Proper Tree Selection is so important for tree longevity and future aesthetics in a particular site. Do yourself a favor and research what type of tree will best suite your site. Pick a tree based on its size at maturity that will fit your space and not the size when it is planted. Consider your surroundings; do not plant a tall growing tree under a power line or next to your house. The soil area must be large and healthy enough to support the tree structurally and nutritiously at its present and future size. Tree roots can go farther than 1-2 times the height of the tree. Give it room to grow! Most root stay in the top 6-12 inches of soil where there is oxygen and water available. If a tree does not have enough rooting area and/or poor soil or drainage issues, it most likely will look pitiful and probably die given time. Take a soil sample and have it analyzed at a soils lab before planting. That way you can try to correct soil problems before planting or choose a species of tree that grows well in that soil type.
When at a nursery or garden center picking out your tree, check the roots and root ball before purchasing a container or B&B tree. Make sure the root ball is solid, that there are no brown/black roots, no fungus, and no roots that are circling or bent awkwardly. These few things can haunt you later and deter tree growth and cause bad tree health. To have a structurally sound house you have to have a good foundation. It is the same principal with trees. If you have a good soil and root system, most often you will have a healthy tree. That being said, you need to also select a well formed and structurally sound tree.
Select a structurally sound tree. Select a tree with a good main leader. This all can depend on the species and variety you choose, but most large growing trees need to have a main leader or trunk, at least when young. As they mature, most trees round out at the top; they lose their dominant leader. While trees are young, you need to try to maintain a dominant leader; otherwise, the tree will not grow to its intended height and can have co-dominant leaders that can break when they are older. Large co-dominant branches, especially if they have included bark, may pose a hazard. They can potentially break at any time just because of the weight and week union. When large limbs break off an older tree, you usually lose a large portion of your canopy which decreases the aesthetics. Try to avoid this issue by training your tree structurally while it is young. A small amount of planning and maintenance can go a long way when considering the life of your tree.
Proper tree selection points:
– soil, water, and temperature suitability
– root issues