Planting a tree has long-term implications for the future enjoyment of your property. Taking time to plan where and how to plant your tree will yield benefits for many years as the tree matures.
Similarly, planting a tree without attention to its location and expected growth may have negative consequences. Here are some things to consider when planting trees and shrubs on your property:
1. Choose the Right Tree
- Begin with a native species (see the Native vs. Non-Native Species page for details)
- Choose the tree that best suits your landscaping plans. Consider things like seasonal colour, leaf density, fruit production, wildlife attraction, common diseases and vulnerabilities, shade, wind reduction, and maintenance.
2. Choose the Right Location
- Consider the expected size of the tree once it has matured.
- Ensure that there are no possible obstructions or risk of property damage in the future, such as structures or walls and overhead utility wires.
- Avoid planting too close to existing trees or shrubs.
3. Plant Within Your Property Boundaries
- Ontario case law has determined that trees with trunks straddling property lines are shared property. Therefore they require the permission of both property owners to remove.
- When picking a location to plant your tree, remember that the root zone is usually measured at 1.5 times the height of the tree. Try to pick a suitable location that is adequately distanced from neighbouring properties.
- If you are unsure of your exact property boundaries, refer to a property survey.
4. Call Before You Dig!
- Find out where any existing utilities are located underground before you risk damaging gas, cable, electricity, water, or cable connections to your home.
- Visit Ontario One Call for more information and to request a utility locate.
5. Consult an Arborist or Visit a Tree Nursery
They can help you identify what species of tree would work best on your property.