The Importance of Planting Right the Tree in the Right Place

Why is it important to plant the right tree in the right place as opposed to the wrong tree in the wrong place? Here are the reasons why:

Planting the Wrong Tree in the Wrong Place Is…

  • Aesthetically detrimental: The tree may outgrow it’s spot and come into conflict with buildings, roadways, and hurt or destroy landscapes and lawns thus reducing liveability of property and property values.
  • Expensive: A misplaced tree may have to be pruned or removed in the future at great expense and causing a negative environmental impact.
  • Damaging to infrastructure, which is expensive to repair: A misplaced tree may eventually cause infrastructure damage (to sidewalks, driveways, house foundations, underground utilities, lawns, landscape and irrigations systems).
  • Inconvenient: A misplaced tree may eventually block or cause damage to driveways, sidewalks, roadways, windows and street lights and come into conflict with buildings. Moreover, a misplaced tree may result in cracked foundations and patios, broken water pipes, clogged sewer pipes and rain drains, and come into conflict with and cause damage to roadways,  sidewalks, and overhead utility wires.
  • Environmentally detrimental: Having to remove a misplaced mature tree is not only a waste of financial resources and human energy, but it is detrimental to the environment. This because when a mature tree is removed, all the benefits a large tree provides humans and the environment are lost. 
  • Decreases liveability: Trees too large for the area will take over a small yard and decrease usability of the yard and make the yard appear smaller. 
  • Conflicts with neighbors: Misplaced trees often grow to where they are over-hanging neighbor’s property causing bad neighborly relations that may last for years. Some people may be forced to move because of this problem.
  • Decreases home value: Trees that are too large for the yard make the yard appear smaller than it really is.

Planting the Right tree in the Right Place Is Beneficial…

  • Aesthetically: A well placed tree enhances the landscape, the house and property.
  • Economically: A well placed tree saves on future tree care, and adds assessed value to one’s property.
  • Environmentally:
  • And it feels good, brings joy and pleasure to people because it’s the right tree in the right place

Proactive Tree Care

  • Placing the right tree in the right place is not only good for the planet and is the right thing to do, but it has many other benefits as well. This includes…
  • Saving money in the long run by properly caring for trees. Proactive or preventive tree care is always less expensive than crisis management tree care.
  • It makes sense economically and environmentally to care for a tree before it causes damage or is a hazard. This involves putting the right tree in the right spot to begin with and then properly caring for it along the way.

Examples of Proactive Tree Care

  • Choose the right tree for the right place in the first place.
  • Before buying property that has trees on it, hire an experienced ISA Certified Arborist do conduct a  walkthrough to identify possible tree issues.
  • Before planting a tree in your yard, learn as much as possible about the tree first to insure that it’s the right tree for the spot. This means knowing the tree’s growth habits, mature size, soil volume requirements, water and sun exposure requirements, soil type preferred, care and maintenance requirements.
  • Seek consultation from an experienced ISA Certified Arborist.
  • Properly plant the tree.
  • Learn how to care for that species of trees. Some trees need more water than others. Some need to be pruned more often than others. Some have faster growth rates than others. Some require more care than others. Some are messier than others. Learn the growth habits of the tree: what is its mature height and width. How tall will it get? Does it like sun or shade? What type of soil does it prefer? Much of this info can be obtained from the internet, but this info can be incorrect. For example, trees grow differently in the coastal areas of the Pacific Northwest than in the high desert of the PNW. Southern California, Texas and Minnesota all have different growing conditions than the Willamette Valley. When obtaining information about a tree’s growing habits, seek information from local PNW growers, nurseries or the forestry departments of local universities (e.g. OSU or WSU).
  • When the tree is still young, structurally prune the small tree, so that it will develop a strong and aesthetically pleasing branching structure as it mature. 
  • Make a large mulched planting circles around the tree when it is placed in a lawn area.
  • Apply a well-balanced mulch (like wood chips from a tree service or composted garden mulch) around the tree’s root zone to replicate the tree’s native forested environment as much as possible.
  • Learn what disease or pest problems the tree might have before purchasing and planting. Knowing this can save a lot of money. An experienced ISA Certified Arborist can help.
  • Installment of root barriers between the tree and sidewalks, driveways, patios, foundations and walls.
  • Have an experienced ISA Certified Arborist walk through your property and evaluate your tree care needs every couple or three years, or after a serious weather event such as a wind, snow or ice storm. Look for hazard tree situations.
  • Educate yourself on what to look for with regard to hazard trees and plant health care needs. The property owner is the first line of defense—the eyes and ears on the ground—against hazard trees and plant health care issues. After that, consult an ISA Certified Arborist who also has an ISA Tree Risk Assessment Qualification.

Dealing With Problem Trees

Here are some suggestion on what do when a tree outgrows its spot and you don’t want to remove the tree:

Root Problems

  • Roots causing problems for infrastructure: selectively cut roots and or install root barrier.
  • Roots lifting cement surfaces: install pavers, decorative gravel or flexible surfaces in place of immovable hard surfaces.
  • Roots destroying lawn: cover the roots with topsoil and raise the level of the lawn.

Shade Issues

  • Lawn shaded out: plant shade tolerant grass or turn lawn into moss garden.
  • Too much shade to house or yard area. Thin tree crown or raise crown to allow more light to come through.

Structural Weakness Issues With Your Tree

  • Install cables or bolts in weak trunks and branches.
  • Thin out limbs on heavy or weak branches to reduce the weight and the likelihood of branch or trunk failure.

Stressed, Weak or Unhealthy Looking Trees

  • Deep root fertilize the tree
  • Learn how to care for your ailing tree by giving it what it needs to return to health including proper watering and mulch.
  • Apply pesticides as a last resort only when necessary.

If you have any questions about your trees, call Good News Tree Service, Inc. in Wilsonville. We serve the greater Wilsonville, Oregon area. Please contact us at (503) 682-9466 or email us at

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