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Street Tree Selection Guide

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Street Tree Selection Guide

for parking strips in Provo

How to Select a Tree
Where to Plant a Tree
How to Plant a Tree
What Not to Plant
Class I Trees
Class II Trees
Class III Trees
Trees Not Authorized for Street Planting

Trees are a valuable component of our city. Trees clean the air we breath, muffle city noise, harbor wildlife in their canopies, cool houses with their dense shade, and increase property values. But perhaps most of all, trees provide a natural beauty which softens the harsh city landscape. Trees truly enhance the quality of life for all of Provo's residents.

Unfortunately not all trees are properly planted and cared for. Growth characteristics including height, spread, and branching structure limit the usefulness of some trees in certain locations. Streets, buildings, and sidewalks also limit the space available for tree growth and must be considered when selecting a tree. Our goal should be to choose a tree that is well rnatched to the planting site so that it survives and becomes an asset to the community.

How to Select a Tree

Shade trees vary greatly in their growth characteristics. Learning about a tree's shape, mature height, and spread will help in selecting the right tree for the right place. The idea is to first consider the planting site. Does the location have adequate irrigation? Are there any overhead wires? How wide is the parking strip? Once the location has been considered, it is then time to choose a tree from this guide that will best fit the location.

The trees in this guide are generally tolerant of local temperature extremes (hardiness) and have characteristics that make them useful as street trees. Each tree in the guide is listed with its botanical and common names followed by a short narrative with general information. All of the trees have been divided into classes dependent on the height, width, and spacing requirements that the trees will need at maturity. These divisions are described as follows:

Class I

These are small trees which normally do not reach a large height or trunk diameter. They are authorized for planting in parking strips that are a minimum of four feet wide. Typical spacing between Class I trees is twenty-five feet. Many Class I trees are small enough to be planted beneath overhead utility lines.

Class II

This group consists of medium sized trees. These trees are not for planting under power lines or in parking strips less than six feet wide. Typical spacing between Class II trees is thirty-five feet.

Class III

Many of these trees are long-lived and attain large height and trunk diameter. When selecting a tree from this dass, be sure you have ample room to accommodate it at maturity. These trees are certainly not for planting under power lines or parking strips less than 10 feet wide. Typical spacing between Class III trees is 40-60 feet.

Where to Plant a Tree

If you wish to plant a tree in a parking strip, you are required to get a permit from the City Forester. This is done to ensure that trees have been matched to the site correctly. When planting a tree, place the tree in the center of the parking strip. This will allow the maximum amount of growing space and will reduce the potential for damage to sidewalks and curbs in the future. Once a tree is planted in a city parking strip, it becomes the property of the city. Pruning and other major maintenance of these trees is the responsibility of the Urban Forestry Division.

How to Plant a Tree

The best way to ensure a healthy and safe street tree is to start by planting the tree correctly. There are only a few things to remember when planting. Please follow these planting directions:

  1. Obtain a permit from the Urban Forestry Division (379-6644) prior to planting any tree in a parking strip.
  2. Select one of the species in the Tree Selection Guide for planting.
  3. Before choosing the planting location contact Blue Stakes (532-5000) for location of underground utilities.
  4. Dig planting hole at least twice the width of the root ball.
  5. Prune circling or protruding roots and remove twine from canopy.
  6. Handle root ball with extreme care. Minimize as much as possible any crumbling, cracking, and splitting of the rootball.
  7. After gently placing the tree in the hole, remove wire and burlap if stability of the root ball allows. If not, remove only the top one or two rows of wire and an equal amount of burlap. Cut vertical slits in the burlap that remains. Do not fold burlap into the hole.
  8. Use the soil removed from the hole to backfill. Minimize air pockets by removing soil clumps, rocks, sod, and folded burlap.
  9. Thoroughly water. Allow water to soak deeply into the site.
  10. Place 4 to 5 inches of mulch over the planting site. Avoid direct contact between mulch and the trunk of the tree.
  11. Check moisture content of the backfill and rootball weekly to determine how much and how often to water.
  12. To remove a tree from a container, gently lay it down. Push on the sides and bottom of the container to break contact between the rootball and container. Hold the trunk near the surface of the soil and push/pull the container away from the rootball. Slide the container off the root ball. Do not pull on the trunk. If the root ball is too large for this process it may be necessary to cut the container off after the tree is placed in the planting site.
  13. Utah State University Extension Bulletin EC 460, Selecting and Planting Landscape Trees, is an excellent reference. Call USU at (801) 797-2251. The cost, including mailing, is $1.80.

