Adding trees to you landscape can help beautify your home, but it involves some careful planning.
Trees are a great asset. They can add up to 15% value to your home and also provide shade, but you can buy or plant the wrong tree and in the wrong place.
"Sometimes, people make the mistake of planting them too close to their driveway or to their home, which could cause their driveway to buckle or their foundation to crack," Angie Hicks, who is the founder of Angie's List, said.
When you find the right spot, you need to select a healthy tree.
"The most important thing really is the framework of the tree, the wood part," Jeff Gatewood added, who is a nursery owner. "A good, clean, straight trunk and a good even branching habit. More important than anything else is the framework, because it's going to be there year after year."
Know how the tree is packed. Are you getting it in a container or a root ball?
"When it's in a pot, it has its entire root system underneath of it in the pot, whereas a ball one has been cut and dug up out of a field. So, it hasn't got all of its roots by any means and it has to spend the first two years regenerating all of its roots, whereas a tree in a pot immediately can start growing on top where the customer wants to see it grow," Gatewood mentioned.
One common mistake is how deep you plant the tree. The top of the soil in the pots should be exactly level with the soil in your yard. A tiny bit above won't hurt, but an inch or two deep can hurt the tree.
"You never want the grass to grow around the trunk of the tree. Always take out a big circle of sod, four to six feet in diameter, plant the tree in the middle, mulch it," Gatewood added.
Finally, do not pile up mulch along the trunk, because the mulch stays moist and attracts insects and causes rot.
Before you dig for any tree, call 8-1-1 to schedule an underground utility inspection.