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Our Biggest Landscaping Splurges And How We Feel About Them

I’d like to open today’s post by repeating our favorite question when we have a renovation/remodeling conundrum – either when a mistake is made or when something turns out not like you want it to. It goes like this: “What are the options and how much will they cost?” We have found it to be the quickest way to solve any construction problem. One of those “conundrums” was our purchased trees. There were a few areas where we had planned on larger, more statement trees but once they were planted in the ground we did the fairly annoying/bratty thing of asking why they were so small. The obvious answer was that our team was trying to stick to a budget and bigger plants are more expensive. After exploring how long it would take them to get to the desired size, we realized it would be 5-10 years. OOF. If this house weren’t a show house for brands, essentially, we would wait – despite our own desires. But this house needs to get shot a lot and soon, and while we can wait for the smaller plants to grow into shrubs, we “need” these big anchor pieces to be larger.

The Kitchen Patio Dogwood

yardzen rendering

Near the kitchen patio, we wanted a large dogwood to help bridge the gap between the two structures – the covered walkway and the kitchen. Yardzen put it in their renders and while we knew that their renders were based on mature heights, when we saw the tree that was planted we felt we couldn’t wait the maybe 10 years before it got to full maturity (different dogwoods grow at different rates and I forget which one this is but it’s the slow one).

See? She was small and leafless so you could barely even see it. A quiet statement for sure:) We were able to move her to the side of the house which fits perfectly, don’t worry. Meanwhile, I went to a nursery called Big Trees Today where, as you can imagine, they have much BIGGER trees still growing in the ground at a much more mature height. To top it off, they are full service – they dig up, transport, install, and guarantee their trees for a year. Of course, this comes with a much higher price tag. The dogwood that we planted was probably $180 or so and transport/carrying of it is usually double or triple the cost of the plant (I believe that’s a common formula from landscapers). So let’s say that size tree cost us between $400- $500. The Big Trees Today cherry tree that we picked out was $2k (including planting/guaranteeing). It’s obviously a luxury to do this, but what you are buying is time. Our 5′ Dogwood wouldn’t reach this 15′ height for 10 years. So how much was it worth it to us per year to have it at that height now? When you think about it like that it becomes easier to justify (I also do this with skincare or expensive athleisure – break it down by how many days a year you’ll use it and you’ll find that at 50 cents a day it’s worth it! It’s a really dangerous mindset, TBH).

This is the cherry tree from Big Trees Today right after it was planted (fruitless, the Japanese version I think!), around 15′ feet tall (I believe). That was in April, and here she is now!

We couldn’t be happier.

Our Statement Oregon Native Red Oak

In the backyard, to break up all the grass, we had planned this gorgeous Oregon red oak – a native Tree that Cali (Studio-Campo) was so excited about. At maturity, it would look like this. With a swing!

But when we got it it was about 12′ (which sounds tall but compared to the scale of the backyard it was small).

It’s the tall one near our broken-down garages (and this is in a pot, so it would be about 20″ lower than that once in the ground). We considered nixing this one altogether and returning this tree and honestly, we probably could have, but we really wanted some shade in the summer (eventually) and I really wanted to break up the lawn from being so flat. So we looked to Big Trees Today for an alternative. I’m not sure y’all know, but I REALLY LIKE TREES.

It was definitely taller, but when leafless still not that statement. We also switched from an Oregon red oak to a white oak because it was much less. At first, the salesperson sent us a 25′ Oregon red oak for $10k and we almost bailed on the whole thing. This guy was $2k 🙂

Here it is now:

It’s super pretty. Still on the smaller side but better scaled for the house. Imagine if it were 1/2 that size! Lessons are being learned, folks. Also, I do not care for that perfect circle around the tree but they said that they wouldn’t guarantee the tree unless you let it breathe, like so. But yes, I want to go sprinkle wildflower seeds in that perfect circle asap! If you are wondering why we stopped the grass there it’s because that was the plan two years ago, but as more and more of the construction ruined some bushes that were over there we now are considering extending it. We just didn’t plan for irrigation over there so it’s a thing. We might wait until fall to plant some, so winter will establish their roots, and then try to hand water anything over there next summer. Don’t quote me on that, though. Just thinking out loud about how we don’t like where the grass cuts off as of now and we are working with Northwest Native Landscapes on solutions.

