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Publication #ENH1057

Chapter 7—Choosing Suitable Trees for Urban and Suburban Sites: Site Evaluation and Species Selection.1

Edward F. Gilman and Laura P. Sadowski2


Site evaluation is the first step in selecting proper trees for a planting site. It is important to consider both above-ground and below-ground site attributes. This fact sheet discusses in detail above-ground attributes (such as light, slope, wind, salt, existing trees, overhead wires, street and security lights, buildings, signs, vandalism, and regulations) and below-ground attributes (such as soil pH, drainage, depth, salinity, distance to the water table, and obstacles to root growth). Irrigation, pruning, fertilization, pest control and desired tree attributes (such as function, size, form, and longevity) are also described in detail.

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This document is ENH1057, one of the Urban Forest Hurricane Recovery Program series of the School of Forest Resources and Conservation and the Environmental Horticulture Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date January 2007. Reviewed February 2017. Visit the EDIS website at and


Edward F. Gilman, professor; and Laura P. Sadowski, horticultural information specialist; Department of Environmental Horticulture, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.