One Million Trees for One Million People
Right Tree, Right Place
Trees are investments that appreciate over time. And they are beautiful plants that can live up to 50 years or more in your yard. Take the time to properly select, plant, and care for your one-in-a-million tree and it will reward you with years of enjoyment.
"Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree."
Questions you should ask yourself
as you plan your tree planting:
- Why am I planting? Is the tree for beauty, wildlife, fruit or flowers, energy savings, fall color, or shade?
- What kind of tree do I want and need? Each tree has unique attributes including space for its roots and canopy; water, soil, and light requirements; and sensitivity to stress such as temperature, wind, pollution, salt or high soil Ph.
- Where will the tree be planted? Visit parks, arboretums, college campuses, or other locations with big, mature trees to get a good sense of the full size of each species. Measure your planting area to determine which tree will work best. Most of a tree’s growth is below ground; its roots can spread 2 or 3 times larger than the tree is tall. If possible, locate your tree on the house side of your sidewalk, not in the parking strip. Salt Lake County recommends planting trees in parking strips that are at least 6 feet wide. Select small trees (less than 25 feet at maturity) for areas under overhead power lines.
- How will the tree be watered? Trees should be on their own irrigation schedule and zone separate from lawn and garden areas.
- Who will care for the tree? Trees need pruning and protection throughout their long lives.
Other things to consider are:
- Trees like trees! Use a variety of species and sizes to create clusters of trees that mimic natural groves and forests.
- Trees on the west and east sides of your hourse will provide the best cooling.
- Large trees should be at least 25 feet from the house; smaller ones should be no less than 10 feet from the house.
- Trees located to shade air conditioners, evaporative coolers, roofs, and windows are most effective at reducing cooling costs.
- Trees on the north and south sides should be at least 25 feet away from your windows to let in winter sunshine.
- Use mixed heights and varieties of trees to create living fences that screen views and noise.
- Check with your neighbors before planting near property lines. Try to avoid planting within 7-10 ft of a property line.
- Avoid planting under utility lines or plant trees that are under 25 feet tall at maturity.
- Avoid fruiting trees near sidewalks, patios, and driveways.
- Avoid planting too close to foundations and underground utilities—always call Blue Stakes (800) 662-4111, before you dig!
- Planting trees for energy conservation
- Salt Lake County landscape ordinance
- Salt Lake County map with soil and planting conditions information (PDF 74.74kb)