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5 Trees that Won’t Damage Sidewalks

Trees are great. They provide fresh air, keep the environment healthy, and (when in good health) are beautiful to look at. However, if you’re in charge of managing a property or keeping a parking lot in tip-top shape, then you don’t want to be dealing with intrusive tree roots in 5, 10, or 15 years time. As landscape professionals and property maintenance experts in California and Nevada, we have some experience on trees that won’t damage sidewalks.

If you’re looking to spruce up your parking lot or commercial property with some greenery, you need to know which trees won’t damage sidewalks. Trust us – it’ll save you some headache down the road.

  1. Yellow Buckeye.image of yellow buckeye tree a safe tree for your sidewalk

Height: 50-75 feet

Spread: 30-50 feet

Maintenance: Medium

Zone: 4 to 8

The Yellow Buckeye is a great shade tree that also grows quickly, with deep roots that won’t ruin your sidewalk. The tree produces nice yellow flowers in the spring, although be aware that when ripe, Buckeyes fall to the ground, so this tree requires a bit more maintenance than others on our list. If you have a parking lot sweeper, however, this shouldn’t be an issue.

  1. Autumn Gold Maidenhair.image of Autumn Gold Maidenhair tree

Height: 40-50 feet

Spread: 25-30 feet

Maintenance: Low

Zone: 3 through 8

The Autumn Gold Maidenhair is a variety of Ginkgo biloba, an extremely hardy tree that won’t damage your sidewalk. Not only that, but the Autumn Gold produces beautiful fan-shaped leaves that turn bright yellow in the fall. Give your tenants something calming to look at – and enjoy the benefits of a tree that won’t ruin your sidewalk.

  1. Southern Red Oak.image of southern red oak which is a trees that won't damage sidewalks

Height: 60-80 feet

Spread: 60-70 feet

Maintenance: Low

Zone: 7 through 9

The Southern Red Oak is resistant to many pests and diseases, so you won’t have to worry about having to replace the tree anytime soon if you take proper care of it. Once planted, the tree requires little to no maintenance, therefore it is commonly found along roadways where it won’t damage sidewalks or require excessive pruning.

  1. Flowering Adams Crabapple.

Height: 15-20 feet

Spread: 15-20 feet

Maintenance: Low

Zone: 4 through 8

If you’re looking to add color to your parking lot without tearing up your sidewalks, then the flowering Adams Crabapple is a great choice. It’s also resistant to many of the diseases that commonly afflict crabapple trees, such as apple scab, mildew, rust, and fire blight. This tree won’t damage your sidewalk and will add some flavor to the landscape.

  1. Princeton American Elm.

Height: 50-70 feet

Spread: 30-50 feet

Maintenance: Low

Zone: 3 through 9

The Princeton variety of American Elm trees is resistant to Dutch elm disease, which can be devastating (it wiped out its American Elm relatives). The Princeton Elm is by no means a rare tree and is found throughout the United States in lawns and near sidewalks. The non-intrusive nature of the root structure makes it a great tree that won’t damage sidewalks or pavement.

Remember – if you can, find a tree that is native to your area and has a deep root structure that won’t damage your sidewalk. Native trees generally require less maintenance and thrive more readily than non-native species. Contact your local nursery for advice on which native trees won’t damage your sidewalk or paved surface.

Do you have any favorite trees that won’t damage sidewalks? Share your comments with us below.