Leave a Protection Zone
When you plant your tree, leave a circular area around its trunk for a small flower bed. The flowers are not just attractive; the bed also establishes a buffer zone so that lawn mowers and trimmers can't nick or cut the bark. (String trimmers are a young tree's worst enemy!) For added protection, install vinyl edging to keep grass out of the bed.
Don't Choose a Problem Tree
Don't Plant Too Close to a Building
Plant a tree with its mature size in mind. Many arborists suggest planting a tree no closer to a structure than one-half of its expected mature canopy spread. Tree roots and branches need space. Pruning a tree planted too close to a structure to keep it from damaging your roof, foundation or siding can damage or disfigure the tree. Also, some trees develop large surface roots that can crack or lift driveways, patios and sidewalks. If that's a concern, plant well away from these surfaces or choose a tree less likely to produce above-ground roots. Also, watch out for overhead power lines—most shade trees will grow at least to the height of residential power lines. Choose shorter, ornamental trees for these areas.