Right Tree, Right Place

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Proper location planning can help you get the most from your trees while helping avoid power service interruptions and other costly mistakes.

Each tree has its likes and dislikes: different tolerances to salt and pollution, and vastly different soil and water requirements. The first challenge is to choose a tree that is Florida-friendly in that it is well suited to our semi-tropical climate. Following that, the goal is to plant that tree in a specific location that gives it the greatest chance for survival over the long term. While we are one City, available water and the soil, as well as sun exposure and available space, differs from neighborhood to neighborhood.

Take a look at the Arbor Day Foundation Tree Shape Guide

Trees planted in the wrong place also cause serious problems: clogged sewers, cracked sidewalks and blocked views leading to safety hazards. They can even dangerously conflict with overhead power lines. In addition to choosing the right tree for our climate and your conditions, you should also select a specific space that allows your tree plenty of room to spread its roots and branches.

When selecting your tree? Questions to Ask

The following is a list of questions to ask yourself when deciding which trees to plant. Knowing the answers will help guide you to a specific variety. Think about these questions, and discuss your answers with your local garden center or landscape planner.

  • Why is this tree being planted?
  • Is it for shade, for beauty, as a boundary, for place-making, to provide fruit, as part of a wildlife habitat?
  • Can the tree grow in the site you have in mind?
  • Does it have the right salt and drought tolerance?
  • Can you dig a deep enough hole to properly hold the tree in place?
  • Will the tree's root structure cause any damage in the future?
  • What will be the ultimate height, spread and shape of the tree?
  • Are there buildings, signs or power lines in the way?
  • What shape will work best for your intended location?
  • Will the tree be hardy and flexible enough to withstand tropical storms, heavy rains or strong winds?
  • Which would serve you best: a deciduous or evergreen tree?
  • Can the tree add to your energy savings by being positioned to shade certain windows, your HVAC unit, etc.?
  • Are there existing tree regulations or other ordinances which might affect your selection?

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