When you decide to integrate plants, trees, and other green features into your yard or landscape, you’ll face a variety of functional and aesthetic challenges. Understanding the fundamentals of tree health and planting will allow you to optimize the growth and beauty of your outdoor space.

By considering factors such as soil composition, sunlight exposure, and watering needs, you can create an environment that fosters healthy root development and robust tree growth.

In this blog, the experts at Arboraxepert provide an outline of the basic principles of tree planting, giving you the tools to care for and select trees that enhance the visual appeal of your property.

Insights From a Certified Arborist: Selecting the Right Tree Species

A casual walk around your local greenhouse will have you wondering what sort of tree species might be right for your yard. The tree you select must be suitable for the conditions and aesthetics of your yard, but with so many options to choose from, it can be difficult to make a firm decision.

Here are a few criteria you can use to narrow your options:

Growing Conditions

Start with an assessment of the sunlight availability, soil type, and drainage of your yard—all crucial factors in selecting a tree that accents your property. Consider if the trees you’re looking at require full sun or afternoon shade, and if your soil is well-drained or clay-heavy. Mismatched conditions can lead to stunted growth or premature tree health issues.

Mature Size

Trees come in all shapes, sizes, and colours. It’s important to understand how tall and wide your tree will grow so you can think critically about its placement in your yard, and if it might grow too large. You can ask yourself: “Will it have enough space to grow without crowding power lines or structures?” If the answer is no, you’ll need to look at other options.

Functional Needs

Planting trees has various functional benefits, such as shading, privacy, wind protection, and better air filtration. Understanding what you want from a tree and selecting one that fulfills your preferred functional requirements will enhance your enjoyment of your outdoor space.


Beyond function, consider the current look of your overall yard and how planting one or more trees might enhance its visual appeal. If your yard is saturated with green, you might want to select a tree with more colourful plumage. Consider the tree’s form, branching pattern, and bark colour when reviewing your options.

Sustainable Tree Practices: Planting Depth and Spacing Guidelines

Planting a tree is an investment in your landscape, and proper technique is crucial for its long-term health and vibrancy. Among these critical aspects are depth and spacing.

Here are some guidelines to consider:


It might be tempting for you to place trees close to sidewalks or walkways for aesthetic purposes, but this can lead to problems down the line. Trees need adequate space to grow into their mature size without crowding other features. Take information about the fully grown size of your tree, sunlight needs, and the surrounding structures into consideration.


After you’ve decided where you want your tree planted, it’s time to start digging. Planting the tree too deep can smother the roots and restrict oxygen flow, while planting it too shallow means its roots can’t establish a strong system in the soil.

Consider these guidelines for depth requirements:

  • Containerized trees: Dig a hole where you want the tree placed that is approximately two times wider than the container and slightly shallower than the root ball. Carefully remove the tree from the container and place it in the hole. Fill the hole roughly halfway with soil, water it, and then continue to backfill the hole until it’s full.
  • Balled and burlap trees: Dig a hole deep enough so that your tree's root flare sits slightly above the surrounding soil level after the burlap is removed. Carefully cut and remove the burlap from the top half of the root ball, allowing the roots to access the surrounding soil.

Pruning Practices for Young Trees

Proper pruning practices are essential for young trees, especially when you first place them. This formative stage allows your trees to develop a strong frame, encourage healthy growth, and promote proper branching.

Here are a few pruning techniques that you can implement into your tree care routine:

  • Remove dead, dying, or diseased branches
  • Selectively remove branches to reduce the density of the tree’s canopy
  • Remove branches that pose immediate safety risks
  • …and more

Protecting Your Trees From Pests and Diseases

Like any living thing, trees are susceptible to pests and diseases. Preventing these with proactive measures is crucial for maintaining their health and vitality.

Choose trees known to be resistant to common diseases and pests in your area. Some examples of typically resilient trees include the red maple, the white oak, or the bald cypress.

Providing adequate water along with proper pruning, mulching, and fertilization will also make your trees more resistant to pests and diseases.

Tree Maintenance: Monitoring Tree Growth and Adjusting Care

Planting a tree is the beginning of a long-term relationship. As your tree starts to grow, its needs change, and it’s up to you to monitor your tree’s growth and adjust care practices to ensure its continued health and growth.

This includes getting to know your tree and inspecting it regularly for signs of stress or disease. Evaluate the effectiveness of your watering and pruning strategies to determine if less or more is needed. Paying close attention to your tree will continue to add value to your landscape.

Here are some things to look out for in an inspection:

  • Leaf colour and density
  • Trunk diameter
  • Height and spread
  • Stressed limbs
  • Disease symptoms
  • …and more

Consult With an Experienced Arborist Today

Do you have any questions about incorporating trees with functional or aesthetic qualities into your landscape? Our experienced arborists at Arboraxepert have extensive experience optimizing tree growth with precision care strategies, and we’re available to answer any questions you may have.

You can call us at (613) 424-7331 to learn more about how we can recommend the best trees for you and leverage our expert services to turn your yard into a space you’ll enjoy.