Secrets to Functional Landscaping- Part 1 Tree Placement
Here are a few simple steps to keep in mind when placing a tree:
1. How tall and wide will the tree be at maturity.
2. How fast does the tree grow.
3. Think about other structures close to the tree that could be affected by root growth.
4. Learn about the tree’s root structure and how large it can be.
Some of these things may seem like common sense, but I frequently see these mistakes made in many yards.
What not to do:
Many times I've seen Swedish Aspen trees being placed within a few feet of a home. Swedish Aspens, while staying columnar and narrow (about 3 feet wide at maturity), grow to be between 35 and 45 feet tall. This means in 5-6 years it will be taller than most homes. This can obstruct views out of windows and even cause damage in a wind storm.
Blue Spruce trees are also a very common tree that is not placed functionally. Blue Spruce can grow to be 30 feet tall and 12 feet wide with large, strong root structures that can lift concrete curbing or even push on home foundations. Blue Spruce are beautiful trees and can really add a lot to a design, but should be placed in an area with lots of space to grow like a large berm on the edge of a property line.
What to do:
An example of a tree that functions appropriately in close proximity to a home is a Japanese Maple. These trees come in many different varieties and grow very slow. They never exceed 12 by 5 feet in height and width in Utah.
By following these simple guidelines you can ensure the success of trees in your landscape. You will not have to remove your costly investment after only a short time in your yard.