Trees can bring a lot to your site, from adding shade and curb appeal to increasing your customer visits. Beyond their aesthetic value, trees are also a much-needed natural resource, especially here in Kentucky.
Louisville and Lexington each have about 25 percent urban tree canopy coverage, although 40 percent is recommended to have a healthy city.
Between 2004 and 2012, Louisville lost more than 3,000 acres of its canopy coverage, while Lexington actually increased its canopy coverage about 3.5 percent during that same time.
The need and benefits to adding trees are definitely there, but which ones will work best on your commercial landscape?
Here are tips on how to choose the best street trees, along with four of our favorites.
How To Choose The Right Tree
There are plenty of stunning, stately trees out there — so what makes one the ideal street tree?
Two of the most important factors are the tree’s durability and cost. Beyond just looking at the plant’s initial purchase price, you also need to think about the long-term price. A tree that’s more suitable for the site conditions and resists pests and diseases will help lower its lifetime costs.
The tree’s ability to handle the local climate and conditions also makes it a better option.
No matter which trees you choose, remember they should be pruned to have a 7-foot clearance along sidewalks and 12-foot clearance along the street side.
Best Street Trees for Kentucky (Our Picks)
Not every tree will work along streets, and cities actually have lists of approved and prohibited trees you’ll need to follow. Here are four of our favorite street trees to use on local commercial properties:
LARGE Street Trees
Quercus Shumardii (Shumard’s Red Oak): This deep-rooted tree is drought tolerant and thrives on neglect. It’s also tolerant of pollution from cars and reflected heat from the roadways. We like this tree so much, we installed two of them at our Lexington offices.
Quercus Bicolor (Swamp White Oak): Sharing the same benefits as the red oak, it doesn’t need to grow in a swamp — despite its name — although it does tolerate sites with poor drainage. This tree is one of the best to adapt to climate change.
Small Street Trees
Syringa Reticulata (Japanese Tree Lilac): Its smaller growth makes it the perfect tree to plant under power lines. This tree has large, showy blooms, though they aren’t fragrant like the common garden lilac. You also don’t have the pest and disease problems seen with other lilacs: The Japanese Tree Lilac is drought tolerant and virtually pest free. It’s also readily available at nurseries, making it more affordable.
Crataegus Viridis ‘Winter King’ (Hawthorn): A small native tree, it provides year-round interest with spring flowers, fall foliage color and winter red berries (which are an important food source for birds during the colder months). We’ve installed hawthorns along an entrance to Jim Beam’s facility in Frankfort.
*View a full list of approved street trees and municipal planting guidelines for the Lexington area and also the Louisville area. FYI: If you’re working with us, don’t sweat trying to navigate these planting rules and regulations. We handle that.
Find the Best Street Trees For Your Commercial Property
Make your property the one people look forward to driving into with the best street trees. Turn to an experienced company that can make your site a must-see spot.
At Klausing Group, we provide commercial landscaping services in Lexington and Louisville, including tree care, plant installation and maintenance.
To transform your property from the curb in, contact our Lexington branch at 859-254-0762 or in Louisville at 502-264-0127. You can also request a free proposal online.