Trees are the dominant component in landscapes and one of the most effective ways of improving the image and landscape character is to plant trees in open space.
But not all trees are compatible for every planting site or in every climate. Tree selection and placement are two of the most important decisions to make when planting trees. Many trees have the potential to outlive those who plant them, so the impact of this decision can last a lifetime. You often only get one chance to plant the right tree, particularly in public landscapes, as the ability to remove and replace poorly chosen trees is difficult. This leads to the development of the common mantra ‘right tree, right place’. Matching the right tree to the right place benefits both the tree and owner.
The greatest benefit is derived from healthy, structurally sound trees planted in the right place that supports their development. Planting the right tree in the right place will maximise benefit while minimising the costs.
For the purposes of this discussion we have taken the right tree right place further to include the right way and the right time.
Use the right tree species suited to the climatic and edaphic conditions of the site:
The selected right tree should meet the physical constraints of the site without onerous management inputs:
Far too often trees are doomed from the start due to poor planting practices and are not given appropriate after-care maintenance to see them establish successfully:
The issue of potential overplanting, creating appropriate age diversity:
Although the introduction of new trees into a landscape can be considered one of the simpler horticultural tasks, trees create a long-term impression in the landscape. They can alter the identity of the landscape and impact on infrastructure and management practices, and subsequent resource allocation.
Matching the site constraints or opportunities to tree requirements will lead to more successful landscapes. There will be situations in which tree selection alone will be the best tool to achieve the desired outcome.
The greatest benefit is derived from healthy, structurally sound trees planted in the right place to support their development. Planting the right tree in the right place will maximise benefit while minimising the costs.