Trees require space below ground, as well as above ground. Buildings, decks and paving interfere with the tree's ability to absorb nutrients and water. Cramped space, compacted soil, overhead wires and competition with other plants can stress the tree further, leaving it more susceptible to pests and disease.  


Select an appropriate species for your backyard based on the available space, rather than trying to fit in a tree that does not suit the location.  

The planting site you have in mind should meet the following minimum space requirements:

Site ConditionsShrubsTrees
Area of soft surface required3' x 3'15' x 15' (large trees)
10' x 10' (small trees)
Distance from fence/property line5'5'
Distance from hard surfaces (deck/paving)3'8'
Distance from buildings with foundations3'10'
Distance from existing trees8'20'
Distance from stumps7-10'7-10'
Overhead wiresnot an issueavoid
Raised beds or container plantingnot recommendednever


Please note

The distances listed above are minimum requirements - more space may be required for larger species.


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