Tree planting requires some homework


Trees are the most productive filters on the planet. From their canopy to their roots, trees help improve water quality, reduce erosion and flooding, take in carbon dioxide, and remove air pollution. A healthy tree should start with careful planning and research.

By preparing a simple layout prior to planting any trees or large shrubbery, a landscape that tames winds and provides ample shade will easily be attainable. Properly placing trees will help you avoid nearby buildings and powerlines which can cause long term issues as well as help increase the value of your property through aesthetics. Some things that should be taken into consideration for each tree or shrub when creating a landscape plan are:

• Height: Will the tree bump into anything when it is fully grown?

• Canopy spread: How wide will the tree grow? Remember that the roots will grow two to three times wider than the canopy.

• Shape: A columnar tree will need less space than a round or pyramidal shaped tree.

• Growth rate: Slow growing trees typically have a longer life span than fast growing trees.

• Hardiness zone: Will the tree be able to survive and thrive in the weather of the area?

• Deciduous or Evergreen: Will it loose its leaves in the winter?

• Soil, Sun and Moisture needs: Does the landscape have the needs for the tree to survive and thrive?

• Fruit-bearing trees: Will there be a mess to clean up, is it near a sidewalk or heavily trafficked area?

By consciously planning and selecting each tree, you can maximize its benefits. On the Arbor Day Foundation, you can discover the individual benefits of a tree and help make a more educated idea of what tree would be the best to plant in your landscape. Visit to see all the tools that are available, including an online application that estimates the carbon dioxide and air pollution a tree removes, as well as how the tree is impacting stormwater and your property value. This interactive site puts those benefits into dollar and cent values so you can see the long-term value and benefit of trees.

Consider where you plant trees and make sure to plant the right tree in the right place. The Delaware Soil and Water Conservation District can assist as well. Please visit our website at or call us at 740-368-1921, it could potentially save you time, money, and frustration by being better informed.

By Sarah Kidd

Delaware Soil & Water Conservation District

Sarah Kidd is the communications & outreach coordinator at the Delaware Soil & Water Conservation District. For information, go to

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