Two More Trees

Before we went to the Big Trees Today nursery, we realized there were two more areas where we could really use an anchor tree that we hadn’t planned for – on the side of the house by the kitchen and in a corner by the pack porch. We all agreed that Japanese maples would thrive well in both areas, add a lot of seasonal color, much-needed height, and shape while the rest of the shrubs grow in. So before I went to BTT I had two of those on my list.

shopping for japanese maples at the nursery

Cole, the salesperson, helped me decide on the white variety of Japanese maples and he convinced me that Beni Mako was the way to go – I think for the color of the bark when not in bloom as well as the leaves when in bloom. These are about 8′ tall and 6′ wide and cost $1800 (again, including delivery and installation + their guarantee). I’ve bought Japanese maples many times before and they are always around $500 and much smaller, so honestly this didn’t feel overpriced. These things were already 7-10 years old so you are paying for the growing time where someone else has taken care of the plant. They grow very very slowly so they’ll get bigger, but over many years.

Here this one was in April right before spring really sprung in Portland. Below you can see how she is looking now.

Was It Worth It?

I think YES. Imagine if those two trees weren’t there – I think the architecture and scale of the house really needed some larger trees to soften everything. They provide immediate impact and help the whole property look less newly constructed.

It’s also strangely easier than I thought. While you obviously have to have the budget for it, we were impressed with their speedy service and you don’t have to have a landscape contractor hired if you are in need of a big statement tree that you feel like you can’t do yourself. Big thanks to Dan’l and the Northwest Native Landscapes team for dealing with our impatience. It’s not my best personality trait, believe me (I’m sure you do). But for the sake of my job and photography, I think that these splurges were worth it – at least that’s what I’m telling myself!!!

Big Trees Today didn’t do any press trade or anything, FYI. I simply like them and how dedicated they are to growing beautiful trees. 🙂

*Design by Emily Henderson (me!), Studio Campo, and Northwest Native Landscapes
**Pretty Progress Photos by Kaitlin Green


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60 thoughts on “Our Biggest Landscaping Splurges And How We Feel About Them

  1. Beautiful – good psa too. It’s so hard to wait for landscaping to grow in. I think it’s the reason there are so few landscaping home improvement shows on tv. We prioritized plantings at our fixer upper 11 years ago. But it’s nice to know if we ever move, we can buy some of that time to create a special outdoor space. We’re planning to plant a Japanese umbrella tree soon. It’s so slow growing, I swear if we move I’ll take it with me, hehe.

  2. Yes! Big trees for the win! They look STUNNING!!

    When I redid my backyard we splurged on mature trees (not as expensive or big as these ones, but still the largest ones we could afford under our budget). Every day I’m glad we did – they have grown so fast and look great. Also, if you plant mature trees at the right time they are more likely to survive a dry summer the little ones.

  3. Very pretty! I am a bit confused though as some of the trees look very near to the house/foundation. Maybe it is just the angle of the photos, but what happens when they grow? I am really enjoying the time we are spending with you in the yard this week. What a great way to welcome the warmer weather!

    1. I agree. These trees need to be moved further from the house. If mature width is 10 ft – trunk should be at least 6 ft from the foundation. I would get these moved right now before they get fully established. Circle around the tree in the grassy area should also be bigger – should be at least as big as the canopy. Make sure to water deeply a couple of times a week – they have different watering requirements than grass.

