Shade trees are a major landscaping investment for the home. Not only are they often pricey, once planted they live for an extended period. Properly choosing and planting a shade tree will greatly improve the appearance of a landscape. Choosing the wrong tree, or planting into conditions that impede its health and growth, will cause the tree to fail. A mistake is costly, and may take several years for the mistake to be fully apparent.
Draw a plan for your garden, indicating what purpose the shade tree will perform in the yard and where the tree is needed before selecting a plant. This allows you to look at the varieties of plants and choose the one most suitable for your landscape.
Find a seller that sells fresh, healthy shade tree varieties that have balled or burlapped roots grown in a container. Order a plant that is 8 to 10 feet tall that is free of disease. Inspect the plant for bugs or signs of disease when possible.
Test the soil quality of the planting site using a store bought pH test or send off soil samples to a local university extension. Soil pH determines what trees will grow in an area.
Test the drainage of the site by digging a deep hole in the area and pouring in water. The water will disappear in a few hours in well-draining soil. The soil is too dense if the water stands. Choose a plant that does well in wet or moist soil or add soil amendments to the site.
Plant your trees according to the year-round appearance you want for your landscape. Winter brings about a different appearance in a shade tree. Look at different varieties and compare their seasonal appearance to what you wish for your landscape.