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Here in Rochester and Monroe County, it’s the perfect time of year to get our hands dirty and work in the yard. We’ll spend the springtime mowing the lawn, pruning trees and shrubs, and planting flowers. Perhaps you’re even thinking of planting a few new trees in your yard. Here is a list of 4 important things to keep in mind when choosing a type of tree that will thrive in our region:


Function is the first thing to consider. What is the purpose of the tree? If you’re sick of Rochester’s hot, muggy summers, pick a tree that will offer plenty of protection against the summer sun. Not only will it guard you while you’re outside, but if the tree is placed carefully, it can also fight air conditioning costs by blocking out rays of sun invading your home through your windows.

Perhaps you don’t need more shade in your yard. Maybe you’re simply looking for a good looking tree to make your yard more aesthetic. A beautiful tree can turn an average yard into a gorgeous one. It can even increase the value of your real estate!


Size is another important factor to consider when buying a tree. You have to do a little research before you bring your tree home. How tall will your tree grow? How wide will it get? Some trees grow to be ten feet; others, one hundred feet. You wouldn’t want a giant Maple Tree growing over fifty feet high and thirty-five feet wide if you have a tiny backyard.

Hardiness and Exposure

Hardiness is a plant’s ability to survive in the extreme temperatures of the particular geographic region in which it is being planted. Certain trees simply do not thrive when planted in certain regions. Think of a palm tree planted in Alaska. Silly, right? In terms of exposure, it’s important to realize your tree’s sunlight needs, and vulnerability to wind. Some young trees can survive in a little bit of shade, but it’s rare to find a type of tree that thrives in dense shade. If you live in a windy area, you may need to take special care of your new tree. Since wind can dry up moist soil, you may have to water your tree regularly. Wind can also break off branches and leaves, and even uproot a tree if it has not developed a strong root system yet. It’s vital to keep in mind not only your region’s typical temperatures, but also its common weather behaviors.

Human Activity

You wouldn’t think it, but humans can actually be quite detrimental to a tree’s health. A typical human offense against plants is overwatering or underwatering. To grow to a healthy size, your tree needs the right amount of water for it to properly mature. Underwatering and overwatering can not only weaken your tree, it can also kill it.

Congratulations, you’re now ready to make an educated decision about the type of tree you should plant in your yard. Whether you’re planting your first tree or shrub in your new home, or just looking to give your yard a makeover, picking the proper tree is essential for its health.

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