Many homeowners start to think about planting trees as spring arrives.
Use this quick checklist as a guide to determine the suitability
of any tree for a particular landscape. Once you have a list of
trees selected, read more about each plant so you have a full understanding
of its needs. There are many horticultural references available
at local libraries and bookstores. University of Illinois Extension
has a tree selector guide on the web. It can be found at www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/treeselector/index.html
Factors To Consider When Selecting A Tree
1. Cold Hardiness
Northern Illinois is in USDA hardiness zone 5.
Plants listed as hardy in USDA zones 1 through 5 will grow here.
2. Size and form
What will the height of the plant be at maturity?
What will be the spread (width) of the plant at maturity?
Will the mature plant be in balance with the house or will it
Is there enough room in the landscape to allow the plant to attain
its mature size without sacrificing its natural form?
3. Conditions Existing at the Planting Site
Soil pH (Is the soil acid or alkaline?)
Soil moisture and drainage conditions.
What existing plants will be competing with the newly planted
tree or shrub?
How much sun or shade does the landscape receive?
Is soil compaction a problem?
4. Maintenance Needs and Limitations of the Plant
Are disease or insect problems common?
Is the wood strong or is it prone to storm damage?
Is the plant untidy, producing litter such as fruit, seeds or
Does the plant produce large quantities of seed, leading to many
5. Ornamental Features of the Plant
Shape of the plant
April - May 2004: Foolproof
Perennials | Plants, Septic and Failures
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