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Planting Guide

Plants and trees are an important part of the Alabama landscape. Proud homeowners enjoy the planting of different kinds of trees, and Cherokee Electric Cooperative understands this. However, there are some basic questions you should ask yourself BEFORE you plant or transplant any tree.

Before planting ask yourself these questions:

-Over the years, as the tree grows, will it be too close to overhead power lines or to your house?

-Consider the root system as well. Will it block sewer lines or buckle sidewalks or your driveway?

-Try to figure out whether or not the tree might block an important street or stop sign or screen off a view from your house.

Because different trees have different heights in maturity, it pays to learn something about the different kinds of trees you’re considering planting. Pay special attention to where you plant each tree.

Landscaping should help display your home, instead of hiding it. Landscaping also uses plants that are compatible with the existing area and buildings. If you plant the right kind of tree in the right place, it can even enhance your property value.

However, good landscaping will also use shrubs and lower growing plants that are more compatible with power lines.

For windbreaks, evergreens are a good choice. They can be planted on the west or north side of a house – 50 feet or more from the house is ideal.

For temperature, planting deciduous (leafy) trees is the ideal choice. These trees, such as maple or oak, can be planted on the south or the west side of the house. This allows the shade of the tree to help cool things off in the summer and still allows the sun to enter the house in the winter.

If you plant trees in a utility right-of-way, it will require your the utility to trim the trees to maintain proper clearance from electric lines. This could cause the tree to have an unnatural appearance, damage the tree, or cause increased susceptibility to insects, disease or rot.

When planting, remember:

The hole for the tree should be as deep as the roots are long. You can trim up to 1/3 of the roots to help. However, you should not let the roots “circle” the bottom of the hole.

Soak the tree’s roots an hour before you begin digging, and don’t let the roots dry out.

You shouldn’t immediately fertilize the tree because it can burn the roots and kill the tree. Wait until spring when the buds begin to appear.