Consider These Guidelines Before you Plant a Tree

So you’ve decided to plant a tree. Before you start digging, however, there are a few things you should consider to maximize its payoff and to avoid headaches in the future. What kind of tree should you choose? Where should you plant it to get the most shade and cooling benefits for your home? What hazards should you keep in mind? What kind of maintenance needs should you be planning for after it’s in the ground?

The city of Pasadena has published an comprehensive resource that goes over everything you need to think about when planting a tree. The 44-page document provides considerations and gives practical explanations for how and where to plant a tree.

Here are a couple of notable passages:

Where To Plant


Avoiding Hazards


Tree size

Underground utilities, structures, buildings

Fences & paved areas

Overhead power lines

Do not plant within:


35 feet

10 feet

30 feet


25 feet

10 feet

20 feet


10 feet

10 feet

10 feet



Find the guidebook here or view the PDF below. Happy planting!


This story is part of a special report exploring tree canopies in Southern California. Learn more about tree canopy coverage and what local organizations are doing to encourage communities to participate in tree planting initiatives at kcet.org/treecanopies. 

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