Planting a Tree on Your Property
Friday, October 18, 2013
Trees decorate your garden, attract bird life, block out traffic noise, provide shade to sit in, and research even shows that they add value to your property. So how do you go about planting trees to reap all these benefits?
- The first question to ask yourself is what kind of tree you want to plant. Do you want an evergreen tree that keeps its leaves all year, or a deciduous tree that loses its leaves in the fall. Do you want a tree that grows tall, or one that stays shorter but spreads horizontally, more like large shrubs. Is there a specific look that you like? Does it have to be climbable? Do you want to install a tree house in it for your kids? Once you have answered these questions, you can pick a location.
- Regarding location, the rule of thumb is that trees around twenty metres tall should not be planted within ten metres from your house. It ensures that the roots do not grow into your home's basement or foundation, and it allows branches to grow properly without constant pruning to keep them away from the windows. Medium size trees of about 12 metres can be planted closer to the house, with at least three metres between them. Low trees of about six metres should not be planted within four metres from your house, but they are good when you have only limited planting space, such as around patios and lawns.
- Make sure that you know exactly where the utility lines around your house are. There is nothing worse than planting a tree and having its large roots get entangled in underground water pipes or electricity cables. They can also block drains. Remember that the roots often grow over a much larger area than the tree itself, so consult with your garden centre to understand the root profiles of specific trees. Overhead power lines can be problematic too, since pruning trees away from them often leave you with funny-looking unhealthy trees.
- If you want trees to perform an electricity-saving job, plant deciduous trees on the east and west sides of your home to block sun from the windows. The leaves fall off before winter, so they will let the sun through during the colder months. On the other hand, if you live in a windy area, evergreen trees can block the wind if you plant them on the west or northern side of the house.