Finding a suitable location

When trying to decide where to put a tree, first find out your chosen tree's mature size. Figure out the standard dimensions of the exact variety you've chosen. Varieties vary. For example, the handsome English oak (Quercus robur) in its "plain old species" form can reach 100 feet tall, whereas a cultivar of it called 'Westminster Globe' gets to only about 45 feet. Here's a less dramatic example: The standard kousa dogwood (Cornus kousa) has the potential to get about 20 to 30 feet high and wide; if that's way too big for your yard, you can look for a cultivar, such as 'Elizabeth Lustgarten,' which remains under 10 feet or so.

The information you need should be on the tag, on a sticker on the pot, or available from the garden center's inventory list (flag down a staffer). Or you can get it from reference books, in nursery catalogs, or with a little Internet research.

Now, assume the tree will get that big, even though research has suggested that tree-dimension results vary from place to place, from garden to garden, and from garden settings versus park or wooded settings. Better to overestimate than underestimate! Then read on for info on how best to place your tree.

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