Need A New Tree? The Grown Canopy Could Be A Make-Or-Break Factor

Posted on: 12 June 2017


If you've just had to remove a tree from your yard and are planting a new one to take its place, you already know that root size and spread (and speed of growth) are crucial if the tree will be near the house or near utility lines. Disease resistance is also important. But the canopy, too, is something you need to look at. Not only would a wide canopy provide shade, but it could also adversely affect crucial aspects of your property and the surrounding space.

Roof Edges, Gutters, and Dormer Windows

Typically, the root radius of the tree is similar to the canopy radius, or drip line. But not all houses have roofs that extend out only as far as the foundation of the house. If you have an awning that extends over a portion of the yard for shade, for example, then the outer edge of the canopy could interfere with the awning once the canopy is fully grown. The edges of the branches could drop extra leaves into the gutters, or some of the upper branches could poke into the window screen on a dormer window. Even if the roots aren't going to interfere with anything, you need to take the canopy into account because there are items toward the top of the roof that could interact with the branches.

Those Power Lines

You've got to watch out for power lines. Now, obviously, you aren't going to plant a tree directly under the lines if the tree is supposed to grow taller than the height of the lines. But again, if you've got a tree in mind that is supposed to become one of those majestic, spreading trees with huge canopies, you have to take that sideways growth into account. You don't want upper branches growing out enough to touch a power line.

Encroaching on Your Neighbors' Space

And then there's the issue of the edges of the branches growing over your fence and into your neighbors' yards. Your neighbor, depending on the local laws, may be able to trim or cut those branches, leading to a lopsided look on the tree. For trees near the border of your yard, you may want to look at those that don't have such a wide canopy.

A quick fix that many people use is to cut away those branches that could be a problem, but like the tree in the neighbor example, that can lead to a very lopsided tree, one that could potentially fall over if too much is cut off. Instead, call a tree cutting service, like Treetime Inc, to trim the tree appropriately, creating a more balanced look that is safer and healthier for the tree.