One of the best investments a homeowner can make isn’t a swimming pool or a deck. Planting trees, when done correctly, will deliver pleasure — and financial rewards — for years to come.
The secret to tree-planting success, however, is two-fold: planting the right tree in the right location.
The Right Tree
There are many factors to consider when selecting a tree to plant on your property:
- How tall will it grow?
- How fast will it grow?
- How much sun does it need?
- What shape will it be at maturity?
- What temperature extremes can it withstand?
Visit www.arborday.org/states and click on your state to learn what hardiness zone you live in and what trees grow well in your area.
The Right Location
If you select the perfect tree but plant it in the wrong spot, you could cause problems for yourself, your neighbors and even utility workers in the future.
The illustration below shows what could be the most important tip in adding trees to your property. Never plant trees near a utility pole if those trees will grow more than 25 feet in height. Limbs growing into telecommunications or electricity lines can interrupt service for you and your neighbors, as well as cause additional work (sometimes dangerous work) for those who maintain the utility lines.
A pick and a shovel will be helpful, but the most important tool when planting trees is information. Your local nursery is often a great place to learn more about the varieties that grow well in your community. Every state has a forestry commission or department. And the Arbor Day Foundation (www.arborday.org) is one of the best-known resources to help homeowners make good tree-planting decisions.
Why plant a tree?*
- Trees can add value to your home — as much as 15% by some estimates.
- Trees can lower your heating bills by 10-20%.
- Trees can lower your cooling bills by 15-35%.
- Trees can provide shelter and food for songbirds and other wildlife.
Before you plant a tree:
- Look up to make sure the tree you are planting is far enough away from utility lines.
- Call “811” to have underground utilities located, to ensure you don’t dig into lines. You could interrupt power, broadband, phone, gas or water for you and your neighbors!