    2. I might have missed some, but the only trees I see near the house are Japanese Maples, which don’t get that big (18-20’ tall give or take depending on variety) and have shallow roots. Dogwoods are understory trees too. I’d be more worried if a shade tree (the white oak, 80-100’) was near the house.

      1. And I believe acer palmatum ‘beni maiko’ is a dwarf not weeping or upright Japanese maple so it won’t even get that tall.

      1. If you think that all landscapers know what they are doing then I’ve got a bridge to sell you.

        1. Lol Rhonda. I hear ya. But I think there are moments to trust pros and trust the hiring of pros. Not to say everyone is perfect but I imagine Emily has ample experience hiring people to do work and isn’t choosing inexperienced folks. A company who specializes is mature tree installation probably has better experience with planting than the average home owner. That’s all I meant by hiring pros. Appreciate your humor!

  4. I noticed these big trees in your backyard update post the other day and recognized what an important role they played in how mature things appear. Good job! Money well spent, I say.
    And yes, the price/day mentality is dangerous – – I realized this when selecting kitchen appliances – if I get the dishwasher/stove/sink with the most bells and whistles it still only breaks down to mere cents/day, and we easily spend $150 going out for one restaurant meal (often!) so it really only makes sense to get the appliance I really want, right?!? Dangerous!

  5. My understanding has been that trees close to the house are bad for your foundation. Was that part of your planning?If so, could you elaborate?

  6. We helped my dad plant a row of 20 spruce trees on the north side of our house as a wind break to shield the house and yard from MN winter wind/blizzards. I remember leap frogging over them because they were a foot tall, thinking it was silly that he thought these tiny trees could do anything. When they sold the house 40 years later they had a 50 foot tall dense wall of evergreens that really did what he planned them to do. He also planted oaks and maples carefully selected on the south side of the house to shade the house in the summer and drop their leaves to let in sunshine in the winter. The yard looked like a beautiful park for the new buyers. It was amazing how we went from a bare dirt rocky mess to a beautiful property. Trees make all the difference.

    1. In Australia, a mature tree is worth @ $50k more to a property.
      A big ol’ tree is @ $175k extra!

      1. Rusty, I’m interested to hear you say that because my observation is that here in Perth most people are obsessed with removing large trees to reduce leaf litter and cut down on maintenance. I am often appalled by the large scale removal of canopy and pleased to see some councils moving to out restrictions on this, as is quite common in many councils in Sydney, where you cannot prune or remove trees without permission (often denied) and individual trees have a very large bond over them during renovation work.
        I think this Is especially important given our very hot climate in summer, and the cooling effect of trees, countering the heat sinks of our cities.
        But I was horrified to have a new neighbour move into our street (where my mother lived for 50 years) and in three successive weekends cut down a mature fiddlewood, a mature and very beautiful jacaranda, and a mature camellia in full and glorious blossom.
        They then put in artificial turf, and just over a year after buying (and making other changes) sold the property at a much higher price. 😨
        My favourite trees are eucalypts which I know are messy but I think they are an important part of our eco system and bring wildlife to the suburbs.

  7. I wish I had the budget to do this! And you’re lucky to be able to buy trees that are dug & balled & burlapped. As long as the burlap (it doesn’t actually decompose bc it’s not completely organic these days) and wire cages are removed, they transplant much better than the container-grown large trees we have access to in central Texas, which always have root problems from being sized up without the root circling being corrected.

  8. The property is looking so beautiful and seems like it would be a dream to walk around. It would be awesome if in some of those areas where you’re considering extending the grass you sprinkle those wildflower seeds. It could look really beautiful to have wildflowers kissing the curve of the shrubs near the plunge pool.

  9. I love that you’ve planted more trees. I’m always so sad when builders aren’t able to work around the existing trees on a lot. As well as when homeowners cut down trees but don’t replace them. We bought our home specifically because I loved the full grown trees that shade the home and lot (I’m in SE Texas and having so much shade makes a huge difference with how hot it gets).

