When planting, select right tree
Selection of trees for planting in a home landscape depends on the desired effect and the purpose the trees will satisfy in the landscape, said Tchukki Andersen, BCMA, CTSP, and staff arborist with the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA).
TCIA advises homeowners to consider the following factors when selecting a tree: hardiness (ability of the plant to survive extremes of winter cold and summer heat); mature height and spread; growth rate; cleanliness; type of root system; moisture requirements; space available above ground and below ground; maintenance requirements; availability at a local nursery; ornamental effects, such as branching habit, texture and color of bark, flower, fruit and foliage; and whether the tree is evergreen or deciduous.
The space available at the specific site and mature tree size are important considerations, and addressing these limits will go a long way toward reducing maintenance costs, according to TCIA officials, who add trees that will grow 25 feet or taller should not be planted under or near overhead power lines. In addition, do not forget the underground utilities. Out-of-sight does not mean that they would not have to be serviced at some point. Call 8-1-1 for the national “call before you dig” hotline before selecting a planting site. Permanent plantings such as trees should be spaced to allow utility service. Ground-level utility structures such as transformers and individual service connections require space to be serviced.
Community ordinances might restrict planting of trees near power lines, parking strips, street lights, sewers, traffic control signs and signals, sidewalks and property lines. Municipalities may require planting permits for trees planted on city property. City codes often require that trees on city property be maintained by the city, so citizens planting an improper selection can cause problems for themselves and the municipality.
For more information, visit www.tcia.org or www.treecaretips.org.
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