What Not to Plant

There are some types of trees that have characteristics that are not suited to areas close to streets, sidewalks and buildings. These tree species are most suited for yards, parks or other natural areas and should not be planted along city streets. A list of trees not approved for planting along streets is found at the end of this guide. To obtain additional information about services provided by the Urban Forestry Division please call 852-6644.

Class I Trees

These are small trees which normally do not reach a large height or trunk diameter. Most can be planted beneath power lines and in parking strips down to four feet wide. Typical spacing between Class I trees is twenty to thirty feet.

BOTANICAL AND
COMMON NAME

HEIGHT

SPREAD

GROWTH
RATE

REMARKS

Acer campestre
Hedge Maple
25' 25' Slow A small tree that withstands urban conditions and is long lived. Foliage is dark green on top and fuzzy underneath. Leaves turn yellow and remain late into autumn.
Acer ginnala
Amur Maple
15' 10' Medium Fall color is red to orange. Very cold hardy.
Acer grandindentatum
Bigtooth Maple
25' 15' Slow This maple is native to our canyons and is adapted to our climate. Foliage turns brilliant red in the fall. Selections of tree-like forms should be used for street plantings.
Acer griseum
Paperbark Maple
25' 20' Slow A gracefull tree with cinimon colored bark which peels away to reveal reddish brown shades. Fall color is reddish brown.
Acer tataricum
Tatarian Maple
20' 15' Slow to Medium Red winged seeds appear in summer and add interest to the tree. Fall color is yellow/orange. Adaptable to different soil conditions.
Aesculus pavia
Red Buckeye
20' 25' Medium Similar in appearance to the horsechestnut, this tree is distinguished by its small size and red flowers.
Cercis canadensis
Eastern Redbud
25' 25' Medium Trunk is usually branched at the base with ascending branches and bright pink flowers in early May. Heart shaped leaves. Not a long lived tree.
Crataegus phaenopyrum
Washington Hawthom
25' 25' Medium Leaves emerging in spring are reddish-purple changing to glossy dark green in summer. Flower display beginning in May while fruit sets in late summer and colors bright red in September.
Crataegus laevigata
English Hawthorn
15' 15' Slow This hawthorn has attractive flowers, fruit and growth habit. It grows with very few thorns. Choose nursery stock with a strong central leader for best results along streets.
Crataegus  crus-galli
'inermis'
Cockspur Hawthorn
20' 20' Slow This is a thornless variety of hawthorn that is native to the eastern U.S. Glossy deep green foliage with persistent red fruit. A good choice for locations near powerlines.
Koelreuteria paniculata
Goldenraintree
25' 20' Fast Large hanging yellow flowers in summer and papery lantern-like seed pods make this tree quite unique. Fall color is crimson, bronze.
Malus spp.
Flowering Crabapple

25'

20'

Fast

A very poplular group of trees with varing degrees of white or red flowers. 'Spring Snow" is a fruitless variety.
Prunus Virginiana
'Canada Red'
Canada Red Cherry
25' 20' Medium Leaves emerge green and turn purple as the season progresses. Good natural branching charateristics. Suckering often occurrs following establishment.
Syringa reticulata
Japanese Tree Lilac
25' 15' Medium Stiff branches and reddish brown bark.  Attractive fragrant summer flowering.
Prunus serrulata
Flowering Cherry
25' 15' Medium Vase shaped branching and beautiful floral display are characteristics of this tree.  Deep green foliage is attractive in spring and summer.  Drought tolerant.
Prunus cerassifera
Flowering Plum
20' 15' Medium Pink flowers emerge before the leaves each spring.  Foliage is deep purple.  Usually fruitless.

