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Smart Improvements: Planting for Privacy and Cooling

Our homes are one of the clearest reflections of who we are.  How we like to live, what’s important to us.  So, when you’re thinking about sprucing up the home, it’s best to understand what that actually means to you.  And, one of the best ways to make your home sparkle is to do some planting.

Trees are an amazing addition to your home.  They can provide privacy and shade, improve air quality and shield your home from harsh weather.  To make the best use of trees in your landscape, you have to know which trees to choose and where it’s best to plant them.  If you choose wisely, then the value of your home is increased and you’re set for years to come.

Proper planning is a necessary part of choosing the correct privacy trees for your yard. This guide serves as a tool to help ensure that the trees you buy and plant will flourish and be a part of your landscape for years to come.  This article will give you some tips for choosing the right plant for your yard and home.

Planning is the first step.  Think about what you want from the tree.  Privacy?  Shade?  Fruits?  Consider what you’re after, and you can make a choice that you’ll be pleased with in the future.  Think about the area that you want to plant it, and plan out the total space of your yard that you want to work with.  Small yards will require a bit of careful planning, so think ahead.

For privacy trees, you’ll want to think about how fast they’ll grow and how wide they’ll be when they come to the desired height.  Avoid planting near sidewalks, buildings, or utility lines, as this can make problems later (not to mention a ridiculous pruning schedule).  Remember that faster growing trees have a shorter lifespan and are more prone to damage from storms and other environmental pressures.  At the same time, slower growing trees might take a generation or two to reach the height that you want.

Think about the root system too.  You want to give your trees enough space to grow out and have a strong root system, so that they can be with you without complications for the next decade or so.  Avoid septic tanks and irrigation systems, as the root growth can damage these systems and create the need for costly repairs.  Also consider homeowner restrictions, so that you won’t have to undo your work when an interested neighbour sees it taking root.

Do your homework so that you know what each tree likes.  Some prefer acidic soils, and others more alkaline.  You may need to add buffers or fertilisers to get the best results.  Check the pH level of the soil in different areas to get a profile of your growing space, then use fertilisers and pH balancers to make it work for you.  Make sure that your growing trees get enough water.  They’ll need regular irrigation, either by hand or with automated systems like sprinklers.  Plus, they’ll need plenty of sun, so plan accordingly.  Make sure to consider the watering needs of the existing plants to make sure they’re compatible with the needs of the new ones.

Now, consider whether you want deciduous or evergreen trees.  If you go deciduous, then you’ll have to deal with the leaf-fall in autumn time.  However, don’t be so quick to decide that this isn’t worth the effort.  First, you get some amazing colours.  Your yard becomes a visual fireworks display for a couple of months.  Second, the other option is evergreens.  Which, despite the connotation, drop leaves heavily all year.  So, you’re either cleaning your roof and raking your yard intently for a few months, or occasionally throughout the whole year.  It’s up to you.

When placing your trees, consider distance and spacing.  Try to plant them at least ten feet from the house and perhaps as much as 15 feet away.  If you have a fence, patio, or other structure, try to keep it 4-5 feet away.  Also, know where your water and utility lines are.  If you absolutely have to plant in that area, go for short trees that won’t break the lines.  Think less than 25 feet at mature height.

These are just a few of the tips we can offer for planting to improve your home.  If you’d like to know more, feel free to contact us, and we’ll fill you in on all the tips and techniques you need to make the best smart improvements to your home, for both sales value and living comfort.

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