COS150 Tree Challenge: How to select your tree

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You decide to add a tree to your yard, but how will you ever choose the right one? Selecting a new tree can be fun and exciting, but it can be overwhelming too.

Here are seven tips that will help you make the right decision when choosing your tree.

Location, location, location

Don't forget to add your newly planted tree to our tree tracker! 

Add your tree

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When you are choosing a tree, you want to pick a spot in your yard that you think a tree would look good. You need to choose between the front yard and back yard.

Look up and around

Once you pick a spot in your yard look around it and see what is around the area that you have chosen. Are there other trees, rocks, power lines, house or existing landscape? That will help you will decide how tall and how wide the tree can get. As an example, you do not want a tree that is going to grow to 40-50 feet tall when you have power lines above it. In a few years you will have to remove the tree, defeating your purpose.

Look down

IMPORTANT!! You will need to do a line locate with your local utility company so they can check to see if there are any gas, cable or utility lines in the area you want to plant your tree.  This is a very important and a REQUIRED step before any tree can be planted.


What is your purpose for your tree? If it is for privacy, you  may want a tree that is fast growing or an evergreen tree that will give you privacy throughout all the seasons. Are you picking a tree to add more color to your yard? If so,  do you want blooms in the spring, color in the fall or both? Are you picking a tree that you want to fill a spot in your existing landscape and cannot get too big?

Sunlight vs. Shade

    When you have the right spot picked for your tree, make sure that you know how much sunlight it will get throughout the day. Certain types of trees like to have sun all day long and some trees like to have partial shade.

    Water is life

    One of the most important factors is how your new tree be watered? Will it be watered by supplemental water (drip irrigation, sprinkler system or manually watering it with a hose or buckets)?  Is it in a spot that stays extremely wet from drainage? Is the new tree spot really dry and therefore will require additional water?

    Soil type

    What kind of soil does the new tree spot have? When you plant your tree you need to know what kind of soil amendments to add to your soil. The soil amendments help with aeration in your soil to allow water and nutrients to reach the root system of the new tree and help it get established.

    Follow these tips and enjoy the process. Happy selecting!

    This article was submitted by Harding Nursery, a marketing partner of the COS 150: Tree Challenge. Remember, once you select a tree and plant it, be sure to add it to the tree tracker so that it counts toward the citywide goal of 18,071 new trees in celebration of our 150th anniversary, or sesquicentennial.




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