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Pay attention to tree care too

Article Published 11/05/2014

Layton City residents probably pay a lot more attention to their lawns, than they do their trees.
However, trees may need special care too. 
Beyond keeping trees along the city streets and sidewalks trimmed to code, trees may need insect control, or may need root injections to overcome a deficiency in micro-nutrients.
Spending a few hundred dollars annually for a licensed tree care specialist to treat an ailing tree might prolong its life. This could thus save on thousands of dollars in removal costs and the price of a new tree.
Fall is also a prime time to plant new trees.
However, when planting new trees, it is wise to check with a specialist, as some trees do not do well in Northern Utah’s climate.
According to information from Mitch Jones, a certified Arborist in Layton, with Harmon & Sons, trees increase our quality of life by bringing natural elements and wildlife into an urban setting.
Trees also provide shade, privacy, emphasize views and act as barriers to reduce surrounding noise problems.
Properly placed trees can reduce cooling costs in summer by providing shade. In the winter, they can serve as a windbreak and reduce heating costs.
According to the U.S. Forest Service, strategically placed trees around buildings can reduce air conditioning needs by 30 percent and save 20-50 percent on energy costs for heating. 
Homes with excellent landscaping and trees can increase property value by 6-7 percent.
Residents often plant trees that are too big for the width of the park strip they are planted in, or the root systems of a particular tree have a tendency to cause sidewalk and curb damage.  
Trees need space to grow and if a large tree is planted in a small park strip, then it will be difficult for that tree to grow to maturity. 
Planting large trees in smaller park strips also encourages sidewalk lifting and damage.
It is also important to note that if residents would like to further protect against sidewalk lifting, there are root boxes that can be installed at the time the tree is planted which force roots deeper and lessen the chance of them lifting any sidewalks. 
Layton City also has a list of recommended trees for park strips and near sidewalks. For this list, go to:
http://www.laytoncity.org/downloads/CD/Planning/RecommendedTreesChart.pdf
It is also wise to contact Blue Stakes of Utah (800-662-4111) before any digging to make sure there are no utilities in a park strip.
Currently, however, Layton City does not have any standards that require trees to be planted a certain distance from driveways, mailboxes, water meters, or utility boxes.
Layton does have a requirement that requires tree branches to be pruned up to a height of 7 feet above the grade of a sidewalk and 13.5 feet above the grade of a street. 
Trees with a base wider than 2 feet should not be planted in clear view areas, which are areas close to driveways and intersections.
-In addition, trees that grow too close to power lines can cause outages, start fires or create other hazardous conditions.
To reduce the need for future pruning, be sure to choose an appropriate tree for the space (especially around power lines). Some other things to keep in mind while planting:
• Low-growing trees (under 25 feet when mature) may be planted adjacent to overhead power lines.
• Plant tall-growing trees (over 25 feet when mature) at least 25 feet away from overhead power lines.
• Trees that grow taller than 35 feet when mature should be planted 50 feet away from overhead lines.
• Plant trees and shrubs at least 10 feet away from ground-mounted transformers.
• Locate underground utilities before planting. 
For more information on this, go to: http://www.rockymountainpower.net/trees