You might feel hesitant to include trees in your landscape because of their size, but there are plenty of benefits that greatly outweigh this small detail.
Besides providing shade for your yard, trees also make the air cleaner and cooler around the premises. You can also say “sayonara” to curious eyes and ears, thanks to the added privacy these majestic natural towers offer.
Have you decided that trees are essential to your landscape? Don’t jump ahead just yet; you still have to determine how to incorporate these into the design to achieve aesthetics, functionality, and safety.
To help you do so, here are five of the best tips for using trees in landscapes, according to tree service professionals in Midlothian, VA:
Choose a Site Before Anything Else
The site where you intend to plant a tree is the first thing you need to think about before anything else.
And yes, it should be decided even before you think about your purpose for having one in your landscape. After all, your reason for having a tree in your yard can change, but, in most cases, you cannot alter how much space is available for it.
Think about where you intend to plant your tree, as it would help you narrow down your options. Small trees go into small areas while big ones need more space.
Before planting, you also need to research how big the tree can get once it reaches maturity. Never think that that little sapling you’re looking at now will not grow and fill in the space.
Aside from its size, you also need to consider how close it will be to the surrounding structures in the future. You don’t want your tree where it might obstruct traffic or grow into power lines and the side of your home.
Decide on a Purpose
Trees have plenty of benefits, but not all of them can be achieved with a single kind. For this reason, you’ll have to think about your primary purpose for adding this natural tower to your landscape. This will also help you choose the perfect tree for that specific purpose later.
Are you planting for shade, privacy, or beauty? Perhaps you’re after food from fruit-bearing trees or even those with other edible parts (maple syrup, anyone?).
The key is to think about why you decided to plant one in the first place.
If you’re after privacy and year-round foliage, lots of evergreen trees offer more than enough. As for shade, giant shade trees are your best bet in lowering your energy bills, especially when they are placed on the southern or western side of the property.
Whatever your purpose may be, careful planning will ensure that your chosen tree won’t give you headaches later.
Pick Your Tree Wisely
The addition of trees should be carefully thought through as it would greatly affect your landscape’s overall appearance and functionality. To do so, you have several factors to consider:
Tree Height and Width
As mentioned earlier, the size of the tree is important in the tree selection process in landscaping. This covers both the height and width of the tree.
The height, for instance, determines whether it can affect overhead structures, like power lines. It may also come in contact with other nearby trees.
The tree’s width is also a critical factor you must think about. Some trees have a spreading canopy (more on this later) with a narrow trunk, which means that the ground-level views won’t be affected as much.
However, massive evergreens may cause a hindrance to traffic, especially when placed along the curbside. You have to be very careful when choosing and researching each candidate’s potential size upon maturity.
A tree will always attempt to reach the size it is meant to grow into. It’s best to pick the right one rather than fighting their very nature.
This is still related to the tree’s size, though somewhat different as well.
The tree’s canopy describes the overall shape of a tree’s upper half. A canopy varies depending on the layering of leaves and branches covering the ground as viewed from above.
But why is this important? Like the tree’s height, canopies may also have a significant effect on surrounding buildings and structures. You can’t have branches banging on your roof on a windy day.
Different canopies also affect the shade your yard will get once it reaches full maturity (e.g., dappled, light, or dense shade). Knowing a tree’s specific canopy will allow you to plan how your landscape will look like with trees, existing or new.
Besides the tree itself, you might also want to think about the amount and type of debris it is expected to drop. Does it have fragile branches that break off even without strong winds? Or maybe seed pods, nuts, and fruits fall from it?
The debris will determine the level of maintenance required for having such a tree in your yard. It will also affect the function and safety of the site it is planted in.
Consider Plants for Light Conditions Underneath Trees
Remember the tree canopy and how it affects the amount of shade or sunlight it lets through? This is where you can use this information in landscaping.
Certain tree canopies – like that of magnolias and maples – let dappled sunlight through their boughs, but most evergreens allow zero sunlight near their trunks. This means that certain trees are great for landscape designs that entail placing plants underneath them while others are not.
When you already have a tree in place, you’ll have to choose your plants wisely. Research or observe species that work well under the amount of shade the tree can provide. You should also note the time of day when the spot underneath and around the tree gets sunlight and matches it with plant varieties with similar requirements.
Most evergreens – those that don’t let sunlight through – can work well with deep-shade foliage like ferns and hostas. These thrive under the shade, which means they can be planted nearest the tree trunk.
As for maples and magnolia trees that allow partial sunlight through, you can pick plants like coral bells and lily of the valley and place them within the perimeter of the branches.
Be Careful with the Roots
When planting underneath trees, you have to be extra careful not to damage the tree’s roots. Some trees have roots that are near the surface, which can be easily damaged during digging.
Rather than using a big shovel, go with a hand trowel instead. This will let you dig up just enough soil for new plants without damaging the tree’s roots.
It would be even better if you can hire tree service experts in Chesterfield, VA to do it. Aside from having the right tools for the job, they are also experienced in all things related to trees, so they can work carefully without causing harm to your precious tree.
Landscaping with Trees
Landscaping with trees doesn’t always come as an easy task. But since the result provides plenty of benefits, you can find ways to overcome the challenge and get the most out of it instead. Consider the top tips listed here to make things easier.