By: Jean Ferdinandsen, Certified Arborist
You may have heard the phrase “the right tree for the right place.” But why is that important and what does it mean when choosing and planting a tree? Trees are long-term assets to your property. They cannot be easily moved like furniture or painted over when you’re tired of the colors. They take many years to mature and removing an undesirable tree can be costly. So it is best to consider and plan carefully.
Several factors should be considered with your tree selection. Hardiness assures it will survive our Wisconsin winters. Heat tolerance indicates if trees are acclimated to our hot summers. The two factors together assure the tree is suitable for our seasons and area.
Your tree choice will be influenced by its mature size; the level of maintenance required; the aesthetic or functional features of the tree and for how many seasons of the year; limiting insect or disease issues; and the life span of the tree (this can vary widely). The initial cost and size may be a factor. Always look for quality and value, not just price. It is best to purchase from a local reputable source. For some, whether the tree is native or potentially invasive are important factors (the two are not the same). And most of all, consider what you want.
The planting site itself will help you define your selection choices. Some issues to consider are: How much space is available for both roots and the crown, now and at maturity? What is the soil type? How much moisture and light are available?
The tree you plant has a lot of potential. Some benefits of trees include seasonal temperature modification and evaporative cooling in summer. They provide shade and serve as windbreaks. Property values are increased and aesthetics improved. Undesirable views can be screened or assets enhanced. Air quality improves with tree cover. Trees can provide habitat for and attract wildlife if desired.
With proper tree selection, benefits can be maximized. Match the tree’s needs with the site and your desires. This will minimize plant health issues and reduce maintenance costs that often require the expertise of a certified arborist.
Selecting and planting a tree(s) is something that we can do for our own future as well as that of our children and grandchildren. Plan carefully and think ahead. Planned replacement for trees that may be lost in the future makes a lot of sense. “Starter” trees can be put in before removing a tree to make the change less radical. New trees can be added as the site permits and you desire.
If you are wondering what tree selection is appropriate for your immediate or future needs, the experts at Wachtel Tree Science & Service can advise you, find your tree, and install it for you.
© Copyright 2004 – Wachtel Tree Science & Service, Inc.