How to Space Ornamental Oak Trees


Oak trees are known for their slow growth and massive size. However, some varieties are suited to gardens, where they create smaller ornamental displays of leaves and shade. These are the Japanese oaks, some of which are evergreen, providing a nice color year-round. These oaks are not too difficult to plant, but you need to consider their spacing when planting.

Step 1

Find an area where the tree will not block the view or shade out other plants. Trees in general take up a lot of space, and Japanese oaks are no exception, although they are only half the size of other oaks. Trees need at least 20 square feet of space.

Step 2

If you want to plant a hedge of Japanese oaks, measure out 20 feet between planting holes in a straight line. The holes should be 30 to 40 feet away from other objects, including trees. The oaks will grow as individual trees for several years, with plenty of space to form a nice, round canopy. As they mature, their tops will merge together to form a fantastic hedge with handsome trunks.

Step 3

Space individual Japanese oaks a little farther apart; they should have about 30 feet of space in all directions, away from homes, other trees or utility poles. This will allow the tree to develop a beautiful round form, which will make a nice backdrop for a yard. Sufficient space will also keep roots from getting too close to buildings and plumbing.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape


  • Clemenson University Extension: Oak
  • U.S. Forest Service: Blue Japanese Oak
Keywords: oak, tree, spacing, planting, landscaping

About this Author

Based in Maryland, Heidi Braley, currently writes for local and online media outlets. Some of Braley's articles from the last 10 years are in the "Oley Newsletter," "Connections Magazine," GardenGuides and Braley's college life included Penn State University and Villanova University with her passions centered in nutrition and botany.