Planning Trees in Your Garden


The old way of garden design required graph paper, a sharp pencil, plenty of patience, measuring existing trees, and excellent visualization skills. Although some gardeners and arborists still prefer this method, you can have a lot of fun creating your tree grove and garden design with any number of excellent software packages that are available now.

There is some manual labor involved. You do need to measure the dimensions of your garden area including the anticipated tree branch overhang. Once that’s accomplished, you’re ready to sit down and create a visual representation of your dream garden design while folding in a border of mature and new trees.

Garden design software comes with databases of plant and tree images and characteristics, organized in categories. Choose your gardening zone, plant type, tree type and size, exposure and soil requirements to select those suited to your plot and taste. Such software lets you virtually install your brick pathway and plant a perimeter of annuals. You’ll see how many plants are required for the allotted space and how they’ll look at planting time as well as in midsummer while at the same time showing how tree growth over the years will impact the tree leaf shade. How about a shade tree to eventually cool your southern facing kitchen? Select your tree and plant it. See how much cooling cover it provides three or five or ten years from now. The software calculates the distance of the tree from your house that’s required to keep your foundation intact 20 years from now. Marvelous! The visuals provided by such garden design software are inspiring and accurate representations of what you may expect of your design, both in the short and long term.

The best thing about garden design software is that if you decide you don’t care for the looks of an area, you just do it over – on your computer! You can also make as many garden designs as you wish. It’s a lovely way to spend some winter’s eves!

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