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Spacing is an important consideration when planting trees. Keep in mind that in years to come the tree will be larger and may lose branches in storms. For this reason, oaks and other strong-wooded shade trees should be planted at least 20 ft. away from buildings and utility lines. Place soft-wooded trees such as soft maple at an even greater distance. In relation to one another, large shade trees should be planted about 50 ft. from each other for best results. Medium-sized trees such as red maple or river birch should be spaced about 35 ft apart. Dogwood, redbud, hawthorn, crabapple or other small trees may be planted 15 to 20 ft. apart and at least 8 ft. from buildings.