Tips from Toby: Picking the right tree

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Many varieties of good trees can last up to 400 years or more, but sadly, many of us plant shade trees that only live 25 to 50 years.

Trees do so much for us. They provide shade to our homes, privacy and even a nice place for a swing. But the wrong choice or planted in the wrong place and they can cause all sorts of problems.

Making the right choice is essential to many years of enjoyment or hassle. For instance, maple trees are really popular, but in about five years they grow really heavy surface roots and it will be tough to grow grass in that area unless you cut the roots out each year. So when you choose to plant or even replace a tree take the time to make a very educated decision.

"They select trees based on one of their characteristics such as their color and their shape when their small and they don't think about, what is that tree going to look like even 5, 10 or 15 years from now," Suburban Lawn and Landscape's Matt Stueck explained. "A lot of our customers 1 don't care, but even those who do care are sometimes overwhelmed by the beauty of a tree at a certain size they just don't care if it's going to be too big for that spot or too small, they just want one. So getting a customer to know and choose a plant that's the right tree for that place means looking past some of those aesthetic qualities."

Stueck said the biggest mistake people make is wanting to buy a larger tree without the knowledge or tools to plant it properly or make a bad decision about placement. This can lead to trees that die or never grow strong and nobody wants to wake up to a huge branch in their family room!

Before you go to your closest nursery take a picture of the area you'd like to plant your tree and take that in and your nursery people can give you a lot better advice. Take the time to choose wisely and you'll be planting a tree that not only you, but generations can come to enjoy!

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