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David Beaulieu

10 Best Street Trees

By May 28, 2013

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Do you have trouble getting trees established along your street? picture of tree faceIt's no wonder: it's a tough place for a tree to put roots down and thrive.

And even if you do get a tree established, sometimes it's too messy to grow as a street tree. For instance, eastern white pine trees drop large cones and, worse yet, can lose numerous branches in ice storms. Another specimen too messy to be an effective street tree is American sweetgum; opt for a non-fruiting cultivar so as to avoid having to clean up gumballs.

You face the following challenges (among others) in growing street trees:

  • pollution
  • compacted soil
  • infertile soil

You can easily see why pollution-tolerant trees would have a good chance of making a list of specimens valued for plantings along a road. Steve Nix lists the ten best street trees in this article. Literally an A-Z list, About's Forestry Guide begins with Acer campestre (hedge maple) and ends with Zelkova serrata (Japanese zelkova). Steve stresses that only fruitless ginkgo bilobas should be selected as street trees: the fruit is not only messy, but smelly to boot!

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Photo ©2009 David Beaulieu, Landscaping Guide (licensed to About, Inc.)


January 15, 2009 at 9:29 am
(1) scottyblue says:

Here in London,Ontario,the city uses a lot of Lindens as well as Ginkgos for street planting.The Linden has very fragrant flowers indeed.Quite nice.And i havn’t noticed that they suffer too much from salt,although our city has been cutting back on the use of salt.

January 15, 2009 at 11:36 am
(2) scottyblue says:

Trivia…the Ginkgo is mentioned in the Bible,although i can’t remember where.Does someone know?

January 15, 2009 at 11:58 am
(3) landscaping says:


Linden is also used as a street tree in some of the towns with which I’m familiar here in Massachusetts.

December 7, 2009 at 9:20 pm
(4) soy says:

I’m here south korea. Also, Asia has a lot of gingko, zelkova.

August 26, 2010 at 6:40 am
(5) hightechlandscapes says:

Ya, you are right, we face these problems in our streets. So please give me a solution to get rid of these plants. I don’t want to cut but want a good landscape.

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