5 Ways to Avoid Problems When Planting a Tree


Trees are underrated and an amazing part of our ecosystem. But many people don’t like them. They have had issues of damaging roots, falling leaves, branches, flowers, and berries. They attract animals, they are messy. This blog post is going to go through ways to avoid problems when planting trees. Because trees also provide homes, shade, cooling, habitats, food, character, beauty and can improve our health.

So how do we get more of the benefits of trees and less of the pain? If you have read my blog posts before you would have heard me, say right plant right place. The principle applies here, but I am going to delve more deeply into what you need to consider for trees. You are better off planting the correct tree for you and your location, rather than planting one and cutting it down in a few years or cursing the day it was planted.

So here is a list of things you should consider.

Mature Size

When I say the mature size of the tree, I mean what is the height, width, and shape of this species of tree out in its natural habitat. Let’s take an example. Fig trees, many people grow them in pots as indoor plants. They are great and can add liven up your room. However, if you decide to plant it in your garden you could end up with this…..

Photo by Michael on Unsplash

I have heard people make comments along the lines of, it’s ok this plant will never reach that height in an urban area…… It is true that it might not. However, the flip side of that coin is you might have the one that does. So, unless you want to constantly prune your tree to ensure it doesn’t grow too big. Look at the mature size of that species before planting.


What do I mean by services, I mean electricity, water, sewer, etc. Services are everywhere roads, footpaths both under and above ground. You cannot just look down, but you need to lookup. If you are unsure services like Dial Before you Dig are a good resource to start to identify where they are. Planting a large tree under power lines is just as bad as planting a large tree on top of you’re sewer pipe. So, make sure your tree will be safe to plant around the services you have.

Buildings, Foundations or Hard Surfaces

Trees are pretty amazing, I am still sometimes surprised how far root systems can extend and long branches can reach. Some species have particular features like buttress roots or are known to have roots that search out water sources. These are ones you should probably not want to plant next to your house. However, there are plenty of trees you can plant near buildings and paving that don’t cause problems. It’s making sure you choose the right size and species of tree that will have a good space to grow.

Swimming Pools

My best piece of advice for pools. Don’t plant a tree with very small leaves right next to a swimming pool. You will forever be cursing the day and forever picking tiny leaves out of your pool filter. There are plenty of other plants which can go next to pools and be perfectly fine. So don’t think you don’t have options.

Shade and Sun

A shady tree in summer is a godsend. There is nothing better than sitting in the shade with a cool breeze relaxing. That same tree in the middle of winter shading a dark courtyard is not ideal. So have a look at how the area you want to plant your tree is positioned. This might impact if you want an evergreen or deciduous tree. A tree with a thick full canopy or a lighter more transparent canopy to let more light through.

Ask yourself a few questions before you choose a location.

  • Where is the sun coming from?
  • Does this change in summer/ winter?
  • Do you want to create shade all year round?
  • Do you want deep shade or dappled shade?

So, there are some things to consider, as always if you are having trouble speaking to someone who knows about plants for your climate and what to consider so you can have the right tree for your place. Feel free to contact us today to talk about trees and planting species that are right for you.