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  • Writer's pictureRussell Fey

Choosing The Right Sized Trees For Your Landscape


If you own a home, you’ve likely given some thought to improving the look and feel of your property by adding plants and trees to your landscape. It can be a daunting process to walk into a nursery and make the right decisions for your landscape without knowing a bit more about tree growth and care; knowing which types of trees will thrive on your property. This article will give you an overview and tips for selecting the right types of trees. Get ready to do some strategic planning and preparation and look forward to your new and improved landscape.

What size tree is appropriate for my yard?

When deciding to add trees to your landscape, you’ll need to consider the following:

  • How big the tree will be when it is at full maturity

  • Whether the tree you choose will grow well in surrounding soil and climate

  • What vegetation surrounds the tree that may cause potential problems

  • How much care and maintenance will this tree need to flourish

Many homeowners think that bigger is better, but this could cause more harm than good to your surrounding landscape. Choosing a tree that will be healthy and structurally sound is more important than any size you could gain from its growth.

Another thing to consider when purchasing new trees is cost. Decide what your budget will allow and check out local nurseries to get an idea of the types of trees that are in your price range. Do your homework when it comes to researching care and maintenance, as well as what it will cost to nurse it from infancy to full maturity. You are taking on responsibility for its growth; this will yield you a higher property value over time.

How are trees sized? What does caliper mean?

As nursery managers and arborists assess trees, it is done by both trunk diameter and height. A tree’s structure has to support its growth as it matures, so accurate measures and predictions for growth are essential for producing healthy trees.

Caliper refers to the diameter of the tree trunk at a specific height from the base. As caliper is assessed, trained tree professionals can more accurately predict growth over time. A tree with a caliper of half an inch in infancy has been proven time and again to produce a five to six-foot tree in maturity. With this standard system of measurement, it is much easier for professionals to provide solid advice to you on purchasing and planting new trees.

One more unit of measurement to consider is the root spread. As a tree matures, root systems grow both down and out; the larger the tree, the more significant the size of the root system will be.

Container sizes

You can find young saplings in various containers; depending on the size of the tree, you may consider employing the services of a trained arborist to install your new tree.

  • Potted trees--Smaller trees and saplings are available in 5-gallon containers; you can install these types of trees with little difficulty.

  • Balled or burlap trees--these trees are typically larger than those in containers, and you may need an experienced installer to place them in a prime location for optimal growth.

  • Boxed trees--Trees that require a large root ball are presented in large wooden boxes. The box offers protection and plenty of expansion space for a growing root system. This type of tree is best left to a professional for installation.

In general, the larger the tree, the more complicated transportation and transplantation will be. Your budget, available space in your yard, and other factors will determine which size would be best for you.

Large tree: Pros and Cons

Choose to plant a larger tree if:

  1. You want to make an immediate change to your scenery

  2. You need more screening or privacy

  3. You want to match a new tree to your existing trees

Avoid large trees if:

  1. You have a limited budget to spend on landscaping

  2. You don’t want to deal with additional cost of professional installation

  3. You want a greater variety to choose from

Small tree: Pros and Cons

Choose to plant a smaller tree if:

  1. You have a small budget

  2. You want to perform the work yourself

  3. You have limited space in your yard

Avoid a smaller tree if:

  1. You want to make an immediate and striking impact on your landscape

  2. You want additional structure, strength, and shade to your landscape

Fey And Sons: Helping you make a more informed choice

If you are wondering how to enhance and improve the look and feel of your property, we can help you get started. Fey and Sons, LLC is a group of trained arborists certified to perform all aspects of installation, maintenance, and removal. Healthy trees enhance the appearance and value of your property; let us help you improve your home. Visit for more information.

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