    1. This is going to sound like a dunk on all builders and I don’t mean ALL, but so many builders knock those trees down for their ease while building. It’s just lazy. I know that often, those big trees don’t survive the construction upheaval but a good builder will at least attempt to work around them. It absolutely makes a difference in the final picture.

      1. I live in Queens NYC and it breaks my heart – when they are building new apartments, they will chop down a 50 foot tall mature tree just so they can park the dumpster there temporarily. So short sighted.

    2. I belong to a Tree Canopy Advocacy group and we just managed to #change.the.laws! about builders and developers NOT being allowed to demolish/remove trees 8m (26 feet) tall or shorter with a canopy of 6m (8.22 feet).
      We. Actually. Did. It. Our City council has 7 suburbs. !!!
      It’s a leafy, inner city and affluent suburban area, but tree canopy is being decimated due to density infill.
      Trees CAN be protected and remain, with due care taken and the desire to do it.
      Now, with or without the desire…they have to!
      Power by the prople, for the people and wildlife and to combat global warming.
      We can do it!👍🌳

      1. Good on you Rusty!

        I responded to your comment above before getting down here.

        I used to pass West Leederville on my way to school each morning (many years ago now) and one of my favourite things was the glorious colour across the suburb when the Jacarandas were in bloom. It was just magical but now thanks to infill (which in my opinion allowed to much house footprint on each block and could have been done much better and with much more regard for both heritage and landscape) there is only the occasional lone tree.

        Just one example but such a shame and a loss of beauty.

  10. The big trees are stunning and really do work with the scale of the house while the shrubs are growing. Excellent purchase!

  11. I’ve seen a generac generator in a couple of the recent posts. I’d love to hear more about it — how it’s fueled, if it will be loud next to the house etc.

    1. We have a generac generator similar to that one at our house! Our is fueled by natural gas. We have it further away from our house, about 15-20 feet and I can barely hear it when it’s running if I’m in the house. Ours has an automatic transfer switch, so when the power goes off it turns on right away. We’re in the upper midwest so don’t have frequent extended power outages like in some parts of the country, but a few times we’ve had extended hours long outages and it worked flawless. There’s some regular maintenance to them, but overall it’s a nice peace of mind. Eventually I think we’ll buy our own propane tank and have that connected so that it’s a totally off grid backup system.

    2. I’m interested in this as well. I live in rural Maine, where the power goes out frequently (weekly—thank you, aging infrastructure). In the summer it’s merely inconvenient; in the winter when it’s -20F outside and the heat doesn’t work, it’s really challenging/borderline unsafe. I got a quote for a few different generator options ranging from $8,000 (bare minimum, powers heat and water pump) to $20,000 (powers the entire 3 bedroom house); it’s not in my budget now, but I’m saving up. There are so many options, just want to make the right choice… would love to hear others’ experiences!

      1. I’m in Florida and my parents have a generac. It is used a lot down here. It isn’t loud in my parents house, but they have had neighbors complain. The registered generac local company they purchased from was a hot mess, so they found a certified technician to do maintenance on it. Their house is 3000 sq feet and it does the entire house, minus the dryer bc it sucks so much energy.

      2. My parents live in rural Michigan and have a generac that runs off their propane. If I remember correctly it was $7k in 2019 for a 2,000 sq ft house. Hope that helps. It’s amazing! It turns on for a few minutes a day at noon.

      3. We live in western Mass., where power goes out regularly. Prices for full home generacs SKYROCKETED during the pandemic and haven’t gone down. We got a quote for $17k for a 2500 sq ft house in 2022. If I were you I would just buy a portable gas one and just have gas on hand. The Honda ones can basically serve as a generac but without the steep cost.

  12. Two years of mud would have done my head in. But my goodness, does this place look charming and welcoming and fabulous now. Kind of a shock how big a difference those few bigger trees made in the overall look.

