“The Utah State University Extension Service is committed to helping residents select new trees that will thrive in our climate and restore shade, privacy, and beauty in our landscapes,” said Britney Hunter, Extension assistant professor.
Selecting an appropriate species of tree is the first step in growing one that is healthy with strong roots, she said.
However, healthy trees are not immune from injury. It was the dense growth habit of evergreen trees that made them more vulnerable during the recent storm, compared to sparse deciduous trees without their leaves, Hunter said.
“Tree experts at Utah State University developed an excellent resource for selecting trees called the USU Tree Browser,” she said. It may be viewed at www.treebrowser.org.
“The most important factors to consider when selecting a tree are cold hardiness and mature size, which can be sorted by the Tree Browser,” Hunter said. “Residents in the valleys of the Wasatch Front should look for trees with a hardiness zone of five or lower. Trees should be planted at least half of the mature width away from buildings and structures.”
“Fast growing” trees should also be avoided, USU experts said, because they are also “fast dying.”
“In general, trees that are not cold hardy, along with fast growing trees like poplar and elm have more problems with pests, and tend to have weak wood susceptible to breaking during wind and snow storms,” Hunter said.
The USU Tree browser also lists trees for sites with poor drainage, and trees appropriate to grow beneath power lines.
For more information on tree selection, visit extension.usu.edu, or visit the Davis County Extension Office on the second floor of the Memorial Courthouse in Farmington at 28 E. State Street.