Is there a recommended spacing when planting new trees so they do not interfere with each other's growth? I want to group a number of the same tree species together as densely as possible while still allowing sufficient sun so they grow almost as if each tree were alone in a field. Essentially, I do not want to create a forest of trunks with leaves only at the top.

Is there simple rule or formula for this? As a made up example: Minimum distance between trees should be 1.5 times the expected height or 2 times the expected crown spread (whichever is larger) for typical trees in the species.

If there is not a general rule of thumb for all species, I would appreciate recommendations for spacing between white dogwoods.

  • There is no general rule. You should check how large will growth your variety of dogwood, and how much do you want to prune tour trees. I would say something 1.5 the expected crown if the plants are in a E-W line, or more than 2 or 3 if the trees are planted in a area, in order to keep trees round. Apr 25, 2016 at 10:12

2 Answers 2


It depends on the trees selected and the effects you want. In an orchard setting trees are often planted between 15-25 ft apart depending on what you are growing and harvesting techniques, etc. Hardwoods which grow tall and broad in their older years should be a lot farther apart.

Trees of different species sometimes fight each other allopathically and you'll see where the tops of two trees meet, they don't merge but have boundaries. Sometimes one tree wins and you can see that tree grows full while the other tree is retreated.

Some trees grow very well together, and these are often used in hedgerows, trees like these are mulberries, hawthorns, bush apricots, and I am sure many more. After they grow 12 - 15 ft tall, they get hedge laid, where the trees are skillfully cut part way through the trunk and laid down lengthwise to the hedgerow and then knitted together with others already laid down. There is an art to hedge laying so that you don't kill the trees and they continue to grow. It makes for some mighty impressive and impenetrable hedgerows.


Escoce is right. Completely depends on the genus of tree you chose. I LOVE to use GROVES in my designs. Some of the trees I use are Amelanchier (Service berry), Sambucus (Elderberry), Populus tremuloides (quaking aspen), Viburnum (V. opulus), Acer circinatum and glabrum work well. They form the walls and ceilings of an outdoor room and thrive. They can be planted 4 or 5 feet apart easily. I prefer the multi stemmed to the single stem. I'd do one or the other for consistency and more...punch. Oh there are far more trees than this but not every tree does well in a grove.

What are you trying to create? These are typically 'understory' trees in an evolving forest that stay about 15 to 20 feet high and wide. Does well with partial shade and tough soils. What kind of soil do you have? Is a lawn involved? By White Dogwood what do you mean? Cornus kousa? Dogwoods are an understory, 'patio' tree and should do just fine. Doing this makes a CEILING of leaves AND trunks for definition of the space. Graveled floor works well. Informal patio to die for...

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