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WHAT type and size of trees should I plant at my house

Dear Dave,
I have been out shopping at the local nurseries trying to get some ideas on landscaping materials. My home is about 7 years old and doesn’t have many established trees in the yard. There are different sizes of trees throughout the neighborhood. I want to know what you think is better to do – plant only a couple of large trees (due to the price) or plant about 3 times as many smaller trees (due to the price)?? My wife has one opinion and I have another – I won’t tell you which so you can give your honest opinion!

Lee and Jenni, Fruita

Lee and Jenni,

Ok, this is an easy one for me and I will be honest!  Go with the larger trees.  Planting saplings in the yard and waiting 7 more years for them to become trees is for sure one of my pet peeves.  We are currently planting some trees at my own home and my wife and I banter this issue back and forth virtually every day the tree planting topic comes up.  She says, in a few years they will mature out etc… and I say that I would prefer them to look somewhat mature now and I don’t want to wait years to enjoy them.  

But, before you plant whichever trees you decide on, there are some key factors to also take into consideration…

• Plan before you plant – Know the characteristics such as mature height and width of the tree you are going to plant. Make sure the mature plant will fit into the space.
• Call before digging – Call the Utility Notification Center of Colorado at 800-922-1987.
• Look up – Avoid planting trees that will grow into power lines, other wires, or buildings.
• Do a soil test – Soils in Western Colorado are challenging and difficult for some plants to grow in. Make sure you select a plant that will thrive in your planting site. Soil tests should be performed to check for organic matter and salt levels. Call CSU Extension at 970-244-1834 for instructions.

Following these few steps will help to ensure that you’ll be happy with your trees further down the road regardless of the size you end up planting.  

I won’t tell you who will win the debate at my house, but at your home I hope the bigger tree vote wins! In my opinion this is one instance where bigger really is better!

Happy planting 🙂

Dave Kimbrough
The Kimbrough Team



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