Thread: Planting distance help

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  1. #1

    Planting distance help

    OK, I had never planted a tree before, then last August I bought a home on 3 1/2 acres of grassland on a hillside. It has a pond at the southern end and an underground spring on the eastern perimiter which stays boggy so far and is home to crawdads. I have researched as well as I know how and ended up purchasing 101 trees total for my property. I have 48 of them in the ground where they will stay, and the rest are still in the temporary nursery I made. As I prepare to move them to their final homes I am concerned about how much space to give them.

    I want to do a ring of red and scarlet oaks, but am not sure how far they must be apart. Do I have to keep them far enough apart so that the crowns will never touch? Or can I plant them closer together, say 25' - 30' apart so that they will form a more solid ring?

    Thank you for your help!

  2. #2

    RE: Planting distance help

    Come now, don't be shy! Someone on this wisened site must have an answer to such a relatively simple question. Come on, please.........

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Ocala, FL

    RE: Planting distance help

    Hello pendragon,

    I'd say that 25-30' is more than enough room. Eventually their crowns will intermingle and form a small canopy, but that occurs in natural settings as well - it's not a bad thing. I would encourage you to distribute them in a somewhat randomized, staggered pattern, rather than a perfect row or circle, so that it won't look odd if one of them dies in the future.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Eastern PA

    RE: Planting distance help

    I have dozens oaks growing within inches (or less) of each other - in fact, I have quite a few that appear to be multi-trunk clumps. They seem to do well for the most part, although the smaller ones sometimes outstretch their bounds trying to reach the canopy, and none of them have sizable branches within the lower 40' or more.

    The distances you've specified seem good - they will allow much more of a full crown than is possible in a crowded forest.

    Green Man Enviroscaping LLC

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Oak Quirky Quercus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004

    RE: Planting distance help

    Here is an example to show you what Ellyssian is talking about.

    In the wild, like these trees, it's one thing but it's a better idea to have trees with a strong branch structure in your yard if it's close to a house. It also depends on what you're planting and it's growth habit. I would prefer a closed canopy and close spacing at the edge of the lot for privacy and to create a realistic wooded habitat. And I'd eventually want it to cast shade over the house at least for a few hours. But even still, I keep the trees spaced apart and fill in the temporary voids with shrubs or trees that don't get that tall.

    They say to plant not for now, but to plant for 5 years from now.

  6. #6

    RE: Planting distance help

    Thank you all so much!! Many good ideas... and you're right, I should stagger them. I never considered what might happen if one of them died or got destroyed in a storm. Thanks for the help! I didn't want to mistreat my baby trees

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