July 15, 2024

Your yard will be enhanced by trees that provide a background and frame for your property. Trees can also enhance curb appeal, provide shade and privacy, as well as absorb noise and freshen the air. How do you choose the best place to plant a tree?

While homeowners invest a lot of time and effort in choosing the right tree and digging the correct-sized hole, they often overlook the importance of the actual planting site. The majority of problems you’ll encounter are caused by placing the wrong tree at the wrong spot. Before planting trees, it is important to consider the specific requirements of each site. Each tree species is unique and each has its own set qualities, needs, benefits.

It is important to consider which tree species are most suitable for your particular climate, soil, and growth conditions. You’ll first need to determine the hardiness zone of your area by using the USDA plant Hardiness Zone Map. This map shows the minimum annual winter temperatures that plants will survive in a given place.

Pay attention to how much sunlight and shade your property receives. For full sun to thrive, trees need at least six hours of sunlight per day. The sun is most beneficial for plant growth in the south-facing trees.

Before you plant a tree, make sure to consider drainage. Trees planted in the bottom part of your yard that are sloped will retain more water and be more susceptible to drainage problems. Here are some ways to fix a drainage issue in your yard.

Also, consider the soil type and chemical of your property. This could be very different to the tree’s natural habitat. You can use soil testing to find out what soil amendments your tree requires to thrive.

Be aware of the obstacles above and below

Before you dig, it is important to be aware of both underground and overhead utility lines. The danger of planting tall trees near power lines can be a grave safety hazard. It is important to maintain a safe distance between the wires and branches.

Root placement is also important because roots can grow further than the canopy. Before you dig, contact a utility company for marking underground lines. You could inflict serious injury if you accidentally dig into utility lines. Locate your utility lines, mark them, then dig. 811 is the national number to call before you dig. Before digging, anyone planning to dig should dial 811 or visit the website of their state 811 center.

Remember to look at both the top and bottom of trees before you plant them.

Pay attention to nearby structures

It is important to determine the tree’s height, crown span, and root space before you plant. Trees require more space than most people realize. Trees can grow quickly and pose a danger if they are not properly spaced. The most important factor in tree planting is space. Roots or branches that are too close to buildings or septic systems can cause damage.

Large canopies can brush up against a house’s siding, causing damage. Additionally, large root systems can cause sidewalks buckle if they are too close to sidewalks. Make sure that your newly planted tree does not block street signs or street lights.

Find out the mature size of your tree

Know the size of the tree as it matures, and how far the branches will spread. Trees should be kept at least 5-10ft from buildings, as roots can cause foundation damage and make it more difficult to maintain your home’s exterior.

Landscape trees are usually classified as medium, small, or large.

Small trees up to 25 feet

Medium trees = 26-74 feet

Large trees = 75-100 feet

The distance between mature trees and power lines should be reasonable, depending on their size. Trees less than 15 feet from a powerline should not be more than 20 feet high. Trees between 20-50 feet and a powerline should not exceed 40 feet in height. Trees taller than 40ft should be planted 50 to 50 feet away from powerlines.

For future landscaping, plan ahead

Trees can help increase the value of your property. But what about your long-term plans? You can avoid future problems by planning for the future.

Trees can grow and need to be trimmed to maintain this space. Trees that are too high over your home can pose a danger to safety and should be removed. Consider the cost of removing a tree that has died or become a problem.

Are you planning to build a garage, driveway or shed in the near future? What size trees will grow around your home and what shade will they provide over the years? You will need to cut down trees if you desire a garden but the shade becomes too dense.

Consider All Four Seasons

It is important to consider the seasons and how your trees will perform throughout the year. What amount of sun does the site get in winter and summer? What problem will fallen leaves and needles pose to this site? The removal of a fruit or flowering tree from the sidewalk is a tedious task. If you plant a pine tree nearby, your cars will be covered with sap.

Consider the purpose of your trees

Sometimes you plant trees for their beauty, while other times they serve a purpose such as shade, noise reduction or wind barrier. You might need it to do all these things simultaneously! Pick a spot strategically for your tree to serve its purpose.


Accent trees are small trees that have attractive features such as flowers or berries. Although accent trees should be small, any tree can provide some form of accent. For a more prominent appearance, small accent trees should be placed on larger properties.


Plant trees that are designed to create a background for the house so that the treetops can be seen above or below the roof line. This will soften the roof line, making it easier to spot the house.


A house can be framed with trees. A house will appear longer and more settled if it is properly framed with trees. For smaller properties, one tree may be sufficient to frame the house, but for larger lots and rural areas, more trees might be needed.


Tree screens provide privacy, but can also be used to create a sound barrier, windbreak, or wall that blocks out unwanted areas. Trees offer more protection than shrubs and bushes.

Tree screens can be made with either small or medium-sized trees. Because different trees can be mixed together, a screen of trees offers more variety than a fencing. To create a screen, trees do not need to be straight.


Shade trees are often planted in trees and provide shade that is better than fences or other man-made structures. Shade trees should be planted in the southwest corner of your house to shade the house during the afternoon.

FAQ about How to Choose a Site to Plant A Tree

Which direction should trees go?

Deciduous trees can shade east facing walls and windows between 7-11 a.m. east-facing surfaces 3 to 7 p.m. Plant deciduous trees so they shade windows and walls from 7 to 11 a.m. Plant evergreen or smaller deciduous trees to provide shade in the late afternoon and early hours. Place the tree in a way that it faces the direction you prefer. Make a hole twice as large as the roots of your tree and place the tree in it.

What is the best way to kill newly planted trees?

Tree death can be caused by poor drainage and excessive watering. Roots require oxygen so soil should be well-watered when watering, but let dry between waterings.

What distance should a tree be from a wall?

You should choose a place that is as far from the wall as your plant will be when it grows fully. If your tree grows to 15 feet, you should choose a spot that is at least 15 feet from the wall.

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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