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I plan to build a deck around this small bing cherry tree. It's 3" diameter. I will have a beam running around 1 feet next to it on one side. The other 3 sides are flexible in term of what I can do.

Do you think it's OK to have 1 feet distance from the tree?

I don't know of any "rule of thumb" or regulation on this. I think the cherry tree can get very large like 2 feet diameter in 10 years. I am planning to leave the hole around 3 feet diameter in case. I just don't know if it would grow around it (moving toward one direction).

Any real life practical experience is welcome!

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  • I thought cherry was a hard wood usually slower growing. I had 3 Cherri's at my last house that I let grow until 20+ feet over more than 10 years then I topped them and started shaping for better fruit. These were less than 6" , not Bing but I would not expect a cherry to get 3' diameter in my grand kids life time.
    – Ed Beal
    May 23, 2016 at 5:39
  • I had a cherry tree at my sister's house and it's giant. Probably not 3' because I didn't measure but definitely bigger than a body of a 9 years old kid. ;-)
    – HP.
    May 23, 2016 at 16:28

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The tree will generally grow larger in diameter centered around the existing trunk....at least for the foreseeable future. Larger / older trees may at times grow out more to one side versus another but the factors that cause them to do that are probably complex and may have more to do with how the canopy of the tree develops or how the tree gets damaged or stressed through the years. My experience is that most trees will attempt to grow around an obstruction as opposed to moving over if it gets a little crowded on one side.

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  • According to this thread here forums.deckmagazine.com/forums/…, look like 12" of clearance is good enough!?
    – HP.
    May 23, 2016 at 5:19
  • I agree. 12 inch clearance on all sides is likely to be good for at least 50-60 years.
    – Michael Karas
    Jun 3, 2016 at 0:43

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