Q: Our new house has a great yard but no trees for shade. We’re planning a formal outdoor party and would like to know whether we can have a mature tree planted there.
A: Wouldn’t it be nice to have instant shade trees? Anything’s possible for a price. You’ve probably seen swanky new developments sprout big trees seemingly overnight. These are specimens that have been grown for years in large wooden boxes. Many are decades old, enormous and expensive.
If you think planting such a tree is a do-it-yourself project, think again. First you would have to buy the specimen from a retail nursery at top price. The bigger challenge is handling such a whopper because they can be incredibly heavy to move. Even the smallest specimen in a 24-inch square box requires special equipment for transport. Getting it into the backyard is another big job if you have no rear-yard vehicular access and sideyards are narrow. Removing the box from the root ball and getting the tree in the hole is equally challenging. Due to the high cost of specimen trees you can’t afford to make a mistake.
Specimen trees are priced according to the size of their containers starting at two feet square then graduating up at regular intervals to three, four and on up. The price rises proportionately and should be combined with delivery and installation costs to get a true picture of your overall investment.
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This kind of job requires a landscape contractor or a tree-moving company. They know what kind of trees are best suited to your yard and the local climate. Experienced staff oversees purchase of the tree at a discount off retail. They handle delivery and planting. They are also vital to stabilize the specimen so it is not vulnerable to blowing over in high wind or heavy rain following the installation. Finally, they check back to be sure the new tree gets off to a good start within a predetermined maintenance period.
Most important of all the contractor carries insurance. If mishandled a big tree can cause serious damage to your house, or it could die and need immediate replacement. You can rest assured an insured, qualified contractor guarantees you are fully protected.