Today, more property owners are taking advantage of the little areas in their yards, between the sidewalk and street for more plants. While shrubs, annuals, and perennials are great plants for these small places, not all trees are appropriate. Trees planted on terraces can ultimately cause issues with overhead power lines and sidewalks. Continue reading to learn tips for planting trees around your sidewalk.
Planting Space Along Sidewalks
Trees typically have one of two root types. They are either deep taproots, or they have fibrous, lateral roots. Trees with taproots drive their roots deep down to find nutrients and water. Trees with lateral, fibrous roots spread their roots close to the soil surface to get the rain coming from the tree.
These lateral roots can expand very large and lift up the cement sidewalks. On the other hand, concrete over these roots can stop the roots from getting oxygen, rainwater, and other energy sources that trees need for survival. So, it’s not good from either perspective to put shallow rooting trees near sidewalks.
The height of mature trees also factors in on what sort of roots a tree will have and how much room the roots require to grow correctly. Trees that grow under 50 feet make better sidewalk trees since they are less likely to disturb overhead power lines and have little root zones.
How far from a sidewalk to plant a tree?
The general rule is trees that grow close to 30 feet should be planted around three to four feet from sidewalks or concrete spaces. Trees that get 30-50 feet must be planted 5-6 feet from sidewalks. Trees that grow over 50 feet must be planted eight feet from sidewalks. If you have any questions, contact a Buffalo arborist for more information on planting sidewalk trees.
Planting Trees Near Sidewalks
Trees that are a good idea to grow near sidewalks are: White oak/ Japanese lilac tree/ Hickory/ Walnut/ Hornbeam/ Linden/ Ginkgo/ Most ornamental pear trees/ Cherry trees/ Dogwoods
Trees to not plant near sidewalks are: Bradford pear/ Norway maple/ Red maple/ Sugar maple/ Ash/ Sweetgum/ Tulip tree/ Pin oak/ Poplar/ Willow /American elm