TREES – WHAT and WHERE TO PLANT 

Many of our clients and friends ask me what type of trees we recommend for planting in residential communities.   A great question because there are so many terrific choices.  We love trees!  Who doesn’t?  Wonderful memories come to mind climbing trees as a child.  Today, we all appreciate the shade provided on a hot day and the protection provided from high winds.  Most of all, we are grateful for the beauty that a gorgeous tree adds to one’s home, and collectively, to one’s street.  The splendour of all towns and cities is enhanced when the streets are lined with trees.  Near to our community, the north end of Orillia, Ontario is a prime example of what can be accomplished.  These trees add tremendous real estate value to all the homes in the neighbourhood.  With a little planning your home could be next!

So, let’s begin.  Coniferous or Deciduous?  Or more simply, evergreen (green all year) or a tree with leaves (that change with the seasons)?  Let’s assume we are talking about the front yard of a typical city lot.  Regarding evergreens for example, beware, or be aware: that a cute little Blue Spruce offered at your local Garden Centre is going to reach a diameter of 25-30 ft. and will potentially take over the whole front yard!  In addition, this variety adds very little aesthetic value to the neighbourhood when compared to what a deciduous tree offers.  A good example of a street lined with conifers is Hurlwood Avenue, near the Orillia Square Mall, see the Google Map below.

As you can see, conifers running along the street boulevard give the viewer a feeling of being squeezed, like having large walls on either side of you.  Deciduous trees like Maples invite the viewer in, without obstruction, and provide a canopy which provide a feeling of comfort to the subconscious, check out the beautifully colored trees below.

So, unless you have a very large front yard, our opinion in consultation is to recommend a deciduous variety.

Next question: Where to plant on the front yard?  If you are living on a boulevard, we recommend a larger hardwood species.  Maple, Oak or Locust are preferred as they reach an ultimate height of 50 feet or more.  Many cities, including Orillia, have subsidies available to supply and install these trees.  Our view is that larger trees are a better choice over mid-size trees, such as Crab Apples.  Mid-size trees are better utilized for the front lawn (15-30 feet in height.) where their canopies won’t have to be pruned in the future to prevent obstruction of driver views and possible contact with vehicles.

Tree Placement is very important.  Most often, subject to the lot, we recommend placing the tree on the side opposite the driveway, about two thirds over and closer to the sidewalk, but not on city property.  This location allows your front door to remain the focal point and adds balance to the driveway and garage if part of the property.  Always keep in mind any overhead wires and neighbouring trees.

Next month we’ll will offer advice on the choice of species as well as how and when to plant.  The planet needs more trees so let’s all help her out and plant one (or more) this spring!

So, unless you have a very large front yard, our opinion in consultation is to recommend a deciduous variety.

Next question: Where to plant on the front yard?  If you are living on a boulevard, we recommend a larger hardwood species.  Maple, Oak or Locust are preferred as they reach an ultimate height of 50 feet or more.  Many cities, including Orillia, have subsidies available to supply and install these trees.  Our view is that larger trees are a better choice over mid-size trees, such as Crab Apples.  Mid-size trees are better utilized for the front lawn (15-30 feet in height.) where their canopies won’t have to be pruned in the future to prevent obstruction of driver views and possible contact with vehicles.

Tree Placement is very important.  Most often, subject to the lot, we recommend placing the tree on the side opposite the driveway, about two thirds over and closer to the sidewalk, but not on city property.  This location allows your front door to remain the focal point and adds balance to the driveway and garage if part of the property.  Always keep in mind any overhead wires and neighbouring trees.

Next month we’ll will offer advice on the choice of species as well as how and when to plant.  The planet needs more trees so let’s all help her out and plant one (or more) this spring!