Small plants purchased at the garden store often grow to a larger mature size. If a tree is planted too close to a home, it can cause problems later. And there are other factors such as sun requirements, fertilizer needs, and hardiness in harsh Kansas winters that should be considered when planting a tree.

Produced by the Department of Communications at Kansas State University. For more information, visit our website at:

Consider Tree Size When Planting

A lot of times, people will see cute little plants in the garden center. They’ll take them home and plant them, and lovingly take care of them. But they may not realize that their mature size will be much larger than the space allotted for them.

There’s a tree behind me that’s very close to the house. This is the same kind of tree as my example, and it’s planted just a foot or two away from the foundation of the house. At maturity, the tree will be much larger. Eventually this tree will have to be removed, because it will grow into the house and cause problems. So, it’s important to plant trees further away from the house to avoid problems in the future.

When you’re looking for information about how large a plant is going to be, you can check your smartphone. Or, call you local county extension office for some information about how big plants will grow in Kansas.

Most plants also have a plant tag. This plant tag has great information about exposure, which means how much sun it likes (sun or shade.) This one likes full sun, and lots of yards in Kansas fit that description. The tag says you should plant them 6 – 10 feet apart. You definitely want to be at least that far away from the edge of a structure. The average height and width, how much fertilizer it needs, and how much cold winter weather it can handle are also on the tag.

The other side of the tag will have information on the name – both the common and the scientific. So, if you want to look up information about that particular plant, you can do that. And, a picture of the plant is included so that you can make sure that you’ve got the right tag with the right plant.

This is critical information when determining where to plant a tree in your landscape.

This feature story prepared with Cheryl Boyer, Kansas State University Research and Extension, Nursery Crop Production. For more information, visit your local county extension office or visit our website at

Horticulture Newsletter

KSU Horticulture Newsletter

Get more information from our weekly newsletter.

Find Your Local Office

Have questions or need help?

Local Extension Office Map

Click the map to find your Local Extension Office.

YouTube Videos

YouTube Videos

Watch K-State Research and Extension Videos.

Kansas Healthy Yards Tagline