Tree Selection

Posted February 3rd, 2010 by admin

Selection of Trees
The Right Tree, The Right Spot

Important factors in tree selection include the type of tree, the tree height and spread in relation to planting location, how much sun or shade the tree needs and will need in the future, the type of leaves, the desired aesthetic qualities, soil type and condition, the climate zone (how much the temperature fluctuates), and even the consideration of allergies that may be affected by high levels of pollen.

A set of grades and standards is currently being developed by some well-respected experts. These new standards will be available soon.

Strategic tree planting can save money and energy by creating natural air conditioning and by taking advantage of seasonal sun changes. For shading needs, plant evergreens and/or deciduous trees on the east, west or the northeast and northwest sides of a home to produce shade that minimizes the impacts of the summer sun. Planting deciduous trees on the south side and medium and large trees on the southeast and southwest sides of a home will help to create shade and still let in winter sun during cooler months.

When shopping for your trees, make certain to choose trees that do not have co-dominant leaders (poorly attached branches with tight crotches that try to compete with the main stem). This is a major problem in California because there are no grades and standards for nurseries while in other states such standards exist to make sure that nurseries are unable to sell trees with poor branch structure. It is important to address issues such as crossing or rubbing limbs at the nursery stage so that they do not become problems later in the life of the tree.

For a great resource for trees, visit the Cal Poly РSan Luis Obispo tree selection website.  Go to and browse the categories in helping identify, select and care for your trees.