Planting Trees – Where To Place Landscape And Fruit Trees
The full potential of a great lanscape or fruit tree may never be realized if it is planted in an incorrect location. Avoid making this needless but potentially costly mistake.
There are many criteria to consider when choosing a landscaping or fruit tree for the garden. When the choice has been made, the question then arises as to where they should be planted. While this may seem obvious, and simply a matter of common sense, judging by the number of needless mistakes one sees both in private and even public gardens, it is necessary to be aware of some basic guidelines on this issue.
Planting trees near paths and entrances
It is unfortunately not uncommon to find a young tree planted a couple meters from a path. The usual rationale is that branches which in the future are liable to disturb passers by, can “always be pruned.” This is absolutely the wrong attitude to take towards the tree. It cannot be cut, severed and butchered at will, without exacting a price, most probably a heavy one, in terms of its future health and longevity. Furthermore, chopping branches short (as opposed to pruning them back to their base) ruins the natural flow and direction of the branch, as well as leaving a permanently ugly wound. The correct distance therefore between the tree and the path, should be a couple of meters at least, added on to the approximate radius of any particular species. (The radius being the distance between the edge of the tree’s canopy and the trunk).
How far should shade trees be planted from the house?
It is generally accepted, although not absolutely essential, that shade trees in hot, dry, and Mediterranean climates be deciduous, that is bare of leaves during the winter. While the shade provided by the foliage cools the house down during the summer, the absence of foliage allows the sun’s rays to warm the house in the winter. To be most effective, the tree’s canopy should rise above the house. This is not always desirable though, as dark, gloomy, claustrophobic conditions could be unintentionally created, while the height of the tree could be out of scale with the building. It is also inappropriate of course where solar energy units have been installed on the roof.
In such circumstances, the shade tree should be planted far enough from the house so that it does not tower over it, yet be close enough so that the shadow from the hot afternoon sun does help to cool down the house, at least to some extent. So again it’s necessary to know the radius of the mature tree’s canopy. The tree should ideally be planted therefore on the south west side of the house. If an evergreen species is used, then it should be tall enough to allow the lower angle of the winter sun’s rays to warm the house somewhat.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
My name is Jonathan Ya'akobi.I've been gardening in a professional capacity since 1984.I am the former head gardener of the Jerusalem Botanical Garden, but now concentrate on building gardens for private home owners.I also teach horticulture to students on training courses.I'd love to help you get the very best from your garden,so you're welcome to visit me on http://www.dryclimategardening.com