|Planting the Right Tree in the Right
It is essential, when picking a tree species for a planting area, that
surrounding environmental conditions be considered to optimize a
successful growing tree. Putting the right tree in the right spot can
mean the difference between success and failure. For example a Jack Pine
(Pinus banksiana) is a drought-tolerant tree that doesnít like a lot of
water; planting a Jack Pine in a low, moist area most likely will lead
to tree failure. A Black Walnut (Juglans nigra) needs a lot of sun;
therefore planting a Black Walnut in an area dominated by shade will
result in unsuccessful tree growth. Some environmental factors that
directly affect tree growth are: Temperature, Moisture, Sun-light,
Hardiness is a plantís ability to survive low temperatures. Trees native
to warmer climates are not as hardy as trees in colder climates. The
U.S. Department of Agriculture publishes a map of hardiness zones that
labels each geographic area for low temperature extremes. Illinois is
located in Zone 5 where extreme temperature lows would average between
-20 to -10 degrees Fahrenheit. Florida is Zone 10 which has an average
low temperature between 30 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit. A Palm tree, which
grows best in Zone 10, wouldnít survive in our area where there is a 50
degree difference in low temperature average.
All species of trees prefer different degrees of wet or dry growing
conditions. Homeowners should pay special attention to tree selection if
the planting area frequently floods, is subjected to very dry
conditions, or is continually exposed to the drying effect of wind.
Watering, of course, can help in drought-prone locations, but even when
watering, it is important to know the ideal soil moisture requirements
for your tree.
Make sure that trees needing a lot of sun are planted in locations that
offer lots of sunlight. Trees that are shade tolerant should be planted
in areas that offer good shade. Avoid planting a tree where it is
mismatched with its need for light.
Every tree has its problems with insects or diseases. The best way to
avoid trouble is to avoid species that host certain pests. Sometimes it
is possible to buy varieties that have been bred for resistance to
The relationship between tree root systems and the characteristics of
the soils in which they grow has greater influence on tree health than
any other single factor. Itís important to know what type of soil you
will be planting your tree in. Clay soils have a greater density so
moisture is held in clay soils longer. A more sandy soil is coarser and
has a lower water holding capability. Trees that are more
drought-tolerant should be planted in well-drained soil. Trees that need
a larger amount of water should be planted in soil that will maintain
more moisture. Soil pH measures the acidity or alkalinity of the soil. A
pH in the range of 6.0 to 6.5 is generally favorable for most tree
Putting the right tree in the right spot can greatly increase a newly
planted treeís growing potential and optimize the highest health
standards for newly planted trees!
|River Birch (Betula
Fast growing, up to 3 feet per year. Best planted in groups on
wet moist soil with a pH of 6.5. Very
drought sensitive.Requires full sun.
Catalpa (Catalpa speciosa)
Grows very rapidly, and is very
adaptable, drought tolerant, needs
|White Pine (Pinus
Fast growing, tolerates both light and shade. Very susceptible
to salt damage. Prefers good,
well-drained garden soil and
protection from west winds.
American Linden (Tilia Americana)
Tolerates some shade but does best in full
sun and mesic soils. Has some drought
|White Oak (Quercus
Illinois state tree! Grows well in sand or clay
but never in very wet sites. Most oaks are intolerant
of shade, but White Oak is mildly shade tolerant-needing
3-4 hours of sun daily.
||Burr Oak (Quercus
Very tolerant of heavy clay soil, high pH,
and open areas. Adaptable tree however
prefers heavier soils and needs full sun.