How To Choose A Tree

Trees help beautify your property, provide shade in summer and wind protection in winter and enhance privacy. Since there is so much variation in size, shape, growth and care requirements, the type of tree you choose for your property should factor in several points.

  • First, find “the right tree for the right location.” For location, determine the climate and soil of your area. The tree species you choose should flourish in your local climate and soil conditions (designated hardiness zone).
  • Matching tree to site is a key part of the tree selection process. What is the size of the area for your new tree? How big will that seedling be in 30 or 40 years?
  • Consider the tree's proximity to buildings, sidewalks, driveways, streets, utility lines, overhead and buried, and septic systems. Trees spread out both above and below ground and branch overhang and root growth can cause damage and expense if a tree is poorly situated. Consider the planting location with respect to foundation, concrete and asphalt structures, and drainage structures.

Climate control

Deciduous trees planted on the southern, western and eastern sides of a lot will provide shade during the summer while allowing scarce sunlight through in the winter after the leaves have fallen. Evergreens can reduce winter heating costs by serving as windbreaks when planted on the northern and western sides of a property.


Good-quality, well-drained loamy soil is ideal for most trees. Heavy clays in poorly-drained locations create problems for species that will not tolerate ‘wet feet.’ S tagnant water pooling around roots can lead to ‘root rot’ caused by lack of available oxygen.

Soil quality

Have the soil tested. In some cases, scrape away soil and replace it with good quality topsoil to a depth matching your planting requirements.

Trees available for purchase usually come in one of three forms:

  • Balled and Burlapped. The roots of the tree and the ball of soil containing the roots are bound in burlap.
  • Bare-Root. The plant is sold with the roots exposed. Seedlings sold in our online store are of this type.
  • Container-Grown. The plant is sold in the container in which it was grown.

Last modified: Thursday, 06-Nov-2014 10:37:43 EST