CLASS II TREES

Trees that are usually considered medium sized and are normal!y plantedfor their shade and aesthetic contribution. These trees are not for planting under power lines or in parking strips less than six feet wide. Typical spacing between this class of tree is thirty to forty feet.

BOTANICAL AND
COMMON NAME

HEIGHT

SPREAD

GROWTH
RATE

REMARKS

Acer platanoides
Norway Maple
45' 35' Medium Dark green summer foliage, can turn yellow in fall. A very popular and well known tree casting dense summer shade. Many different varieties are available.
     cv. 'Columnare'
     Columnar Norway Maple
40' 15' Medium A dense, columnar variety of the species.
     cv. 'Cleveland' or
     'Emerald Queen'
45' 30' Fast Upright oval-headed form with superior branching habit.
     cv. 'Globosum'
     Globe Norway Maple
20' 20' Slow Low crowned form of the species. Good for use near overhead utility wires.
Acer pseudoplatanus
Sycamore Maple
30' 25' Medium A tree with very similar characteristics as norway maple. Leaves resemble the leaves of the american sycamore.
Acer nigrum
Black Maple
45' 25' Slow Similar in characteristics to the sugar maple but more tolerant of climatic conditions in Provo. Foliage has a drooping form and fall color is good.
Aesculus x carnea
Red Horsechestnut
40' 35' Slow This tree is valued for its flowering in the spring. More heat and drought tolerant than most other horsechestnuts.
Aesculus octandra
Yellow Buckeye
40' 25' Slow Syrnmetrical and attractive.
Celtis occidentalis
Common Hackbeny
45' 35' Fast Stately tree with a straight trunk and bright green foliage turning yellow in the fall. A reliable tree under windy conditions. Vase shaped form.
Pyrus calleryana
Flowering Pear
30' 25' Fast An outstanding flowering tree with glossy leaves that turn scarlet in the fail. Spring flowering is white.
     cv. 'Aristocrat' 40' 28' Fast Grows fast; pyramidal form
     cv. 'Chanticleer' 40' 16 Fast More compact and upright; fall color is red-purple.
Fraxinus pennsylvanica
Green Ash
60 40' Fast This tree is extremely hardy and grows under many different conditions. Reliable and tough in the urban landscape.
     cv. 'Marshall Seedless' 45' 35' Fast A seedless variety of green ash.
     cv. 'Patmore' 55' 45' Fast Crown is more broad than Marshal.
     cv. 'Urbanite' 35'      
Ginkgo biloba
Maidenhair Tree
  35' Medium Distinctive fan-shaped light green leaves are soft in appearance. Autumn color is bright yellow. Ginkgo is one of the most ancient trees on earth.
     cv. 'Princeton Sentry'        
     cv. 'Autumn Gold'        
Gleditsia tiiacanthos inermis
Honeylocust
45' 40' Fast A hardy tree with finely textured leaves. Produces filtered   shade. Tolerant of salt, heat, drought, and other urban stresses.
cv. 'Shademaster'        
cv. 'Skyline'        
cv. 'Sunburst'        
Gymnoclaudus dioica
Kentucky Coffeetree
55' 30 Medium Open spreading tree that is tolerant of drought, heat and   wind. Seed pods may become a maintenance consideration.
     cv. 'Expresso'       Mostly seedless, more vase-shaped than the species.
Morus alba
White Mulberry
35' 30' Medium Tolerant of heat and alkaline soil. Select only fruitless varieties as fruiting mulberries produce fruit that stains sidewalks and cars.
Metasequoia glyptostroboides
Dawn Redwood
70' 35' Fast Fern-like foliage gives this tree a fine texture. Bark is reddish-brown and scaly. Lower limbs must be removed on trees planted in parking strips.
Phellodendron amurense
Amur Corktree
40' 30' Fast Interesting furrowed bark. Canopy casts filtered shade. Thrives under urban conditions. Tolerant of dry soils.
     cv. 'Macho'       This seedless form has good growth characteristics.
Sorbus aucuparia
European Mountain Ash
25' 20' Medium An ornamental tree with white flowers in summer followed by orange berries in the fall and winter.
Sophora japonica
Japanese Pagoda
35' 30' Fast Round headed tree with yellow flowers in clusters in late august. Tolerant of urban conditions. Fruit may become a maintenance consideration.
Aesculus glabra
Ohio Buckeye
30' 30'    
Carpinus betulus
European Hornbeam
40' 30' Medium An exceptional tree for street planting. Formal appearance and seldom needs pruning. Fall color is yellow/orange. Bark is smooth grey.
     cv. 'Fastigiata'       More compact and narrow than the natural forms.
Cladastis kentukea
Yellowwood
40' 40' Medium Tolerant of many soil conditions. Fragrant white flowers in May.
Fagus sylvatica
European Beech
30' 25' Slow Dark green to purple glossy foliage. Bark is smooth gray. Variety 'Pendula' should not be planted in parking strips.
     cv. 'Asplenifolia'       Cut leaf variety that is fern like and gold-brown in the fall.
     cv. 'Autropunica'       Has purplish-bronze or copper colored leaves.
     cv. 'Riversii'       Dark purple leaves that turn bronze in the fall.
     cv. 'Roseo-Marginata'       Leaves are green edged with pink and cream colors.

