Thinking Out Tree Placement

As with any planting, location can be a key factor to the plant’s success. As I was walking by an office building today, I noticed a stand of Redwoods planted within feet of an office building’s foundation. The trees themselves looked great, and helped to screen the building, but functionally it was clear the trees were misplaced. Half of the tree had to be pruned against the building, leaving them misshapen. Large scale trees may work well in confined spaces when young, but as they grow taller and as their root systems grow more pronounced they can cause significant problems. We have seen this time and again on projects where tree roots are disturbing foundations, and sewer or utility lines.

Practically it makes sense to think about what the tree is being planted to do (screen, provide shade, visual presence etc.) and to take into account its mature size and the needed buffer distance to help prevent problems. Selecting the wrong tree for a particular application can be just as bad. Just ask those with high rooted Birch trees planted in lawns or Liquid Ambar trees planted along sidewalks.