Canopy encroachment and leafy obstructions Know the ultimate

height of the trees you're buying before planting them under utility lines. And remember that planting trees and shrubs close to the road can be hazardous! When placing these plants, provide yourself and visitors with adequate lines of sight when you're pulling in and out of your drive.

Now is the time to discover whether your tree's going to collide with your garage or shrub border or driveway or encroach on your neighbor's property as it grows — and to adjust your plans accordingly, either by scooting the projected site over by several feet or by switching your plans to a smaller tree. Mark the middle of the rough circle, because this place, of course, is where you'll dig your tree's hole.

Figure out whether you'll want to do other substantial digging nearby. A strong, well-developed root system is critical to the health of a tree. Roots anchor the tree into the ground and are its lifeline in obtaining the huge quantities of water and nutrients that it needs from the soil (see Figure 11-1). Amazingly, most tree roots are in only the top 18 inches or so of the soil! This fact illustrates why you have to be careful not to damage trees' vital and vulnerable roots when digging nearby.

Figure 11-1:

Examining the root system for a typical tree.

Peripheral Root System - Central Root System

  • mean crown diameter)
  • Tap Root

Peripheral Root System - Central Root System

(mean crown diameter)

Figure 11-1:

Examining the root system for a typical tree.

Peripheral Root System

Deep

/Root System

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