What Kind Of Trees To Plant Near / In The Sidewalk?

What Kind Of Trees To Plant Near / In The Sidewalk?

Living in modern environment, we are pretty familiar with scorching sidewalk. Maybe in front of your houses are already sidewalk. Well, indeed if you live in big cities, you might already be familiar with this condition.

Planting trees in the sidewalk is pretty common thing to do, to provide some shade. More and more people are also taking advantages of putting small yard in the sidewalk. But don’t you know that not all trees are suitable to be planted in sidewalks?

There are so many factors need to be considered before planting a tree in the or near sidewalk. Trees planted near or in the sidewalk can cause problems to the sidewalk and even power lines. That’s why, in this article, we will talk about planting trees near the sidewalk.

What To Consider

sidewalk tree

In the school, you might have known that there are two types of plant roots, lateral and deep taproots. This is the first thing that we need to consider, because lateral roots tend to spread near the surface and grow quite large.

The growth of the fibrous roots can cause several problems to sidewalks, the streets, and anything made of concrete. The reason is because lateral roots tend to grow near the surface, so it may disrupt any kinds of infrastructure from below.

Not only that, the presence of concrete may prevent the plant from getting rainwater, oxygen, and nutrients it needs to grow. Plants with deep taproots doesn’t bother with infrastructures on the surface, because they only care about digging as deep as possible for water and nutrients.

Another thing to consider is the growth of the plant. You don’t want to plant a fast grower that can reach 100 feet tall, because it can cause trouble to power lines above. Better plant slow grower or small plants that are still able to give shade.

The last thing to consider is about where you plan to plant it. Bigger plants should be planted further away from the road, to prevent the plant from causing troubles in the future. Based on those considerations, you should have known which plants are not suitable for sidewalk plants.

Sidewalk Condition


Even though there are so many kinds of tree in this world, there are only a few can grow well as sidewalk trees. The reason is because urban sidewalk doesn’t provide the best soil and air condition for plants to grow.

Air pollution and soil compaction, accompanied by other problems such as dog urine, abuses done by humans, seem like far from their dreamland. This is why we need tougher plants that can grow under those pressures.

You might also want to avoid messy and brittle trees because it can cause problems to the planter in the future. Planting those trees can cost the property owners a huge amount of time and money to clean up the mess.

Let alone if the branches are falling on other people’s properties, or maybe even other people’s head. They can cause huge problems that may end up as lawsuits, which will cost you even greater money for just planting a tree.

Those mentioned above are the reasons why choosing the right tree to plant is very important here. Here, we will list you the trees that can grow well in sidewalk condition, and yet might not result in such kind of problems.

Hardy Rubber Tree

Hardy rubber tree (Wikimedia Commons)

Its ability to survive severe drought is a perfect feature for sidewalk plant. The slow growing tree will assure you green leaves, even though rain comes very late in the season, and perfect shade to cover the sidewalk from scorching summer.

Even though fall is coming, the leaves will remain green, even though it should show a paler shade of green before coming off the tree. The foliage will appear to glimmer during night when being struck by moonlight.

The branches will form upright silhouette during winter. Hardy rubber tree doesn’t require frequent pruning since early age, and it is easy to ‘shape’. There is one that you need to pay attention for if you plant this tree, hardy rubber tree doesn’t seem to grow well in areas with poorly-drained soil.

Hedge Maple

hedge maple

Many botanists consider hedge maple is the best tree to plant in or near the sidewalk. Not only because it can tolerate harsh conditions, but also because it provides nice shade during scorching summer. The ‘shape’ of the tree is also amazing too, giving you a nice capture in every photograph taken in front of your house.

Although it might grow too tall to plant beneath power lines, reaching up to 30 feet tall, but if you make it as a small tree you can plant it anywhere. During fall, it will give you the infamous yellowish or reddish color of leaves with the possibility to vary in color from one year to another.

This tree doesn’t really require constant pruning, because the branches are strong too. However, if you want to shape this tree as a small tree, you might want to consider pruning in its early growth, because it will give the tree several major branches along the central trunk.

Ginko Biloba

Ginkgo_biloba (Wikimedia Commons)

Also known as maidenhair tree, it can thrive well in wide range of soil condition. Ginko biloba is also known to be able to tolerate urban condition with highly polluted air and water, also stresses caused by human disturbance.

The plantation process is particularly easy too, since it can be transplanted from one place to another. The strong roots and branches grown by this tree is known to be able to withstand strongest winds, even storms.

However, if you plan on planting this tree, you should only choose the fruitless male ones. The fruits usually fall off the tree when it is ripe and you might not want it to fall on somebody’s head in the summer.

Bur Oak

Bur-oak (Wikimedia Commons)

This is another kind of tree that will survive in the rough urban condition, especially in or near the sidewalk. Bur oak is large tree that will tolerate urban stresses and poor soil condition, as long as it has the space to grow.

If you want to plant trees near the sidewalk, but aren’t sure how to go about it, why not hire gardeners to get the job done for you? Not only can they advice you on the best type of trees to plant, but they can also plant them for you!

Not only it is able to give perfect shade during scorching summer, but the branches are strong too. Although the tree grows very slowly, but naturally this tree is a huge one. You might not want to plant it just exactly in your sidewalk, but you might want to put it just near it.

Those are the trees that will give you perfect shade, and beautiful view when planted near or in the sidewalk in front of your house. Not only they are able to grow in such harsh condition, but they require a little to no maintenance. So, which one do you plan on planting?






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