ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Tree Planting Guide

Updated on September 22, 2015

Compliment your Landscape and Local Ecosystem

Though we love trees and they provide us with multiple benefits they also contribute to local ecology. Wildlife feed from these trees and use them as their homes. Finding a balance between nature and civilization can sometimes be a struggle. Trees are a great place to start. In this post, I am going to present a list of question anyone should consider before they pick and plant a tree within their urban forest (yard).

Tree providing shade to this beautiful neighborhood.
Tree providing shade to this beautiful neighborhood. | Source

Where to Start

It all can seem really confusing....

There are a lot of things to consider when picking the trees in your yard. Some of them are aesthetic and some of them are to make sure you pick a tree that will thrive in your environment. Not every tree fits every urban forest. If planting more than one tree, pick variety. Some trees species have invaders that may kill them. If an infestation is to occur all of your hard work could be gone within a season.

Leaves provide shade and a splash of color.  There are so many textures and shapes to choose from.
Leaves provide shade and a splash of color. There are so many textures and shapes to choose from. | Source


What is your favorite kind of tree?

See results

The Questions

These are all questions that should be considered when choosing trees to add to your landscape.

1. Do you want an evergreen (needles) tree or a deciduous (leaved) tree?

2. How much sun does your planned location get?

  • Different trees need different amounts of sunlight, the more your know about the sun exposure in an area, the better equipped you will be to pick the proper tree species

3. How wet is your yard?

  • Resource availability is crucial to plants. Some need more than others. How much water is collected in your yard is very important when choosing a tree species.

4. How big do you want your tree?

  • Miniature, Small, Medium, Large, or Extra Large

5. How much space do you have available for your tree.

6. How close to your house, road, or sidewalks will this tree be?

  • If it is going to be close to the road you might want something that grows slower or smaller so that it does not have to be trimmed constantly. If this tree is going to be close to your house you do not want a tree with roots that will ruin sidewalks or your homes foundation.

7. What shape do you want your tree?

  • Believe it or not, trees come in many different shapes. Do you like a round full tree or a tree that is shaped like a pyramid? This is where you get to be creative.

8. Do you want your tree to have big beautiful flowers?

9. Do you want to provide you with fruit? If so what kind?

  • Certain fruit will only grow under certain conditions so do lots of research if this is your choice. Fruit trees are often times hybrids so they require lots of care to keep pests from ruining your bounty.

10. What color would you like your tree during the different parts of the year?

  • Trees are not just green and brown, they come in a variety of shapes and colors. It is almost like home decor. There really is a style out there for just about everyone.

Cherry blossom tree in full bloom.
Cherry blossom tree in full bloom. | Source

Now that you answered the questions above, what do you do?

I could go on for days about the options you could pick for Ohio based on the information with those questions. That is my area of expertise. I inventory trees in the Urban Environment. Unfortunately most of the people that are reading this don't live in Ohio.

So where do you go next?

Once you compile all of your wants and desires into the perfect tree, take those wants and desires to your local green house. They are the experts for what works in your area and they will be able to give you the best guidance, especially with all of those questions thought about in advance.

If you can, choose a nursery that specializes in native plants. If you are not fortunate enough to have a nursery within driving distance and getting your trees from a big box store or something similar, don't fret. You can hop on the internet and search for your states department of natural resources. There should be guides on the native species of tree you already have growing in your state, along with a little other information about local ecology that you may not have been aware off. If you need help finding these feel free to contact me through my profile page.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Pawpawwrites profile image

      Jim 3 years ago from Kansas

      Great idea to think ahead. Planting a tree, is in some cases, a lifetime decision.

    • CassandraCae profile image

      Cassandra Kuthy 3 years ago from Ohio

      Thank you so much for the kind comments. So many trees are lost to infrastructure so it is really important to consider during tree selection.

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 3 years ago from USA

      Excellent things to consider before planting a tree. So many forget to add in the size it will be when full grown or even the colors throughout the seasons. Great points and tips. Making sure to pin this.

    • Jean Bakula profile image

      Jean Bakula 3 years ago from New Jersey

      Oh, it is well drained, I'm having a new retaining wall built on the property next week. I didn't know about the dwarf Japanese Maples. They do sound pretty, and maybe I would have room for 2, for color and symmetry. Thanks for the tip!

    • CassandraCae profile image

      Cassandra Kuthy 3 years ago from Ohio

      If your front yard is well drained than a Japanese maple would be a great addition. Their are tons of varieties of Japanese maple too. There is even a dwarf variety that only gets about 2 feet tall and has the most darling leaves.

    • Jean Bakula profile image

      Jean Bakula 3 years ago from New Jersey

      I live in deep woods, and it's hard for trees to get enough sun. So they get really tall and spindly as they try to reach up to get light. Then whenever we have storms, so many branches fall down. Since we've had a lot of storms in NJ in the last years, a lot of the weaker ones fell down. I wanted to try a small, flowering tree in front of my house, but am unsure what kind to get. I like Japanese Maples, since the red is so pretty.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 3 years ago from New Zealand

      Interesting I couldn't do without trees in my garden, I have many, my favorite being the red maple tree.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I like your plan. We are big on fruit trees, as we are planning an urban edible garden in front of our house.