important to understand the impact on the environment of planting or removing a tree. Trees are vital to the ecosystem and should not be removed or added without careful consideration.

Long-term Implications

Trees can increase the value of a property and enhance its aesthetics. However, if they are removed without proper planning, this can have a negative impact.

Community and Ecosystem benefits: Trees provide shade, improve air quality and support wildlife.

A Thoughtful Approach To Tree Management

The removal and planting of trees involves much more than simply handling the tree. This is a complex process that involves safety, legal, community, and environmental considerations. Understanding the complexity of what lies below the surface is essential. If you are planting a sapling or removing a tree, take the time to respect and understand the hidden network and implications of your action. This will make tree management safer, more responsible and ultimately more effective. The roots of good tree care are deep, both literally and metaphorically.

This post was written by a professional arborist at   Arbor Wise Professional Tree Care. Robert Miller is the owner of Arbor Wise Professional Tree Care, a locally owned and operated tree service company that offers superb lawn care by the most experienced Arborists. Arborwise Tree Services is a tree service clearwater fl company that offers stump removal, tree pruning, stump grinding, fertilization, and tree restoration. We have an extraordinary lawn care industry notoriety covering the Pinellas county area.

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