Best Street Trees

After having spent the last few hours researching the best trees to withstand pollution and remain relatively compact of habit for one of my clients, I thought it might be the kind of thing other landscape architects and designers may find useful.

  • Acer campestre ‘Streetwise’ – Field MapleA very versatile tree that tolerates compaction, pollution and drought. Also serves well in small residential gardens.
  • Betula nigra ‘Heritage’ – River BirchDue to it’s ability to withstand the urban environment, this is becoming a more popular choice for its striking pinkish-white flaking bark, although not as upright in habit as others in my list.
  • Betula pendula ‘Fastigiata’ – Upright BirchThe ‘Queen or Lady of the Woods’ – this upright form with ascending branches is a delicate, beautiful tree with white bark that will tolerate most soil conditions.
  • Carpinus betulus ‘Fastigiata’ – European HornbeamA beautiful, strong and durable tree that will eventually reach 10-15m high with a canopy diameter of 7-10m
  • Ginkgo biloba ‘Princeton Sentry’ – Sentry MaindenheadFantastic autumn colour. Be careful only to specify the male, fruitless form
  • Pyrus calleyana ‘Aristocrat’ – PearUpright, compact form. White blossoms in early spring before leaves break.
  • Quercus palustris – Pin OakA large, graceful, upright tree that will withstand polluted conditions. Can reach 25m in height by 8m canopy diameter
  • Tilia cordata ‘Greenspire’Although limes are being planted less in urban environments as people moan about having to wash their cars due to the sticky residue they emit, this is still a great looking tree that tolerates just about anything.
  • Ulmus parvifolia ‘Drake – ‘Drake’ Chinese (Lacebark) ElmA fast growing, nearly evergreen tree, this is suprisingly under used. Has golden autumn foliage and a mottled bark and will withstand most soil conditions.
  • Zelkova serrata – Japanese ZelkovaCan reach up to 15-20m, this pyramidal shaped tree is tolerant of urban and coastal environments. With strong autumn colour and an attractive grey bark.