Select and plant trees and shrubs

Trees and shrubs come in all shapes and sizes. How you select your trees and shrubs and how to plant them will directly affect your home's comfort and energy efficiency.

Trees and shrubs have a life span of many years and may become more attractive and functional with age. But poor planning of landscape improvements often creates problems. Ensure proper plant placement-targeted and minimal maintenance beforeyou plant!

Shape Characteristics

Tree shapes are very diverse-thinking of the difference in shape between an oak and a spruce. The “shadow” section under “Climate, site and considerations eration” above describes how to use different tree and shrub characteristics to maximum advantage when landscaping.

The density of a tree's leaves or needles is important to consider. Close ever greens and spruce make great breaks for the winter wind. If you only seek to avoid the summer winds, choose a tree or shrub with more open branches and leaves. Such trees are also good to file into Sunday morning from the east, while denser trees are better for blocking harsh afternoon summer sun.


Should you plant slow-growing or fast growing tree species? Although a slow-growing tree may require many years of growth before it shades your , it will generally live longer than a fast-growing tree. Also, because slow-growing trees often have deeper roots and stronger branches, they are less prone to breakage by windstorms or heavy snow loads. And they can be more drought resistant than fast growing trees.

Consider the growth, strength and brit-tleness when locating signs trees near walkways or structures. Ask whether the mature tree's root system is likely to damage side walks, foundations, or sewer lines. The smaller your yard, the more important it is to choose a tree with manageable roots.

Selecting, Final Planning and Purchasing

Landscape professionals can help you choose and locate new trees, shrubs, or ground cover. Share your drawings and tentative ideas with your local nursery or landscape contractor. As long as you have defined intended uses and spaces in which planting is actually possible, did a competent nursery or landscape specialist will be able to help you make decisions.

By planting trees, shrubs, hedges or bushes, find out how large the mature specimen will grow. In all cases, determine the distance of maturesizes. For those plants close to your for at least 1 foot (30 cm) of extra clearance between the full-grown shrub and the wall at home. This will prevent heavy pruning or damage to home siding in the future.

After the placement of your trees and consulting landscaping and nursery professionals, go back to your drawings or plans and add the new information on species, shape, and mature-size spacing. This gives a final, prepurchase review to ensure that all elements will work well together in the short and long term.

When you're ready to buy your trees and shrubs, avoid buying damaged specimens. Thoroughly inspect the bark, limbs, and roots to ensure that the plant was handled carefully during growing, digging, and shipping. Reject plant population with signs of insects or disease (cocoons, egg masses, cankers, or lesions).

When buying plants, be sure to keep the small root hairs damp and shade at all times. The plants will not survive if these root hairs are allowed to dry before planting.

Contact your county extension agents, public libraries, local nurseries, landscape architects, landscape contractors, state and local energy offices for additional information on regionally appropriate plants and their .