A tree in a field
(Continued from Planting 1: Species selection)

Where you plant a tree will have a profound impact on that space in the future.

Planting too close to your neighbours may start a long-term conflict. Most of us are more territorial than we think; few of us are happy with the neighbour’s trees growing into our property. And yet, we all unthinkingly plant near the margins of our property to create the largest space within our own yards.

Seriously take some time and use stakes to mark possible planting sites. Then hit the books again and reevaluate.

Shade is a major concern for you and your neighbours. There are plenty of old fashioned farm-style spruce shelter belts in the city that produce a full shade year-round for the neighbours. With no light, they can never be gardeners.

The change of seasons and the ebbing of light around the end of the year have a powerful effect on people. Try to arrange your trees so that you get some winter light. By the time of the winter equinox, we have less than eight hours from sunrise to set.

Planting for privacy is natural. We all need and deserve some. A green screen between decks is a good thing. Consider shrub material as a more manageable alternative to trees. The largest of Calgary’s shrubs are sometimes all that small urban lots require.

(Continued in Planting 3: Buying your tree)