  13. Jumping in to say I love this post! I live in a northern Virginia forest where the tree canopy is shrinking because of rabid developers. Our master gardeners have organized programs to propagate and give away native tree saplings to help rebuild the canopy. I planted a free 12-inch white oak sapling last month. It won’t be social-media worthy for years, but I have the luxury of anonymity! It’s good to know that companies like Big Trees Today are out there. Your new trees are gorgeous!

  14. Worth it! You can certainly justify it in support of your business, which supports not only your family but several others. I appreciate your humility. I want add that there are many times in our lives when we can’t afford a flat of perennials let alone a mature tree. And then there are times in our lives when we can afford both! Thanks for being transparent about the costs. Now go enjoy.

  15. They all look beautiful. I’m sure they will make a huge difference in how your yard feels when you’re out there and they’re great to look at year-round. When snow coats those bare branches, they will be magical!

  16. Emily… do so flippin’ beautiful!!! ❤
    Instant gardening is s.o. fun!
    I did this with a Camelia garden, planting 8 large specimens and my, what a difference.

    I’m about to select two native Australian trees for screening in my back yard (yet another McMansion going up) and with Eucalyptus, the experts say smaller grows better, stronger and healthier.
    I understand that deciduous trees are different, so the larger trees should do great!
    They look AMAZINGGGGGG!!!!🤗

    Ooooh…..I LOVE TREES SO MUCH!!! 🌳🌳🌳
    I belong to a newly formed Tree Canopy Advocacy group for my City (SPTCA) & also the Western Australian Forest Alliance (WAFA).
    My Advocacy group just changed the laws about tree removal! #changed.the.laws!
    WAFA forced the State Govt to cease logging in old growth forests next year!!
    If we truly LOVE trees, we can advocate for them … in the cities and the forests.
    They literally create the air we breathe. Pretty good reason, right?

  17. DEFINITELY worth it! For all the reasons you mentioned but also based solely on the benefits of the shade those beautiful trees will provide during Portland’s much-hotter-than-you’d-expect summers. : )

  18. I think those were good investments. The landscaping is already looking great. In my own outdoor project, I had to ask myself, what gives me the most joy out of being outdoors. Trees check so many boxes like shade, privacy, esthetics. I think they bring me more joy than the patio or fence, though those are important too. But in terms of pricing trees are still less expensive than either the new lawn, patio, or fencing. They are often an afterthought, but they shouldn’t be when one is setting a budget and a plan for the landscape. So like you, we also spent more money than we thought we would on trees. But it makes sense and it’s all worth it. Between all the plants, I think it’s better to splurge on threes, then shrubs, and spend the least amount on smaller plants (or start from seeds), which will grow out anyway.

  19. Also here to suggest moving the two Japanese Maples further away from the house. It’s true that they don’t have a very aggressive root system and probably will be fine with the foundation. But the tree canopy will grow and touch the house very quickly. It will look also pretty weird if the tree can only grow in one direction.

    From how close it looks now, the trees would probably have to be chopped down again in ten years because they’ll get too wide for that space.

    1. That’s more of a preference. Some people plant Japanese maples like shrubs near the foundation. They grow very slowly typically.

    2. I agree with the concerns about the maples being planted too close to the house. I see landscapers plant foundation plants too close to buildings all the time. If at maturity the tree will grow to 10 ft wide, then it should be planted at least 5-6 ft from a building. Some other things to consider:

      As the trees grow taller and wider, will the branches hit the siding, soffit, gutters, or windows? If so, they’re too close to the house. Best to plant the trees in a location where they won’t need to excessive pruning to fit into the space.

      Squirrels and other critters will use the trees close to your house to hop onto your gutters and roof, and may find their way into your attic. Trust me, I’ve been there.

      The tree planted in front of the 3 windows may block the view from inside that room as it grows. When you look out that window, do you only want to see the tree, or broader views of the landscaping?

