the following questions, then bring this completed form to a good reference
book or software program to choose appropriate trees for the planting site. Click here for software database.
USDA hardiness zone is the planting site located in?
is the average annual rainfall in the area?
Less than 20 inches or More than 20 inches
the tree be planted:
In the ground, in containers or in above ground planters, or near the
is the light exposure at the site?
More than 6 hours of full sun, between 2 and 5 hours of direct sun,
two to five hours of sun with significant reflected light, less than
2 hours of full sun, or filtered shade most of the day
is the soil pH at the planting site? Have it tested, don't guess.
fast does water drain through the soil at the planting site? Test
this by digging a hole 18 inches deep and filling it up with water.
If the water drains away in an hour or two, the drainage is fast. If
it takes up to a day for the water to drain away, drainage is moderate.
If it takes longer than a day, the drainage is slow. Slow, moderate,
is the distance between the top of the water table and the soil surface? To test this, dig several holes on the site about 2 feet deep and wait
2 or 3 hours. If any water appears in the hole, the site probably has
a high water table.
will the site be irrigated?
Hardly at all, during the establishment period only, during establishment
and then only during extended drought, the trees will be regularly irrigated.
is the soil texture?
Clay, loam, or sand
is the soil density?
The soil is compacted and hard, or the soil is loose
the tree be planted in a tree lawn or streetscape (the grassy strip
between the curb and the sidewalk)? If so, how wide is the tree
3 to 4 feet, 4 to 6 feet, 6 to 8 feet, or more than 8 feet wide
the tree be planted along a street without a sidewalk. If so, how
far from the edge of the road will the tree be planted?
the tree be planted in a sidewalk cutout?
the tree be planted in a parking lot? If so, will it be planted
in a sidewalk cutout, parking lot island, buffer strip or narrow linear
strip of soil?
For a parking lot island - what is the square footage of the parking
For a buffer strip or linear strip - what is the width of the buffer
strip or liner planting strip?
the tree be planted in an open lawn area or in a shrub bed? What
is the approximate size of this area?
the tree be planted within 8 feet of a sidewalk, driveway or other hard
an adjacent sidewalk or roadway receive deicing salts?
there a swimming pool, vegetable garden, masonry wall or septic tank
or drain field within 50 feet of the planting site? I so, how far
away is it?
overhead wires within 30 feet of the planting site? If so, what
is the horizontal distance between the planting hole and the wire? What
is the distance between the ground and the lowest wire?
there a street light or security-type light within 35 feet of the planting
hole? If so,
Do you want the tree branches to stay clear of the light so they will
not have to be pruned?
Are you willing to provide some pruning to train the branches to grow
over the light?
What is the horizontal distance between the light and the planting hole?
How tall is the light?
the planting site within 35 feet of a building? If so, what is the
horizontal distance between the planting hole and the building? Approximately
how tall is the building?
you care to eliminate trees that could drop messy fruit, large leaves
or twigs during an extended period?
you like to eliminate trees that are known to be susceptible to breakage?
is your budget for pruning trees?
you care to plant only native trees?
list any other attributes that you would like your trees to have?
considerations: 1) soil salt levels, 2) soil contamination, 3) soil
layering, presence of construction debris, 4) health of and type of
existing plants, 5) presence of underground utilities, 6) ordinance
restrictions, 7) species diversity index, 8) politics, 9) community
expectations, 10) design life of site, 11) tree life expectancy, 12)
forest vs. former agricultural field, 13) location of existing tree
roots, 14) recent construction activities.