course, we at Trees Direct can help you pick the right
tree(s) for any situation, however, below are a few
points to consider when choosing.
Buy Trees On Impulse!
the right trees for your southern landscape can make
a huge difference.
selection is one of the most important investment decisions
a property owner or developer makes when landscaping
a home or commercial property. Considering that most
trees have the potential to outlive the people who plant
them, the impact of this decision is one that can influence
a lifetime. Match the tree to the site, and both lives
most frequently asked of tree care professionals is
“Which kind of tree do you think I should plant?”
Before this question can be answered, a number of factors
need to be considered. Think about the following questions:
is the tree being planted? Do you want the tree to
provide shade, fruit, seasonal color, or act as a
windbreak or screen?
is the size and location of the planting site?
Does the space lend itself to a large, medium, or
there overhead or below-ground wires or utilities
in the vicinity?
you need to consider clearance for sidewalks, patios,
there other trees in the area?
type of soil conditions exist? Does the soil retain
moisture, or is it well-drained and tends to be dry?
finally, do you need a tree that will grow well in
sun, or shade?
answering these questions before selecting a tree will
help you choose the “right tree for the right
Form and Size
When making a selection about form,
consider mature tree size. Does the site require a narrower
growing tree or can it afford a wide growing tree? How
tall can the tree get where you are planting it?
a form and size that will fit the planting space provided.
Above is a diagram of basic tree shapes and height categories.
Below is a short list of some of our personal favorite
types of trees, selected for their outstanding performance
in the South:
height - Semi-dwarf crape myrtles and tree-form shrubs
height -Crape myrtles, Japanese Maples, purple leaf
height - Flowering cherry, Trident maple, riverbirch,
height - Maples, elms, bald cypress in dry soil, sourwood
height - Many oaks, gingko
height - Bald cypress in wet soil
Depending on your site restrictions,
you can choose from among hundreds of combinations of
form and size. You might choose a small-spreading tree
such as crape myrtle in a location with overhead utility
lines. You might choose from a variety of evergreen
trees to provide a visual barrier between two homes
or buildings. You may choose large, vase-shaped trees
such as Drake elm to create an arbor over a driveway
or city street.
Selecting a tree that will thrive in
a given set of site conditions is the key to long-term
tree survival. The following is a list of the site conditions
to consider before selecting a tree for planting:
conditions - If the soil at the site is moisture
retentive select trees such as riverbirch, weeping
willow, bald cypress, or the evergreen weeping yaupon
holly. The bald cypress will even grow in standing
water! Red maples, Nutalli oaks and southern magnolias
also tolerate damp soils. On the other hand, trees
such as crape myrtles, redbuds, and dogwoods prefer
(sun or shade) - If the site receives sun all day
long you definitely don't want to plant a tree such
as a dogwood. Dogwoods prefer shade or morning sun
only. Other trees such as crape myrtles like it sunny,
while others, such as magnolias and redbud will tolerate
sun or partial shade.
constraints - You wouldn't want to plant
an oak that grows 50' + tall and 40' wide too close
to your home or directly under powerlines. Instead,
use smaller growing, mid-size trees such as Trident
Maple (to 25' tall) or Crape Myrtles (from 10 - 25'
tall). Riverbirch is a soft textured tree that can
be used to frame a home or building, just plant them
12 to 15' off the corner. Also, make sure not to plant
large growing shade trees too close to concrete or
asphalt surfaces, swimming pools, foundations, or
septic systems and lines. The root systems of weeping
willows are highly invasive, so make sure to plant
them at least 30' away or more from septic lines and
Summary - Before you make your final decisions,
make sure the trees you have selected are “hardy”
in your area and that you are planting them in the
of the trees you just purchased as a lifetime investment.
How well your trees grow depends on the type of tree
and location you select for planting, the care you provide
when the tree is planted, and follow-up care the tree
receives after planting.
Trees - The ideal time to plant trees and shrubs
is during the dormant season - in the fall after leaf
drop or early spring before budbreak - however, both
field and container grown trees can be planted any time
Planting Tips - Go
here to find detailed planting instructions for
Care - Go here to find instruction
regarding the care of trees.
preferences play a major role in the selection process.
Now that your homework is done, you are ready to select
a species for the planting site you have chosen. Make
sure to use the information you have gathered about
your site conditions, and balance it with the aesthetic
decisions you make related to your personal preferences.
species must be:
suitable for the geographic region (hardy)
tolerant to the moisture and drainage conditions of
be resistant to pests and diseases in your area
and have the right form and size for the site and
function you have envisioned.
the beautiful picture of a tree you looked at in a magazine
or book was taken of a specimen that is growing vigorously
because it was planted in the right place. If your site
conditions tell you the species you selected will not
do well under those conditions, do not be disappointed
when the tree does not perform in the same way.
if you have any questions, Trees Direct is there to
help you. It is better to get a professional involved
early to help you make the right decision than to call
him or her later to ask if you made the wrong decision.
If you have planted a tree purchased from Trees Direct,
and you think there may be a problem developing with
that tree, please be sure to give us a call as quickly
as possible. The sooner you call, the sooner we can
begin to offer our expert advice.
you need further assistance, or have any questions call:
678-677-5931. Steven Whatley
- Sales Manager