      Trees are beautiful additions to landscaping and the environment. Proper placement ensures they’ll thrive and live a long time in their new location.

  20. Trees definitely make a huge difference!

    We’ve been working on our backyard landscaping this year, and the size has been a big factor as well. Road construction crews cut down some very tall trees that offered us privacy. So I looked high and low for trees/shrubs that were tall enough (6’) to offer some, and be reasonably priced. I looked for many hours, ha! I was able to get 8 Arborvitae and 2 Portuguese Laurels for just over 1k, including delivery + install, which I felt like was a steal! Having the height is just SO much better. I dream about what they’ll look like in a few years…

  21. I don’t know about the wildlife in your area but having more mature trees also gives them better odds of surviving any aggressive deer or elk searching for food in the winter. We lost three of our four Yoshino cherry tree saplings here in rural Washington bc of deer, and even our well established apple tree gets savaged each year. We’re looking into fencing to protect any future younger trees!

    1. Where I am, it’s a given that you fence your baby trees for at least 5!! years to keep the deer from destroying them. Definitely should be a budget consideration in rural areas. Besides nibbling the fresh growth, deer rub their antlers against the trunks which can destroy the bark and kill a young tree. Super annoying.

    2. There’s a super easy (though not very pretty) trick to protect young trees. Just get some of that fiberglass mesh that’s used for plastering walls. Wrap it like a loose fence around the trunk in fall, staple it in place with regular staples and voila, deer and rabbits won’t go anywhere near that stuff, they find the texture off-putting. This is how we protect our young orchard. In the spring you just remove it, you can even keep it for next year. It’s not too visually offensive unless the tree is right next to the house, and it is sturdy enough to last through the whole winter.

  22. Totally agree it’s so hard to wait for the landscaping to come in. And I don’t have a shoot just a mother-in-law. We bought a house in 2021 and planted a ton of native and drought-friendly plants. We were told to give it three years (three years!!) – first they sleep, then they creep, then they leap! We’re in the creep phase and already it’s so magical, cannot wait for multiple years down the line and to know my patience added so much curb appeal.

  23. Trees make such a difference to a garden, and even the smallest space can have a tree if you choose the right one. Yours look great and that instant vertical element makes a huge difference. But for anyone who can’t afford to splurge on a large tree don’t be discouraged, small ones can grow really quickly. I have some fruit trees I planted very small 5 years ago which have already reached an impressive height. On the other hand I have a magnolia that I bought already large, but has sat there 3 years now and barely grown. I figure it is concentrating on growing roots and any year now it will burst into action!
    Anyhow, as they say the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, but the second best is today.

  24. If you put in Q. garryana, Oregon’s white oak, it was singly the most important thing you could have planted for the local ecosystem. I would recommend you check out Doug Tallamy’s books. Super cool + thank you for choosing a native white oak.

  25. I love the trees! Price seems actually what I would expect. We have a new build and two bushes included. Over about 2 years I have added plants, flowers etc, including two trees, a dogwood and cherry blossom. Not as big as yours, but the biggest we could comfortably spend, and I did all the labor myself (NOT easy haha), but that saved a lot of money too. 🙂
    Love the landscaping! Definitely worth it!

  26. FYI your landscape contractor is Northwest Natives, not Native Northwest. I noticed your first link to their business website was also incorrect (went to a Native American website…). We used Northwest Natives for our huge hardscaping annd landscaping project and they were wonderful! Just looking out for our local Portland businesses and making sure they are getting credited for their great work…

