The Q&A Archives: please recommend a tree

Question: I'm looking for a recommendation for a deciduous tree that will fit into a 2' deep area between the driveway and fence. There is a 25'long space crying out for multiple trees to provide shade, and privacy. I'm not concerned with height limit.I'd like to be able to trim them up to the fence height and plant below them, when they're old enough. I'm looking for something tall, that won't disturb the concrete and will tolerate sun all day long. I'm zone 6/7.

Answer: Unfortunately based on the information in your description I am not able to make specific suggestions. There are many considerations that will go into your selection. Two feet of planting space is very narrow for trees, in part because they need to have space at the base of the trunk for what is called the flare. This is where the roots begin to extend outward from the trunk. If this area is crowded the tree can't grow well over time. This is also the start of lifting the driveway as you often see with street trees and sidewalks. Tree roots need air as well as moisture so planting in a constrained area can be problematic -- the roots generally stretch out well beyond the branch spread. Also, since it is next to the driveway you will need to limb them up high enough for a vehicle to pass below them -- possibly larger service vehicles as well. And since there is a fence, you will probably need to have access to maintain the posts and fence from time to time. Additional considerations would be the type of soil along the drive and its typical moisture level, the amount of sun they will receive, and the amount of wind hitting the area, as well as if you had evergreen on deciduous in mind, a hedge type formation or a series of individual trees, and so on. I would suggest you consult with your county extension and also with your local professional nursery staff to determine which plants would thrive where you want to plant these and then select the one you like best from those. Best of luck with your project!

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