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Choosing the Right Tree in 4 Easy Steps

Choosing the right tree for your business or property may seem like an overwhelming task, but it doesn’t have to be!  Shopping for long-term vegetation such as a tree should be a process carried out with intention.  This guide will help you choose the right tree in four easy steps!

Step One:  What is the tree’s function?

Trees offer social, economical, and economical benefits.  Which function does your tree need to serve?

Sandbar Willow Westchester Tree Life

Sandbar willow makes a great visual screen.
(Image Courtesy of ded.ny.gov)

If you are planting a tree in your yard, you may want a large, deciduous tree, which looses its leaves in the fall; these trees provide ample shade, and offer a windbreak which assist in lowering heating and cooling costs.  A great example of a large, deciduous tree is the Sugar Maple, or acer saccharum (to learn more about The Sugar Maple, read our article here). Planting evergreens in your backyard is a great way to provide privacy, without a fence!

If you are planting a tree close to the street, consider a tree such as the Common Hackbery, or celtis occidentalis.  Common to North America, this tree is ideal in providing privacy while visually improving the surrounding area.  Planting a tree close the street also assists in reducing runoff, and decreasing the glare from the pavement!

Step Two: What size and form is your ideal tree?

Diagram of Different Tree Forms Westchester Tree Life

Diagram Courtesy of www.dot.ny.gov

Is your ideal tree a low, spreading tree, or a tall and slender tree?   When choosing your ideal tree, consider the maintenance of the tree which you are selecting.  (Westchester Tree Life is here to assist you in the complete process of introducing a new tree to your yard or business.  Our certified arborists are here to assist you in committing to a Plant Health Care Management plan for your tree.) 

Step Three:  What are the conditions of your planting site?

Soil PH Westchester Tree Life

Image Courtesy of www.bocc.citrus.fl.us

The conditions of your planting site are important factors in narrowing down your options, when shopping for a tree!  Your soil’s pH, sun and wind exposure, drainage, space constraints, hardiness zone, human activity, and insect and disease susceptibility are all vital variables to consider when choosing the right tree.

Step Four:  Tree Quality Characteristics

Healthy Tree  Westchester Tree Life

Be sure to consider the quality of any tree you choose!
(Image Courtesy of yourleaf.org)

Determining a tree’s quality is not to be overlooked when choosing the right tree for your location.  Qualities to observe when inspecting tree quality characteristics include checking to ensure that the tree has strong form, with well spaced branches, a quality root system to ensure a optimal growth, and a trunk free of wounds and damage.

You are now ready to choose the right tree for your location!  Remember that our team of certified arborists are always here to support you in your tree care maintenance!

Planting a Tree

There are a few things to consider before you begin the process of planting a tree.  Trees are aesthetically-pleasing additions to the exterior of your home of business, and can give your property value a little boost.  To properly plant a tree, we recommend you consider the following things:

1)  What are your goals?

Maple Tree Goldfinch Westchester Tree Life

Photo credit: Sharon Sauriol
The maple tree is a favorite perch of the goldfinch.

Are you planting your new tree to gain privacy without blocking yourself off from neighbors with a fence?  Are you introducing a new tree onto your property because you are interested in attracting certain birds or looking to create a sound barrier?  Before you begin mapping out all of the fun details of planting a tree, we recommend you consider your goals.  Acknowledging your goals will make choosing a location and a tree-type easier, and ultimately make your project more successful.

2)  Location is key!

Planting a Tree Westchester Tree Life

Though location seems like an obvious factor, we urge you to think deeper, more to the root of the problem, if you will.  Tree roots need adequate amounts of space to grow and develop, so try to choose a location with ample room for your tree to flourish.  Avoid planting a tree underneath or around powerlines and telephone lines; placing a tree too close to a building will also cause future issues for both the tree growth and possibly the building and its patrons.

NOTE:  We advise contacting your utility company to mark the location of any underground lines which may come in contact with your newly planted tree.  You may be held accountable for any damage done to such lines.

3)  Follow proper planting procedure.

Tree Sprout Westchester Tree Life

Image courtesy gardening.ktsa.com

We understand, planting a new tree is exciting!  Though the idea of just digging a hole and setting your new tree up for success is enticing, following proper planting procedure for your tree is the best bet.  Take weather conditions into consideration; trees are best planted during times of low wind, cloudy, and slightly cool but not humid.  If you are unsure of the proper temperament by which your tree should be planted, ask an arborist at Westchester Tree Life to assist you!  We would be happy to help you plant your new tree and set it up for success!