As we’ve no doubt mentioned before, TLC Nursery & Outdoor Living is the largest landscaping company within Independence. We provide landscaping and lawn care services to both commercial and residential clients, with our services ranging all across the board. We provide fertilization and weed control, irrigation services, landscape installation, lawn maintenance, and have our own TLC Garden Center. All these features make us a holistic, comprehensive leader in groundskeeping, landscaping, and outdoor living services within Southeast Kansas.

Rather than briefly highlight each service and how it might help you out, today’s article will be focused on one of our services not mentioned above: our arborist and tree care services. As part of the bigger picture in lawn care, tree care, pruning, planting, and general maintenance unfortunately can sometimes be overlooked. This is somewhat natural after all, when you consider our potentially subconscious belief that trees generally can take care of themselves without our help. When compared to landscaping, gardening, and growing a beautiful, green lawn, this might actually be the case more often than not. However, it does not follow that we can simply leave the trees on our property or yard to their own devices and everything will turn out peachy.

On the contrary, this post is dedicated to providing our readers with some practical tips about planting trees, maintaining tree health, and general tree care. Read on if you are interested in getting some easy-to-remember advice that could end up saving the life of your trees down the road.

Where Landscaping and Tree Care Meet

Before we dive too deep into how to plant a tree and such, let’s talk about any summer or fall barbecues you are planning to have. As lawn care specialists, we have a good understanding of the interaction between your trees and yard. While you are preparing for an outdoor party or BBQ, make sure that you look out for limbs or branches on your trees that look like they might be ready to fall soon. Most people only focus on what is at eye-level when preparing for an outdoor party, our two cents is simply to look up and avoid something quite unfortunate.

Selecting The Right Tree For You

Let’s start with the foundational piece when it comes to tree care: selecting the right tree, for both you and your geographical climate. Rather than reading tens of online articles to reach some sort of consensus on the matter, we thought we would offer a more simple alternative. The Arbor Day Foundation has a nifty little tool called the Tree Wizard, which lets anyone determine their options based on their climate. Choose based on zip code to learn which kinds of trees thrive in Independence, or you can select based on categories that include fruit trees, popular trees, fast growing trees, and flowering trees. It’s a pretty handy tool which we certainly would recommend!

Beyond Climate And Preference

Picking a tree that will do well in Southeast Kansas, and one that you like, is a good start. But your prep work in planting a tree is far from over. For instance, specific location on your property or yard has a significant impact. Planting trees in an incorrect area, even if they are capable of thriving in a given environment, may have negative repercussions and cause the tree to eventually perish. An example of a bad place to plant a tree is under utility lines, assuming your selected tree will grow tall enough to be affected by the power lines. Eventually your tree might become a hazard to the power line in addition to the tree’s health, which is another headache you don’t need. Proper placement might still be under a utility line, by simply planting a smaller tree there which will never exceed a certain height, such as a fruit tree.

Plant With a Purpose

Something else to keep in mind when planning out your tree planting is to have a purpose for your tree in mind. For instance, planting your tree on the north side of your home to protect the structure from cold winter winds might be a wise decision in the long run.


This may a bit surface level to some, but it is still worth mentioning before you plant your tree. Most people consider how the tree will grow above the ground, but accounting for the root growth trajectory might become problematic in the future. It just depends on how much space you have. If you are planting trees in an orchard, all you have to do is worry about root spacing between trees. If, however, you don’t have an expansive plot at your disposal but are still wanting to fill up your yard with trees, dwarf trees represent a good solution. A citrus tree, for example, take up less space than other kinds of trees and are still quite pleasant to look at.

Plant With Care

Don’t mess this part up! You may have heard in the past that it is a good idea to plant a young tree with an extra-strong wire basket. This will have the adverse effect of constricting the roots to a certain extent. Known as “girdling”, doing this will have a negative impact on the future health and growth trajectory of your tree. And nobody wants that.

Soil Allocation

The tendency to smother the plant, like a wee baby, is a natural one. We want to see the plant do well and have everything they need. But by filling the surrounding base of the trunk with too much soil, you might negatively impact the health of the young tree. The balance of water and oxygen is delicate at a young age. But each kind of tree has a different measurement of what “too much” soil looks like. In this case, we recommend reaching out to your Independence arborist at TLC Nursery & Outdoor Living for experienced eyes and an expert’s recommendation on the matter.

So concludes our first installment in a brief series on planting trees and proper tree care. We hope that you’ve found this first piece to be a good starting point. Although far from comprehensive, if you could use just one of these tips in the future it might save you headaches and money in the long run. Look out for our next post which will get into more details about tree care once the tree in question is already in the ground and ready to grow. Check out our TLC Nursery & Outdoor Living Planting Guide for Trees for step-by-step details on the process, so you are sure to not miss out on any key aspect.

Certified Kansas Arborist

If you are looking to troubleshoot your tree stresses, you should know that Twila Brooks is certified in Kansas as a practicing Arborist. Capable of helping guide you through a variety of tree care issues, Twila excels in giving insight into the overall health of a tree, with an eye toward the future and any potential problems that she can see arising. Whether you are interested in pest control from chewing insects, soil conditions like compaction, or another tree health issue, it’s a good idea to involve an Independence “tree doctor” who understands the region’s idiosyncrasies.

Contact us today to get in touch with lawn care, landscaping, and tree care professionals here at TLC Nursery & Outdoor Living. We would love to help.