Class III Trees

Many of these trees are long-lived and attain large height and trunk diameter. VVhen selecting a tree from this class, be sure you have ample room to accommodate it at maturity. These trees are not for planting under power lines or parking strips less than IO feet wide. Typical spacing between Class III trees is 40-60 feet.

BOTANICAL AND
COMMON NAME

HEIGHT

SPREAD

GROWTH
RATE

REMARKS

Catalpa speciosa
Northern Catalpa
60' 40' Fast A fast growing tree with heart-shaped leaves and conspicuous   white flowers in June. Can withstand hot, dry conditions.  Fruit is a long pod.
Fagas grandiflora
American Beech
60' 55' Slow Thin, smooth gray bark. Very similar to the european beech   but larger and has bigger leaves. Golden bronze fall color.
Liquidambar styraciflua
Sweetgum
60' 45' Fast Glossy green star-shaped leaves turn yellow in the fall. Twigs have cork-like bark. Fruit is a spiny ball which may be a maintenance concern.
     cv. 'Moraine'       Hardy variety with fast growth and red fall color.
Liriodendron tulipifera
Tulip Tree
80' 45' Fast A large tree of the magnolia family. Flowers born high in the   tree. Leaves are bright green and resemble a tulip. Its fast growth can lead to weak wood.
Quercus bicolor
Swamp White Oak
50' 35' Medium A open headed tree that is excellent for moist or wet soils.   Foliage is green on top and dusty white on bottom. Leaves turn brown in the fall.
Quercus macrocarpa
Bur Oak
70' 65' Slow A grand tree with large lobed leaves. Adaptable to a wide   range of conditions and is tolerant of dry soils, air pollution and temperature extremes. A valuable tree for urban wildlife.
Quercus robur
English Oak
55' 45' Fast A stately tree with small lobed leaves. Thick bark is furrowed   and gray. Tolerant of many soil conditions. A long-lived tree.
     cv. 'Fastigiata'       Upright, columnar form of the species.
Quercus rubra
Northern Red Oak
50' 45' Medium A strong tree with dense green foliage that turns to red in the fall. A valuable tree for urban wildlife.
Tilia americana
American Linden
55' 35' Medium Large, heart shaped leaves cast dense summer shade.  Fragrant flowers appear in the summertime.
    cv. 'Redmond'       A pyramidal form and fast growth
Tilia cordata
Littleaf Linden
45' 40' Medium A compact pyramidal tree with sturdy upright growth. More heat and drought tolerant than other lindens. Dense foliage produces dense summertime shade.
     cv. 'Chancellor'       Upright narrow form that is dense and symmetrical.
     cv. 'Glenleven'       Larger leaves and more spreading than the species.
     cv. 'Greenspire'        
     cv. 'Corzam'       Columnar form with smaller, thicker leaves.
Tilia tomentosa
Silver Linden
60' 40' Medium White underside of leaves give this tree its name. Tolerates heat and drought well. Trunk is smooth and gray.
