When choosing a tree, there are several factors to keep in mind. You have requirements you want from a tree, but the tree will have its own needs as well.
Choosing the correct tree for the site
Each tree has specific site requirements. Take into consideration soil conditions, climate extremes, available space and exposure to road salt.
In Wisconsin, you will need trees that are hardy to both extremely hot summer and cold winter conditions. Know your hardiness zone and choose trees adapted to that zone.
Be aware of potential exposure to road salt runoff or spray from passing cars. Only a limited number of trees are tolerant of these conditions.
Also consider the tree’s surroundings. If overhead utilities are present select a low growing tree or choose an alternate site. Make sure you leave plenty of room for the tree to grow. That perfect spot by the house may not be so perfect when the tree reaches mature size.
Trees with deep root systems have the potential of clogging sewer lines. Trees with extensive surface roots can damage nearby walks, drives and patios.
Choosing a tree that meets your needs
Consider what you expect from a tree and what you are willing to give it in return.
Consider how much debris the tree is capable of producing. Some trees drop fruit, seeds or pods that can stain cars, outdoor furniture, walks and drives. There are now many cultivars available which produce small or in some cases no fruit, seeds or pods which make them ideal for particular situations.
Decide how much care you are willing to give a tree. Some trees require considerable training to give them straight leaders and attractive branching. Other trees may be susceptible to certain diseases and require time and money to keep them healthy.
Choose between fast growing and strong, long lived trees. Some trees will grow quickly and will give you the shape and shade you desire soon. However, these trees often have soft wood, are short lived and susceptible to storm damage.
Do your research or ask for guidance from our experienced landscape professionals. There has been much research done in the development of superior hybrid tree varieties which are now available for purchase. With a little thought you can find the perfect tree to not only meet your immediate needs, but one that will be happy in the spot you have chosen for it for many years to come.