The Q&A Archives: Planting Trees Along A City Street.

Question: Hi

I am involved with developing a plan for a 2 acre neighborhood park. Some
residents along one area of the park have expressed and interest in putting
flowering trees (in particular flowering pear trees) along the street on one
side of the park. I have been told that ornamental trees (such as the
flowering pear tree) are higher maintenance trees than say a Linden or
Maple, they are less tolerant of road salt and vehicle emissions, an may not
thrive in a City setting along a street (Buffalo, New York). Is this true?

I am also concerned about the height from the bottom branch to the ground.
I am concerned that residence may not get a clear view into the park through
a flowering pear tree as they would from a tree that tends to grow taller
and can be trimmed at the bottom such as a Maple or Linden. I would
appreciate some input on this matter. We want to make a good decision, as a
neighborhood, regarding our tree selection.

Thank you very much.


Buffalo, New York

Answer: There are many pros and cons involved in evaluating trees for any street or public type of planting. Perhaps most important however to the tree's overall health and longevity would be the tree's suitability to the soil and exposure conditions where it will be planted. Since this sounds like a large and significant project, I would suggest you contact your county extension for some assistance in evaluating the site as well as suggestions for trees best suited to street and park applications in your local area. I believe Cornell University Cooperative Extension has available some excellent publications addressing such a tree selection process. All the best with your project!

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