Plan before you plant- Tree Planting and Care
- Make a sketch of your property. Draw the location of buildings, power lines, underground utilities, existing plants, and cardinal directions (north, south, east, and west).
- Before you buy a tree, consider:
- The tree's mature height
- The tree's mature canopy size (length of branches)
- The tree's estimated life-span (for example, silver maples often live less than 80 years, while an oak might live 300 years or more)
- Choose the right tree. Consider the soil type, amount of sunlight, and drainage. Buy healthy trees from a reputable nursery. A "cheap" sapling from a discount retailer may end up costing much more because it may not be healthy or long-lived.
- Plant to save energy and money. For example, plant deciduous trees to the east or west of a house provides cooling shade in the summer, but allows warming sunlight in the winter. Planting conifers to the north and west can shelter a home from wind. Leave enough space between trees.
- Plant correctly. Plant at the right depth. Add 1 or 2 inches of mulch around the tree (but not right next to the bark). Make sure that the tree gets at least 1 inch of water a week.
- If you want expert help, contact your DNR forester, county extension office , or soil and water conservation district .