  27. I was shocked when I bought a house and learned what an equity issue trees are in cities. It’s really expensive to maintain trees on your property, and without support from the city, lower income people can’t afford it. In Portland, because of this lower income neighborhoods have less tree canopy and are way hotter in the summer, which causes more heat related illness and death in these neighborhoods. As an example of the costs— my block was full of beautiful old cherry trees on the street strip that all started dying at the same time and losing huge branches during storms. The city ordered me and my next door neighbor to cut ours down. They charge a permit fee of $100 per tree to remove them, even though they’re forcing you to do it, and the lowest bid from an arborist for our trees was over $1000. Then the city requires you to replace them with new street trees from their approved list, also with a permit fee for planting. We coughed up the money because we love having trees, and three years later they’re finally starting to grow to a substantial size, but it will probably be 10 more years until we get the shade we used to have. Our neighbors didn’t want to deal with the costs so they cut their trees down with chain saws themselves, left the stumps, and don’t plan to plant new ones, and it’s shocking how barren and hot the whole block feels now.

  28. I really, really, really love these outdoor reveals!! Your home is even more of a magical oasis now!! I also loooooove trees and feel grateful that I live near the beach under an old mature oak canopy! I hope you keep posting updates about your outdoors and would love to see content about composting, bee and butterfly friendly gardening, lawn and garden maintenance without toxic pest control and fertilizers, etc. if you are heading in this direction at all. It’s looking timeless, relaxing and I can imagine years full of joy.

  29. That looks great! Trees are foundational to outdoor use. The only thing I am worried about is that I saw the burlap on the ground on one of your photos. I really hope they take them out because based on newer studies, planting trees with burlap (and wires on) on the root ball hinders the root growth down the road and possibly kill the trees, . Please check and if insist to remove that. Since it is just planted, it is still very possible to dig the planting soil and take out the burlap and leftover hardware out now before the trees become too established on the ground. We had that fixed in the past too with no problem for our trees. Cheers for trees!

  30. DEFINITELY worth the splurge — though I think in this case the word ‘investment’ is more appropriate than ‘splurge’. I predict that you won’t ever regret the expenditure!

  31. Here in isolated New Zealand I’m used to things costing a lot more than most places. But holy cr@p those are some expensive trees! We bought a 8-10′ magnolia recently for what we thought was a pricy $400. Bought two large Japanese maples at the same time for $120ish each. I’m intrigued to know how much big trees cost in other parts of the world now!

  32. Generally speaking, the slower growth rate landscape plants of all kinds end up costing MUCH more than the moderate to fast growth rate plants. That’s something to keep in mind for the budget minded. Dwarfs grow really slowly, but, if you need one, you need one. Another consideration is the ultimate height of the tree, the height it’s genetically programmed to achieve. Trees with tall ultimate heights tend to grow very fast when they’re juveniles. People think oak grows slowly, but they grow very fast when they’re young. As an example, I planted a red oak, quercus rubra, as a container 5-gallon, in late fall 2015, that now is every bit of 40 feet tall with 12 inch diameter trunk. That makes it 6 feet of height gain per year average. This tree is heading for an ultimate height of 80-100 feet. Also, you might want to consider lifetime. I’m wondering if your cherry is prunus serrulata kwanzan, fruitless, which can go into decline as early as 15-25 years. So it’s not really going to be an heirloom planting. Finally, plants of all kinds establish MUCH better the smaller they are when planted. That route does require more care, so being a gardener helps.

  33. My experience has been that one should consider water lines and septic/sewer lines when planting trees. Some varieties are so water hungry that they will invade those lines, especially if they are not the newer plastic piping. My clay sewer line ran near a very large maple in my backyard that provided wonderful shade, but I routinely had to have my sewer line rooted out every year or two. (Converting the lengthy line to plastic pipe would have been costly and also damaging to the tree’s root structure.) Weeping willows, for instance, should never be planted closer than 50 feet from water/sewer lines.
    Also, large trees near the home may develop overhanging branches that can become a significant hazard during storms. I had a 120-year old oak that had a huge overhanging branch over my home. It provided great shade—right up until a lightning strike hit the tree’s main trunk and killed the tree. If the lightning strike had hit that branch instead of the main trunk, or if it had uprooted the tree, a large portion of my living/dining room or possibly even the main structure of my home would have been severely damaged.

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