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3 Reasons Why Spacing Trees Is Important

Spacing trees far enough apart during planting is essential to ensure they get the nutrients they need to reach their mature size without competing with other plants and trees nearby or damaging property. The professional tree trimmers in Marietta, GA, with Top Tier Trees want you to know about the three main reasons to consider spacing between trees when planting.

1. Roots Can Extend Beyond the Canopy Underground

Depending on the species, the roots can expand up to three times the expected height of the mature tree. There are also several types of roots that trees grow, including:

  • Taproot
  • Lateral roots (surface roots)
  • Oblique roots (heart roots)
  • Sinker roots
  • Secondary or fine roots

Some species grow an especially deep taproot directly beneath the tree, meaning you should never plant these species over an underground water, septic, sewer, or power system. Others grow a wide set of lateral and oblique roots (such as deciduous trees), creating a potential trip hazard in your yard and interfering with other trees’ root systems.

2. Some Species Are Aggressive

Aggressive trees include:

  • Weeping willows
  • Silver maples
  • Cottonwoods
  • Aspens
  • Norway maples
  • American elms
  • Black locusts
  • Poplars

You should plant these trees over 100 feet from any underground or above-ground structures like swimming pools, homes, businesses, roads, sidewalks, septic tanks, and other trees. These trees grow expansive root networks that will take over any obstruction, causing damage to water lines, building foundations, walls, and other plant roots.

Don’t forget to plant these species over 100 feet from your neighbor’s home, fence, or pool. You don’t want to discover too late that you’re responsible for damaging their property if your tree overgrows your yard and causes a problem.

3. Trees Can Overtake Important Structures Nearby

Even conifers like spruce and pine trees with less expansive root systems can cause damage if a storm knocks them onto your house or your neighbor’s home. These trees often grow very tall, easily topping 70 feet. Give a wide berth for your home when spacing trees.

Tall trees can grow wide branches that rub on roofs or drop pinecones, needles, leaves, and other debris over your shingles, leading to damage and leaks over time.

How Much Room to Allow for Common Species

Check out the tree spacing calculator below to plan how to plant popular tree species.

  • Small trees under 30’ tall. Magnolia, small conifers, flowering dogwoods. 8-15 feet tree spacing.
  • Medium trees under 70’ tall. Fruit tree, Japanese maple, birch. 30-40 feet tree spacing.
  • Large trees over 70’ tall. Flowering pear, oak, gingko, sugar maples. 35-50 feet tree spacing.
  • Large aggressive trees. Listed above. 100 feet tree spacing.

Trust the Certified Arborists at Top Tier Trees in Marietta, GA

The Top Tier Trees team have ISA-certified arborists. If you want to plant trees around your home or business in Marietta, GA, contact them to help you choose which species will best suit your property and how to plan spacing trees for planting. Call today to schedule an inspection.

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    • My favorite tree service crew! I rank Top Tier high for their safety and professionalism. Did removal & stump grinding last year, and called them again for tree service this year. David shared vital info about my trees. Chaz and Erin have been great to work with. The tree svc crews work very well together on site; a pleasure to watch. I'd call them again

      -Frank Maina, GA
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      - Robin Chitwood, GA
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