The Q&A Archives: Oak Tree Spacing

Question: I am buying two Scarlet Oak trees and one Silver Maple tree to use as a border tree near my fence and also as a privacy screen. My Question is how far back from the fence should they be and how far apart from each other should they be?

Answer: According to Michael Dirr's Manual of Woody Landscape Plants, scarlet oaks (Quercus coccinea) grow to about 70 feet tall and 45 feet wide in the landscape and silver maples (Acer saccharinum) grow to about 60 feet tall and about 40 feet wide. The specific answer to your question will depend on how you envision them at maturity and how much space you have available. I would be careful to plant them far away from underground utilities and overhead wires and allow about thirty feet away from a building since roots can extend wider than the tree canopy.

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