It’s hard to believe that September is here already! With that brings tree-planting season. Fall is a great time to plant trees.
When planting your trees, remember to pay close attention to where you plant it to ensure that the tree can have a long, happy life in its new location. Often when we plant a tree, it is hard to visualize the full size of the tree. But remember, that small tree will grow into a much larger version. Plant the tree where it can spread its branches and live happily for many years to come.
When planting a new tree, think about what is all around the tree. Consider overhead power lines, underground utilities, current buildings, any future construction that is planned, sidewalks and the mature size of the tree.
Call the Digger’s Hotline at 811 to ensure that there are no underground utilities near the location where you are planting. Remember that the tree roots will grow, and it would be best to give your tree plenty of space to grow without getting too close to the power lines to avoid future problems with the roots and the lines. If the utility company has to come in at any time to put in new lines, this can damage the tree as well. Calling the Digger’s Hotline will also help so you don’t run into underground utility lines while you are planting. Never assume that the utility lines are deeper than you plan to dig.
Also, look at the above ground structures when you plant a new tree. Plant large trees at least 20 feet from a building to avoid damage to the building as the plant grows. Often, trees damage roofs, windows and siding when the branches of the tree run into the building. If the tree won’t fit beside your home in the location you have picked, pick a different tree or a different planting location.
Pay close attention to the location of power lines when planting a new tree. Plant your trees 25 feet away from overhead power lines to avoid damage to the lines or to help the crews of electrical companies from having to send someone out to prune the trees in the lines. It is a detriment to the overall quality of the tree to have a “v” cut through the middle of the canopy to allow for the power lines. Smaller, understory trees should be used under power lines to help the men and women who work for electric companies.
Once you have completed this evaluation of the landscape, you can determine the size of the tree that can be planted and from that, you can decide what tree you would like to plant. Don’t forget to look around your yard and the yards of all of your neighbors. Don’t plant a Maple if everyone else on the street has one in their front yard, pick something else. There are a lot of great trees that do very well in Nebraska's environments but are not used enough, such as Shagbark, Hickory, Sweetgum, Pawpaw and even Linden.