Monday, March 22, 2010


Street tree plantings face harsh growing conditions. Special attention must be made to select the correct trees especially well suited to an urban environment. The “devil’s strip” is often referred to as the area between the sidewalk and roadway poses special care. Trees must be selected to match site-specific conditions such as limited growth space under utility lines, and reduced planting zones between the sidewalk and roadway.
Trees on the following list will do well in our local environment provided the appropriate species is selected for a particular site. The trees on this list offer a wide range of varieties and cultivars which fit into local landscapes. Tree names are followed by examples of acceptable tree varieties that may be used in streetscapes. Listed by common name, botanical name, and varieties.

American Linden: (Tilia americana) --- Redmond
Black Gum: (Nyssa sylvatica)
Catalpa: (Catalpa speciosa)
Chinese Pistache: (Pistacia chinensis)
Crabapple: (Malus spp) --- Prarie Fire
European Hornbeam: (Carpinus betulus)
Goldenrain Tree: (Koelreuteria paniculata)
Ginko: (Ginko biloba)
Honeylocust: (Gleditsia triacanthos var) --- Shademaster
Littleleaf Linden: (Tilia cordata) ---Greenspire
Norway Maple: (Acer platanoides) --- Crimson
Pear: (Pyrus calleryana) --- Chanticleer, Cleveland Select
Sugar Maple: (Acer saccharum) --- Green Mountain
This list is not all-inclusive and there may be other trees that can be planted with careful consideration

Tree placement
· Before planting make sure there is no public utilities in the area. In the St. Louis area call Dig Rite at 1-800-DIG RITE or 1-800 344-7483
· Proper placement of the tree will reduce potential damage to sidewalks, curbs and gutters.
· Look up! Will the trees eventually interfere with high voltage wires.
Tree selecting
· The tree should have a single trunk. Multiple trunk trees may interfere with traffic since the branching is lower.
· There should be one central leader. The tallest limb should appear to be an extension of the trunk with all other limbs arising from it. More than one dominant leader will cause the tree to split later in life.
· There should be no scars or tears along the trunk or major limbs.
· Dig a hole the same depth as the container or root ball and twice as wide.
· Remove the root ball from the container carefully. Slice the sides of the root ball approximately ¼ deep at 2 inch intervals. This root pruning helps the tree develop a stronger root system.
· DO NOT LIFT THE TREE UP BY ITS TRUNK! In the case of balled and burlapped trees.
· Make sure the top of the root ball is approximately 1-2 inches about ground level.
· If the hole is too deep, add enough soil to raise the root ball 1-2 inches about ground level.
· Backfill the hole with a 50% combination of the existing soil with organic compost. This will encourage quicker root development.
· Thoroughly water the planting area.
· Create a mulched planting moat to help retain moisture.

· Water the tree once or twice weekly during the first two years.
· Take rainfall into consideration when watering trees. Water the tree when the moisture level is dry under the mulch.
· Deep watering will encourage the roots to grow deeper and become more drought tolerant.
· Keep the tree ring mulched for at least the first two years adding fresh mulch when needed. DO NOT ADD MULCH HIGH UP THE TREE BARK.

· Insects can weaken trees and make them susceptible to disease. Monitor the health of the tree and apply proper insecticides and mitecides as necessary.
· Proper prune the tree for shape. As the tree matures a certified arborist should be employed to assure the vitality of the tree.
· Deep root feeding after the first year will assure the vitality of the plant.

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