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Congratulations on deciding to add a tree to your outdoor space. This is one of the best decisions you could possibly make. Now, it’s time to decide where to put this magnificent feature.

Here are three things you should consider when deciding where to plant your tree:

 Growing conditions

One of your considerations should be the growing conditions the tree needs, which would include the location it is planted at and exposure to sunlight. Some trees do better in some areas, so it is a good idea to ask what trees may do particularly well in your area. For example, if you live in an area which is in the mountains or near the seaside, you should consider using species which thrive under these conditions.

As it relates to the exposure to sunlight, most trees love the sun. Plant trees in areas which allow access to direct sunlight.

Does it have enough space to grow

Another question you should definitely ask yourself is how big the tree will be when it is fully grown. A meticulous gardener can put in the work to maintain a tree at a specific height.  Pruning will give you some control over how tall a tree gets and how much its branches spread, but some trees are better off not tamed.

Plant large trees, such as the magnificent Poinciana, in locations where they will have the space to grow and establish their impressive crowns. This makes schoolyards, church yards and community parks some of the best locations to consider for these large trees. 

Homes with a lot of open land space are also well-suited for large trees, so if you have the land space, you will have more options. However, if you have a smaller yard, and not as much time to commit to pruning, there are many smaller trees and shrubs such as the Pride of Barbados, which make great additions to your landscape without the heavy demands on space and time.

How near will tree be to structures/infrastructure

When it comes to the size of your tree, there is one more thing you need to consider, plant your tree where it will be less likely to pose harm as it gets larger. If the previous tip has you envisioning your mature tree, hold that thought. Now take a look around. Your tree should be planted in an area where it will not adversely affect any nearby structures.

Plant trees with sufficient distance from houses, walls, power lines and boundaries with neighbours.  Sometimes tree roots will spread and can cause damage to sidewalks and foundations. This happens in some cases if the soil is not deep enough for the roots to continue growing downwards. So, if you live in an area, with not much soil depth, such as in Portmore, St. Catherine, the roots of your tree may spread more than expected.  There are some trees such as the ficus tree, whose roots spread underground and can cause damage to foundation, so plant these well away from structures.

Before you go

Also bear in mind that Jamaica is affected by hurricanes, so any tree you plant should not be located in an area where overhanging branches can easily damage a home or power lines.   And since causing a mess in someone else’s yard isn’t neighbourly, consider where fruits, leaves and blossoms will fall and make sure these will not inconvenience someone else.

So there you have it, keep these tips in mind when deciding where to plant, or even while going shopping, for your next tree. Happy planting!

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