     cv. 'Green Mountain'       Rapidly growing tree that is heat and drought tolerant.
     cv. 'Sterling"       Excellent form and resistant to leaf eating insects.
Platanus x acerifolia
London Planetree
90' 60' Fast A towering tree with strong roots and branches. Bark peels off in patches. Hardy and attractive in winter.
     cv. 'Bloodgood"       A common disease resistant form.
Ulmus parvifolia
Lacebark Elm
50' 30' Medium The tree has flaky bark and smaller leaves than american elm. Is often confused with siberian elm which is not approved for planting in parking strips.
     cv. 'Ohio'       More cold hardy than the species.
Zelkova serrata
Japanese Zelkova
70' 70' Fast A handsome, vase-shaped member of the elm family. Fall color is yellow/orange. Adaptable to different soil conditions and tolerant of drought and wind.
     cv. 'Halka'       Resembles american elm.
     cv. 'Green Vase'       Rapid growth and good vase shaped form.
     cv. 'Village Green'       Rapid growth and insect resistant.
Aesculus hippocastanum
Common Horsechestnut
60' 45' Medium Casts dense summertime shade. Showy flowers in May.
cv. 'Baumannii'       Long-lasting flowers and seedless.

Trees Not Authorized for Street Planting

The following species are not to he planted in any parking strip in Provo without the written consent of the City Forester. These trees exhibit characteristics including but not limited to: extreme insect or disease susceptibility, soft or brittle wood andlor limited cold or heat hardiness. Such problems often lead to excessive maintenance costs, hazards to other trees and potential public safety hazards.

BOTANICAL AND
COMMON NAME

REMARKS

Acer negundo
Boxelder Maple
Soft wood that is subject to decay. Harbor box elder bugs which are a nuisance.
Acer saccharinum
Silver Maple
Becomes chlorotic in our local soils. Soft wood and decay problems.
Ailanthus altissima
Tree of Heaven
Very brittle wood and weak branching. Seeding makes this tree invasive.
Eleagnus angustifolia
Russian Olive
Thoms, fruit and growth habit are unsuitable for street tree use.
Gleditsia triacanthos
Thorned Honeylocust
Hazardous thorny branches. Messy seed pods. Select thornless varieties for planting along city streets.
     cv. 'Sunburst' Suseptable to many pests.
Populus
Cottonwood, Aspen and Poplars
Trees in this family have soft wood and are subject to decay. Shallow roots.
Robinia pseudoacacia
Black Locust
Extremely suseptable to boring insects. Brittle wood.
Salix
Willow
Soft wood subject to decay. Shallow roots. Ahpids.
Ulmus pumila
Siberian Elm
Brittle wood and weak branching. Invasive spread from seeding.
Evergreens Block clear vision between pedestrians and vehicle traffic. Often spread too wide for parking strips.
Orchard Trees Fruit drop on sidewalk can be hazardous to pedestrians and a maintenance concern.