Selecting The Right Tree

Knowing what tree is best suited for the environment you live in is easier said than done. This is the first part of the tree selecting process. The location where you live geographically will determine the selection of trees that are able to thrive in that area. Lets be honest, we are all tempted to go with the tree that is most appealing. We must first consider if that tree is right for the environment it will be placed in. This article will discuss the relationship between location and tree health as well as the environmental factors that impact a tree negatively or positively.

Plant Hardiness

The first factor to consider is the hardiness zone of your tree. Hardiness is the minimum temperature that your plant can withstand. Central Ohio along with most of Ohio is in hardiness zone 6. This means that your tree must be able to withstand an extreme minimum temperature of -5 to -10 degrees Fahrenheit. Hardiness zone maps can be found at These maps provide a visual representation of the different zones in the United States.

Example of plant hardiness zones in the United States.

Soil Ph

Soil type, specifically soil Ph, also plays a crucial role in how a tree will survive in the long run. Most trees at nurseries are from different parts of the country. This is problematic because a tree that is transplanted to a new soil will not get the proper nutrients that it needs. It is important to know where your tree is from to be sure it will adapt well to the soil.

Soil Ph of Ohio

In central Ohio, the soil is mostly alkaline. This is important to know if you are considering to add a Red Maple, Pin Oak, or Hemlock to your landscape because those trees prefer more acidic soil that can be found in Southern Ohio. If you are unsure how to go about selecting your tree, do not worry. Nursery staff are very knowledgeable and can give you great recommendations on what trees to plant. They will also inform you on the history of the tree, explaining what state it is from and how cold hardy/heat tolerant it is.

Take a Walk in the Woods

Finding your new tree can be as simple as taking a walk in the woods. This way you can see first hand what trees are most appealing to you. Not only that, but you will see mature healthy trees as well. This will be beneficial when attempting to get a tree you want to keep healthy. You will notice that a lot of the trees planted in neighborhoods are not located anywhere in the woods near your location. That is because these trees are taken from other locations, making them vulnerable to elements they are not accustomed to. This is why being knowledgeable about your environment can save you time and expense. Are you curious about what trees or plants would be great to plant in your landscape? Feel free to ask one of our Certified Arborists next time they are on your property.