recommend a tree next to a driveway

kjmama(6)February 5, 2010

Can anyone recommend a tree to plant next to a driveway so its roots won't tear up the driveway? Looking for a tall deciduous tree with small leaves, not much "trash"


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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

May need to define "tall".

If you mean 20-30' go...
Maackia amurensis 'Starburst'

If you mean 30-40' go...
Gymnocladus dioicus 'Espresso'

In time (like 40 years) the coffeetree may exceed 40'

    Bookmark   February 5, 2010 at 11:11PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

how much space between the driveway and the lot line???

what are our options for planting in said distance???


    Bookmark   February 6, 2010 at 10:55AM
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May also need to define "tear up the driveway" âº

    Bookmark   February 6, 2010 at 12:13PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

define what type of driveway also ... cement... asphalt??


    Bookmark   February 6, 2010 at 1:55PM
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Very close to the driveway, maybe even inset into it a bit. Currently we have about 2 feet to the lot line. The driveway will have to be replaced and we thought we would just run the driveway along the line, more or less to avoid an odd mowing situation. The neighbors grass backs up to that line. I'd like to put the tree in the center of the pull out area from the garage. Is that crazy?

Currently the driveway will be asphalt, but we haven't decided for sure.

I am looking add some nature and ultimately to add privacy to a second story window. Our dining room (second story from driveway level) looks over to the neighbor's upper room (third story). I just like to look out the window and see leaves rather than a neighbor's house. The space between them is maybe 75+ft, but they still sort of look in on each other.

Tear up - well the house we are in now has 2 sweet gum trees near the driveway. They were there before the driveway. The roots of these trees crack through the asphalt. They also drop big leaves and poky balls. All of this we hope to avoid in another location. Can it be done?

Thanks for the suggestions.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2010 at 3:25PM
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Still need more info.
Please define "trash"

    Bookmark   February 6, 2010 at 3:29PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

big leaves and poky balls

    Bookmark   February 6, 2010 at 7:32PM
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OK - well trash to me would be:
first - any big fruit, balls, nuts or such....
second - a tree whose branches break easily like Pecan trees
third - big leaves that mat up, instead of small leaves that easily blow away

Maybe there are other kinds - but that is what I'm thinking.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2010 at 9:29PM
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Ginkgo, male selection

    Bookmark   February 7, 2010 at 6:38AM
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Dan Staley

I don't really understand the information provided, wrt how far from the asphalt.

That said, pavement breakage is a function of distance of bole to pavement. 3 feet or less for most medium-sized deciduous trees and you are looking close to 75% chance of bumping (in asphalt) or heave (in concrete).

Plus the proximity of asphalt so close to young bark and roots is a problem in itself.


    Bookmark   February 7, 2010 at 5:12PM
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OK Let's start over, I am going to replace the driveway. I want to plant a tree alongside the new driveway. How far away does the tree need to be? I have seen on city side walks, where a square is made for a tree planting. Maybe I would do something like that if it needed to be done.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2010 at 5:25PM
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10 feet away would be ideal. Have you got 10 feet?

    Bookmark   February 8, 2010 at 8:44AM
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Dan Staley

Guidance says you have a 50% chance of damage with a 20" diameter bole 6ft away from pavement. With asphalt you tend to get lumps and bumps rather than cracking. You get a couple extra years with root barriers. More distance is of course better.

Here, a large city is re-doing their municipal code and we are recommending their parking lot planters be 8' wide for their shade trees, as well as their perimeter areas be a minimum 8'. This wording is in the latest draft and we'll see if it stays in there. This is the minimum for responsible infrastructure care.


    Bookmark   February 8, 2010 at 9:46AM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

The best you can do is take the advice the experts give you for minimum distance but in the end you are going to have to balance your damage potential with what you have available to work with.

Right up the street an old relative has (2) Sugar maples planted on each side of his driveway...they were originally planted 5' away from the drive (centerline of trunk). The trees have had little impact on the original asphalt driveaway. He just sealed it every 2 years.

Oh, this was over 30 years ago and the Sugar Maples are about 50' tall and 30' wide now...just guestimating the size.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2010 at 2:43PM
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lou_midlothian_tx(z8 DFW, Tx)

I planted shantung maples about 5 ft from the concrete driveway and I don't expect them to get larger than 25-35 ft in many years. There are far worse trees than shantung maple to plant that close to the driveway though.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2010 at 7:26PM
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Hornbean trees

Frans Fontaine Hornbeam; that is, if you are patient enough to wait for them to get past their almost awkwardly sparce canopy look for the first 5 years after planting.

Fastigatia Hornbeam if after 15 years you do not mind it's crown starting its doubling or more of its crown spread.

Ornamental Corinthian peach trees are nice trees, that grow in a narrow columnar shape, they have the most lovely spring blooms. The Bloom color varieties available in the Corinthian peach culitvar come in Pink, red, or white, each of those also display dynamic leaf color changes throughout progression of the yearly growing seasons.

Another tree, I like a lot to line a driveway is the Degroot's spire evergreen. It might be good to know that the degroot's spire evergreens I have found sold, are fairly expensive, due to their slow growth rate. In the right planting places where these trees will look the best, it is my opinion that the expensive pricing is well worth every penny that was charged for them. I am not certain if they would ever grow, tall enough to provide second story window privacy. If they did manage to grow that tall it would more likely take several decades, or longer.

I planted my first two Degroot's Spires just less than three years ago, and they were first sold to me as 5-6 feet tall trees. Each cost just about $250. these trees had been field grown, balled and burlaped. their burlapped rootballs fit into 25 - 30 gallon sized nursey pots. The nursery agreed to povide free delivery, if I would have the planting holes ready for them to simply remove the wire basket around the trees rootballs and drop the them into the planting hole. Only, also, if I would agree to take on the responsiblity to then back-fill the planting hole, and afterwards to keep the trees watered properly.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2010 at 11:51AM
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Thank you for the thoughts everyone, especially the clearance distance mentioned. I really don't have ten feet..... may need to rethink this hun?
Thank you also for specific tree ideas. I will look them up:)

Dan - what do cities typically plant, or big businesses in their parking lots?

    Bookmark   March 2, 2010 at 11:37PM
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Dan Staley

Depends upon the zone, climate, ability of the Forestry Dept to get things done. Varies widely and the list has a good chance of having no relation to survivorship or good behavior in parking lots.

Nonetheless, Davis, CA has likely IMHO the most relevant tree list in the country, as one of the country's top two urban foresters sat on the tree commission, and the guy who wrote the book on arboriculture lived there and sat on the non-profit tree board in town. Start there for an idea, but flexibility in wants and needs will be key here.


    Bookmark   March 3, 2010 at 9:11AM
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What about Serviceberry Autumn Brilliance? I read that they do not sucker like some serviceberries, and the birds take the berries before they hit the ground. I'll be planting this within a few feet of my garage. I don't know if it has the growth rate you need, though, but a nice tree.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 9:21AM
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