Choosing the Right Plant for the Right Place

We have all heard the phrase “Square peg in a round hole” at some point in our life.  This phrase can be directly connected to tree care and landscaping. In the same way as a square peg cannot fit in a round hole, proper selection of the plant / tree for the right location is critical for the long-term health of our plants and trees. Whether the landscaping is performed by a homeowner or a professional, choosing the right spot and type of plant is vitally important.

Working as Arborists for 770 Tree Guy, we encounter this problem daily. Sometimes, we are addressing trees and/or shrubs planted too close to a home which now require structural clearance pruning. Often, we encounter situations where a tree’s health is struggling, either because spacing was way too close or the tree requires full sun but is in the shade. The Leyland Cypress is the most common misplaced tree. We frequently see these trees planted too close together. The Red Maple is also a commonly misplaced tree. Maples are generally considered understory trees requiring some shade. If they are placed in full sun, they can become scorched. In the same way that a tomato plant cannot grow well in the shade, trees must be given the right conditions to flourish.

As a homeowner, it is difficult to change what a previous homeowner or landscape company has already installed. A wise first step is to utilize your available resources, such as neighbors, social media, and the best choice, a certified arborist from 770 Tree Guy, to help identify the species of plants and trees in your yard. After your plants are identified, we can do some research and give an informed perspective on the genetic growth potential for the trees and shrubs in our yard. At this point, we can help you recognize which plants will grow too large or cause crowding. If the tree or shrub is small enough, we can transplant to a new and preferable location. At 770 Tree Guy, we recommend transplanting in the late fall to early spring, to reduce stress on the tree. Sometimes, removal is the only option. It is cheaper and easier to remove a tree while it is smaller, rather than waiting until it is larger.

When deciding to plant your own trees or shrubs, it is critical to understand how big (genetic growth potential) the tree or shrub will get, and what are the sun / shade requirements for each. In the tree industry, that is known as site species selection, but is more simply referred to as “the right plant in the right place”. Let’s put the square peg in the square hole. By doing this, you can enjoy your landscape long-term with fewer headaches and maintenance costs.