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Mature size

Small, medium or large trees belong in large spaces, but small-maturing trees are usually best suited for small soil spaces. Narrow trees are well suited for narrow overhead spaces but wide-spreading trees also adapt well to narrow spaces. Small trees are often best suited for planting near power lines, and so forth. Beyond these basic guidelines discussed in the above ground analysis, the choice of tree size is purely functional and aesthetic.

large tree

Large trees are the obvious choice for providing shade to large open spaces and for planting along streets. Medium or large trees will cast the most shade onto a building, which can reduce air conditioning bills when they are placed properly. Small trees are often suggested for planting in downtown areas where soil space is limited, but they provide little shade.

Small or medium sized trees may be best for planting near a deck or patio. Small trees are often cultivated to have showy trunks, fruits, foliage, or flowers that attract attention to an area and make nice specimens in the yard.

Unless special provisions are made, trees often outgrow urban spaces. In the picture above, the curb and pavement are cracked from the tree roots spreading, and repair to the area will be expensive and most likely damaging to the tree.