Planning for the death of my front yard tree


I have a large, 100 ft+, Norway Maple, in my front yard, which is reaching its life expectancy.

My street runs south and I am on the west side of the street.

I want to plan ahead and plant another tree just to the south of it, so that when my tree does in fact die, I will have a healthy growing tree that can help provide shade for my house.

Ideally, the new tree will have deep roots that will not compete too much with the existing shallow-rooted Norway Maple.

I have good quality soil, which is rich with earth worms, and is more clay than sand

I have two possible planting locations, one directly south of the Nor. Maple by 10 ft. and the other would be closer to the house but further away from the existing tree.

I am looking for a recommendation if this is a good approach and which location would make sense to plant it.


Thank you for your question. It’s great to hear that you are being so proactive with tree planting!

Let me start by referring you to a previously answered question about planting trees on your front lawn. Whether or not the proposed sites are on city property, it would be valuable to check out their tree planting program if you have not already.

Included in the link above is also a link to a list of native trees to Ontario.
A Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum) is a comparable native to the Norway Maple and is often used as a shade tree. It has deep roots and prefers rich soil and full sun. Depending on your neighbourhood and how close you are to the street, large amounts of leaf drop-off and deep roots can cause sewage challenges, and should be considered.

Although succession planting works in other situations, since the Norway Maple is a bit of a bully (hence the invasive classification), you may not be successful planting another tree beside it, until it has been removed. Here is a previously answered question that helps explain why planting under a Norway Maple is difficult, and also provides some helpful arborist recommendations.

Growing Under a Norway Maple

The best advice at this point would be to have an arborist determine if the tree should be removed, and if not, whether there is enough light coming through to be able to grow anything in the areas around it (pruning can sometimes help open things up).

Good luck with your planning and planting!