The Q&A Archives: Trees near driveway

Question: I would like a small tree to plant near my driveway. I don't want roots damaging the cement and no sap. I live in the desert, so it needs to handle the extreme temp hi and low. Is Crape Myrtle a choice to fit that critera? Any suggestions?

Answer: Crape myrtle will grow nicely in the area you describe. Crape Myrtle (Lagerstromia indica) A tree with multi-faceted interest, crape myrtle has beautiful clusters of large crape-paper-like flowers in bright pinks, reds and white. Flowering is continuous from spring to fall. Leaves turn a bright red-orange fall color, and shed to reveal beautiful cream and beige pealing bark. Crape myrtle can be grown as a single or multi-trucked tree. Here in the desert it will obtain a height of 18 feet over time. It grows in an upright, spreading form to an eventual height of 18 feet.

Or you might choose one of these suggestions:
Texas Olive ( Cordia boissieri) A trouble-free tree from the Rio Grande, Texas olive is so named for it's yellow-green fruit resembling olives. It's form is densely rounded, with large gray-green rather coarse-textured leaves. Flowers are white with yellow throats and are borne in showy clusters from spring into late autumn. This tree is quite drought tolerant but flowering benefits from more frequent irrigation. Expect Texas olive to reach a height of 10 to 15 feet with equal spread. This is a truly trouble-free tree.

Xylosma (Xylosma congestum) If your looking for a small evergreen tree with a dense canopy and "northern" look, then xylosma is for you. The leaves of this tree are dark green and the size and shape of cherry leaves. It is often sold as a shrub for training into a hedge, but plant it alone and prune the lower branches and it will develop into a very nice tree. The tree develops a mushroom cap shape and grows to a height of 15 feet with equal spread. This one's great for providing patio shade.

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