Article by: Matt Hogarth, Certified Arborist & CTSP

As an arborist, I am often asked what trees I recommend for certain places. This is an excellent question to ask as a high percentage of tree removals are a result of the tree outgrowing its location. I regularly see businesses planting trees for residential and commercial customers that look great initially, but eventually, they become too big for that particular location.

Unfortunately, there are companies that are more concerned with a sale than with actually helping you. An honest landscape company, tree company, or nursery, will help you consider the best location for your ideal tree. They’ll ask you plenty of questions to best understand your situation, and they’ll point out any limitations of the various trees you’re considering.

When you’re ready to choose your next tree, ask a professional these questions:

1.  What is the ideal tree for my situation?

Discuss what you are looking for in a tree and where exactly you’d like to plant it. Consider several options and weigh the pros and cons of each with the knowledgeable professional.

2. What will this tree look like in the future?

Be sure that you understand how big the tree will become over time, and how it will affect what’s around it. Will it still fit in the area that you’re going to plant it in 15 years from now?

3. Will the benefits of this tree outweigh any potential problems?

Every tree has its strengths and weaknesses. The River Birch (Betula nigra) is a good example of this conundrum. The tree may provide great shade and be visually appealing, but it also may give your lawn fits with surface root problems or be frustrating because of the debris that it creates.

Speaking with a professional and asking the right questions before choosing and planting a tree will save you plenty of frustration in the future, and it could ultimately save your tree.