City Street Trees

A well placed tree can help conserve energy, provide a visual screen, and provide years of beauty. However, a tree placed in the wrong place can be harmful and potentially expensive! The small tree you plant today will someday grow tall and its roots may be as expansive as the tree's branches. Make sure you select a location with adequate room to grow above and below ground. For more information, reference the Recommended Centralia Tree List (PDF).

Reason for Planting

Are you planting to shade your house in the summer or to create habitat for birds? Or are you looking to provide some seasonal interest or frame your view? Select the appropriate tree to help you achieve your goal.

Tree Size at Maturity

Many of these trees will get big! Read the Centralia Tree List carefully and envision what the tree will look like in 30-plus years before making your selections.

Tree Shape / Form

Small, spreading trees that are multi-stemmed require regular pruning when planted near a sidewalk or road. Upright trees can be better trained to grow over pedestrian and road traffic.

Maximize the Benefits with a Large Tree

Larger trees provide to your neighborhood and our environment. Large trees absorb more water, breathe in more carbon dioxide, and breathe out more oxygen than smaller trees. For these reasons, we recommend planting larger trees whenever appropriate. If you have the space, consider one of our native evergreen conifers which will maximize the benefits to you and your neighborhood.

Power Lines

Do not plant a tall tree under overhead power lines! Trees planted under power lines should reach a maximum of approximate 25 feet. If your planting site has overhead power lines, please select a tree from the "under power lines" list (i.e. Cascara, Chinese Fringe Tree, Eastern Redbud, and Southern Magnolia).

Evaluate the Planting Site

Take time to evaluate potential planting sites on your property. The survival and health of a tree depends on how well suited it is to the site. Before choosing your site, consider:

  • Available planting space
  • Light (e.g. full sun, part sun, shade?)
  • Overhead and underground utilities
  • Soils
  • Surrounding human activity
  • Surrounding trees and structures (e.g. your house, driveway, and utility poles)

Soil Type

What type of soil is present? Is the soil sandy or more clay-like? This will influence drainage, which should influence your tree selection. Is the soil compacted? Compacted soil can lead to poor drainage so you'll need to select a water-loving tree, such as the swamp white oak. You can test your soil's drainage by digging a hole 12 inches deep, filling it with water, and checking back one hour later.