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Key tips on selecting a healthy tree.

Selecting the right tree and the right location will ensure optimal growth.

Selecting a Healthy Tree

Good tree care starts with a healthy tree. Here’s what to look for to ensure your tree can provide a lifetime of benefits.

Right Tree, Right Place

Short, flowering trees don’t clash with overhead utility lines. Large deciduous trees on the southeast, southwest, and west provide cooling shade in the summer but don’t obstruct the warming winter sunlight. An evergreen windbreak to the north blocks cold winds in winter.

Bare-Root Seedlings

  • Roots should be moist and fibrous.
  • Deciduous seedlings should have roots about equal to stem length

Balled and Burlapped Trees

  • Root ball should be firm to the touch, especially near the trunk.
  • Root ball should be adequate for the tree’s size.

Container-Grown Trees

  • Container should not contain large, circling roots.
  • Pruned roots should be cut cleanly, none wider than a finger.
  • Soil and roots should be joined tightly.

Additional considerations when purchasing a mature tree include:

  • A strong, well-developed leader (or leaders in a multi-leader tree).o
  • Bright, healthy bark.
  • Trunk and limbs free of insect or mechanical injury.
  • Branches well-distributed around trunk, considerably smaller caliper than trunk.
  • Ideal spacing between branches, at least 8–12″ for most species.
  • Good trunk taper.
  • Wide-angle crotches for strength.
  • Low branches — they are temporary but help develop taper, promote trunk caliper growth, and prevent sun damage

Source: Arbor Day

Note: This content will be edited for length and style purposes.

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