How To Ten Things You Should Know Before You Plant Trees In Your Yard

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    If you are doing some landscaping or maybe you just purchased a new home and are getting ready to plant a few Trees there are some precautions that you should consider before picking Trees that will outgrow your home.

    When considering trees that are near your home you have many factors to consider.

    First is will the tree spread end up extending over your home. This is really not a good thing and all areas will have storms that could cause a branch to fall on your home causing major damage.

    Second the potential height of the tree must be at a distance where it will neither fall on your home or vehicles. If the tree spread will not reach over your home you also do not want a tree close enough that if it was to be uprooted in a storm that it could reach your home when it falls.

    Third is will the tree propagate easily and take over your yard or surrounding area. Some trees have the ability to propagate through their seeds very easily and other such as bamboo will do so through its roots. Whatever method they use to multiply you want to make sure you keep it under control. For instance Nut Trees such as an Oak that has Acorns will spread but since Squirrels will collect the nuts you don’t have many resulting trees. On the other hand if an Oak is planted over your driveway you will get dings in your car and never consider something like a walnut near your home. They are dirty trees with baseball sized nuts and you don’t want to consider them near a home.

    Fourth is the variety of tree normally considered to have weak limbs? Then don’t plant it near your home. There are a number of trees that naturally have weak branches and even if they are healthy they are known to drop them. Don’t place them in your near yard.

    Fifth If the tree is fruit bearing keep distance from your home so you do not have bees nesting under your eves, decks and basically anywhere they can find a small opening. I have seen a lot of people think they can plant apple, pear and cherry trees in their yard only to find out that they attract a large number of bees. It is best to have a property where you can distance fruit trees at least 200 feet from your home and if you want to grow a small orchard then that distance should be farther.

    Sixth Is the tree a high pollen generator then don’t plant it near your home if you have allergies. Pollen will travel some distance during the windy times of spring so even if you don’t have trees in your yard you will still get quite a lot of it. On the other hand some trees are just pollen machines. Any type of flowering tree such as a cherry or tulip poplar is going to generate a lot of pollen and most people will understand that fruit trees can be a problem but one of the higher generators of pollen is the willow tree. Additionally when you get into Oaks or large trees the sheer amount of pollen that a 100 foot tall tree can generate will far outweigh a smaller ornamental tree.

    Seven Distance from utility lines is very important. Although normally you won’t be charged for any damage that your trees do to power lines and other utilities there is always that possibility if you have been put on notice that the tree needs to be removed. Normally you won’t even have a choice if your tree is too close in in danger of causing problems. The Electric Company will do service calls to your area and schedule a tree company to cut branches or even take your whole tree down.  This can be true for large oaks or even something small like a large spruce. If you are planting these trees for a reason such as a wind break or privacy it will be a large loss that can take decades to regrow so keep your distance no matter what variety of tree you plant.

    Eight damaging your water and sewer service is another problem that happens all the time. From the street service to your home you are liable for all repairs to your system so never plant any tree close enough that its roots could reach your service lines. Underground Gas Lines and Electrical are also a problem so just like you would if you are digging you can call your utility company and they should send a truck out to mark all of your services before you make a bad choice.

    Nine will the foliage from the tree get stuck in your gutters then you might want to give yourself some extra distance or plant another variety. Normally it is better to plant a pine near your home and trees with foliage some distance from your home. Although trees normally drop their leaves overnight when it is cold you never know when a storm can hit and fill your gutters with leaves and have them overflowing once they are clogged. Taking this precaution means you won’t need to clean your gutters and its one job thats not very fun.

    Ten will your trees block the good sun of the winter that will help heat your home. Heat gain in the winter on a sunny day can increase the temperature in your home 10 or more degrees. In my home if there is good sun and the temperature is over 40F then most of the day my heater won’t even run. When it gets a little colder out that sun is still helping reduce the amount of time my heater runs during the day. Pines will block the sun year round and trees with foliage will block summer sun and let most of the winter sun through. However even when trees drop their leaves the branches can still block the sun. For that reason it might be better that you don’t plant large trees that block the sun unless you are in the south where blocking summer heat is more important than heat gain in the winter. In that case a taller tree with leaves will help a lot.


    Final Note

    There are many considerations when planting any type of plant. Whether you are planting bushes or tulips or Oak Trees that can reach 100 foot tall you should always understand not only how that plant will be while it is growing but how you will live with it once it reaches its potential height.

    For the most part home owners over plant their yards and plant everything too close to their home and too close to each other.

    Remember that you not only want to account for your own property but that of your neighbor. If you fill your yard with trees that attract bees, birds or dump a lot of leaves in your neighbors yard or maybe even fall during a storm then you aren’t a good neighbor.



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