Growing Greener – A Tree Planting Guide for Boise Landscapes

Growing Greener is an award-winning public television series dedicated to organic gardening and sustainability, hosted by Joe Lamp’l, an industry expert in these areas. He is widely considered a national leader within organic gardening circles as well as within sustainability circles.

The City of Boise and Treasure Valley Canopy Network have joined forces to plant over 112,000 ponderosa pine and Douglas-fir seedlings in Boise National Forest over ten years to bring community benefits while combatting climate change. You can learn more at Boise Tree – Tree Removal, Pruning, and Stump Removal.


Planting trees during fall offers them the best chance of taking root before the harsh summer heat sets in, while cooler temperatures help them avoid becoming water stressed, which could impede their growth and health.

Tree planting is an integral component of Treasure Valley Canopy Network’s goal of improving climate and energy demand by expanding tree canopy across Boise. Not only can planting more trees bring cooling benefits such as reduced stormwater runoff and erosion protection, but their addition adds beauty and enhances community life.

When planting a tree, make sure the hole is adequate to hold its root ball and clear away any burlap or twine from around its roots. Also ensure you secure and stake your new sapling for maximum safety and to minimize movement or potential future damages.

For more information on which trees would best suit our climate, check out the TV Tree Selection Guide. In addition, American Forests and USDA Vibrant Cities Lab offer resources on planting and care on their website.


Trees planted close together can create shade and help lower energy use, as well as provide privacy and block noise from nearby streets and roads.

Selecting an ideal tree species requires considering local climate, soil conditions and landscape needs. First consider your hardiness zone when selecting a species suitable to the climate in which your location resides; next consider sunlight availability and soil type/moisture levels when considering growing conditions; some trees thrive best in loose sand soil while others require heavy clay or prefer all-day sun or dappled shade conditions.

The Elaine Clegg City of Trees Challenge is Boise’s initiative to empower Boiseans to take climate action by planting 100,000 urban trees (one per household) and 235,000 forest seedlings across Idaho over 10 years, thus mitigating urban heat, mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, and improving air quality.


Trees can be planted for many different purposes. From conserving energy or water consumption to blocking undesirable views or noise pollution, preventing slope erosion or supporting wildlife populations; trees have many uses if planted properly and at an appropriate pace. It is crucial that when selecting a suitable species that will perform your desired function optimally.

Newly planted trees require ample moisture and nutrients to flourish. Without enough water, their roots cannot develop adequately to support themselves and they could perish prematurely.

To address this need, the City partnered with Treasure Valley Canopy Network and The Nature Conservancy in Idaho to launch the City of Trees Challenge: an urban tree planting initiative which engages Boise residents in planting one tree per household for 10 years (100,000 trees total). The program helps restore forest habitat while mitigating greenhouse gas emissions.


Deciduous or coniferous trees alike require professional pruning services in order to promote their health and aesthetic appeal. Regular tree pruning helps reduce insect populations and disease infestation, as well as structural pruning reducing “limb calls”. Community Forestry staff respond regularly to fallen branches (known as “limb calls”) which necessitate emergency responder responses each year.

Experienced tree services or landscape companies often make the mistake of over-pruning, also known as “lion tailing”, by cutting away too many inner branches and foliage resulting in an open canopy that increases sunscald, reduces branch taper, and increases breakage risk.

An increase in tree cover in your community will provide invaluable ecosystem services such as runoff cleansing and carbon sequestration, while also helping preserve our town’s natural beauty and charm.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *