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Larry Sagers Horticultural Specialist Utah State University Extension Service Thanksgiving Point Office © All Rights Reserved

Basic Landscape Design Larry Sagers and Paul Quist Whether you're designing a first-time landscape or remolding an existing landscape, learn the steps for creating a look you will enjoy. The class will cover creating focal points, entryways, how to frame your home or preserve a view and water-wise landscaping. Master Gardeners from Utah State University Extension Service will help review your landscape plans in a personal consultation. Fee: $40.00. Tuesdays, September 9, 16, 23, 30, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM. Join us in the Oak Room on the lower level of the Thanksgiving Gardens Visitors Center.

Finding the right plant for the right place is a vital part of the landscape design. Proper plant placement will save you many thousands of dollars over the life of your landscape. It is a concept that very few people realize how important it is until they get struck with some very significant tree removal and landscape remodeling bills.

One dramatic example of this concept is a home that I visited in Provo almost twenty years ago. An elderly gentleman asked me to come and look at some trees that he needed to remove because they had started to grow over surrounding apartment houses. He had had a bid to remove the trees and he thought it was very expensive and asked me to give him a recommendation.

He had built his home on his large but very narrow lot sometime after the turn of the last century. He built a garage at the side of his home so he blocked access from the front of the home to the back but there were plenty of vacant lots that let him in the back if needed.

He was given many starts of Siberian Elms and he eventually had 28 large trees around the borders of his property. The trees had had little care in the early rural lifetime so they grew tall but had never had any corrective care or pruning.

After many decades he was now surrounded by apartments and the trees were now hanging over the top of many of these building. After any wind or snow storms, branches were falling on surrounding properties.

When I visited the property, the problem was very apparent. The trees were high risk trees in very poor condition in very hazardous situation. The price for removing each tree was $800.00 X 28 trees = 22,400. This was about four times the gentleman’s annual income. The free trees had now become very expensive liabilities.

To prevent problems in your landscape consider two factors before you plant your trees. First is to consider the mature size of the trees. Check the label and do some independent research to find out how large these trees are going to grow. Plant them in an area where they can grow and develop. Do not count on pruning to keep a tree down to size because annual pruning on a large tree is also very expensive.

The second important factor to remember is to select trees that can remain in place for many years. Fast growing trees provide quick growth but they are beset with problems. They are weak wooded, and are very likely to break down under stress or strain. They become hazardous as they age and usually must be removed, often at great expense.

Stronger, slower growing trees are less likely to have problems so spend the time to select the right plant for the right place. The money you save may be your own.

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