15. Select the right tree for the right place

When we plant a tree, we are making a long-term commitment. Often people plant without considering the relationship between the tree and the place it is planted. Whether we plant a single tree at our home or a whole grove at the park, we need to consider all the variables before choosing a species and a location.

Areas of Interest: Fun for Kids, Looking Around, Physical Labor, Thinking, Investigating
Ingredients: Good judgment, young tree, shovel, gloves, fertilizer tablets, tree stakes, tree ties, water
Directions: Take a look at the planting area. What size tree will work best? Most trees are small and cute when you plant them. Some remain dainty; others mature to be large and majestic. Be sure to allow a minimum distance from trees to buildings (20-30 feet); trees to swimming pools (20-30 feet); trees to concrete (8-15 feet); and trees to other trees (20-30 feet). Check to make sure you are not planting under overhead wires or digging into underground utilities.
Consider the growing conditions. Is the soil generally dry or does it often get saturated and flooded with irrigation or rainwater? Will it produce fruit and create an unnecessary mess?
Once you understand your environment, seek your local nursery’s help to identify species fitting your circumstances and interests. Additional information sources are the U.C. Cooperative Extension Service, the Master Gardener Program, or a certified arborist.