Tree Planting 101: Part 1 – Location & Purpose

Before planting the tree, we observe the property and look for a space where the tree can be planted so that roots can grow and develop underground.  We also pay attention to make sure that there are no above ground telephone or power lines above the space.  At the same time, we’ll check in with the local utility company to make sure we’re not planting over any underground lines.  Finally, we want to make sure we are not planting a tree too close to the house or other structure – when the tree grows larger, it could begin rubbing up against the structure – causing both damage to the tree and the structure.

Before planting a tree, here are some common questions we ask ourselves before digging:

  • Is there enough space for the roots to grow and develop underground?
  • Are there any dangerous telephone or power lines located above the prospective site? Sprinkler lines below the ground?
  • Is the site far enough away from the house or other structures to avoid causing damage to the tree and structure in the future?
  • What is the tree species?  Will it thrive in the environment?  Or will it interfere with the environment?


Identify the purpose

People have various reasons for planting trees, such as creating a barrier of privacy between the house and the neighbors – or to create a windbreak against the house.  Others plant trees to add colorful foliage in the fall or add colorful flowers to the landscape.  Some trees are created to bear fruit and others might be planted as a habitat for birds.  Sometimes trees are planted for all of those reasons – and a professional arborist can assist with selecting the right species for the right purpose.

Here are some common questions to ask before selecting the tree species:

  • Are you planting the tree for privacy?
  • Are we planting the tree to create a windbreak?
  • Are we planting a tree to add fall color or flowers to the landscape?
  • Are we planting a tree to bear fruit or create a habitat for birds?
  • Are we planting a tree to create a sound barrier from neighbors or the road?
  • Are we planting a tree to cast shade on a particular place in the yard?