Tree Selection & Planting

It is important to realize that when planting a tree several considerations must be made.

  • Do you need a tree to act as a wind block?
  • Is the planting site you have in mind large enough to accommodate the tree you have selected?
  • Is the tree you selcted susceptible to disease?

Before choosing a tree, do your research to prevent problems in the future. On this page, look at the items to consider before choosing a tree. More information about approved Right of Way Trees can be found in the Suggested Tree List (PDF).


The site analysis should determine whether trees are to emphasize, hide, or merely fit in with architectural features. Consider whether the trees are to provide shade, encourage wildlife, provide a screen break or add specific color.

Space Constraints

Space for trees is limited on many urban sites. It is important to consider the height and width of the tree, at maturity, for compatibility with the surrounding area. Envision the tree 10-50 years into the future. Especially with street trees, the width of the lawn limits the size of the tree that can be supported by the soil and water in this space. Tree height, crown width, and branching habit must be compatible with adjacent trees, buildings, streetlights and signs.

Climate & Soil

The trees listed in the Suggested Tree List (PDF) are trees that are categorized by the United States Department of Agriculture as being in Idaho’s hardiness zone.

Soils can be extremely variable in urban sites. You should focus on those soil properties that are most likely to affect tree health. Drainage, too much or too little, PH levels and organic matter are some of these properties. Soil samples may be tested for content by contacting our local county extension office.

Utility Lines

Serious conflicts can develop between utilities and trees. Overhead lines can be either electric, telephone, or cable television. Underground lines include these three plus water, sewer and natural gas. The location of these lines should have a direct impact on your tree and planting site selection. Nampa residents must call Digline at 1-800-342-1585 before digging.

Solar Friendly

Solar friendly trees planted at specific locations within your landscape can maximize the results of your efforts for a solar efficient home. These trees provide shade during the summer and a large percentage of sunlight penetration during the winter. Unlike other tree varieties, solar friendly trees have few branches, leaf out late in the spring and drop their leaves early in the fall. Solar friendly trees are indicated in the Suggested Tree List (PDF).

Tree Shape

The shape of trees are referred to under the Suggested Tree List (PDF). It is important to know the shape of a tree at maturity to know if the tree will be a good selection for a specific location.

City of Nampa Tree Ordinance

The City of Nampa Tree Ordinance is law designed to protect and preserve trees located along public rights-of way and in other public areas. Property owners adjacent to public rights-of-way, share with the city, a responsibility for the maintenance and care of public trees. Click here for an easy guide to tree ordinance regulations that can assist citizens when managing the trees along the right-of-way adjacent to their property. Click here for the full list of City of Nampa Codes of Title 5, Chapter 2 governing trees within the city.

City of Nampa Licensed Tree Companies

The City of Nampa Forestry Department approves various tree companies to perform work (pruning, removal, etc.) on trees located in public rights-of-way. To be licensed, each company must meet certain criteria set forth by the International Society of Arboriculture and the City of Nampa's Forestry Division. For a complete list of City Licensed Tree Companies contact our office at (208) 468-5890 or click here.