The Best Street Trees: Reader Edition Results!

Last week I asked you your opinion on the cities with the best street trees (national & international) as well as your favorite tree species.

This week, the results!

The votes for cities with the best street trees in North America went to…

1) New York, NY and Vancouver, BC (both with 36.4%)
2) Portland, OR (27.3%)
3) Charlotte, NC and Chicago, IL (18.2%)

The votes for the cities with the best street trees internationally went to…

1) Paris, by a landslide (43%, the rest of the votes were split)

And the votes for your favorite species went to…

1) Gingko, also by a landslide (52%)
2) London plane (24%)
3) Cherry and Honeylocust (both 16%)

So, was justice served? Or have the people spoken wrongly? Let us know in the Comments.

Image: pkrtkn


  1. John Smelser

    Hello folks. I live on the Southern Great Plains, in Oklahoma City [the city few people talk about unless it relates to the Murrah bombing.] It is a small city trying to be big… and one of the projects being vigorously pursued is the extensive planting of street trees.
    I certainly agree with the choices for cities with the best street trees, particularly Vancouver, Portland, and Paris.
    As to the tree choices:
    [1] Ginkgo biloba is an excellent tree with interesting leaves and butter yellow fall color. Because it has a deep tap root I recommend buying container grown trees to ease transplant shock.
    [2] London planes and Honeylocust are too weak wooded to tolerate our strong winds. Limbs tend to drop in storms. Cherries don’t appreciate our heavy soils, our droughts, or our temperature fluctuations.
    [3] Pistacia chinensis [Chinese Pistache] makes an excellent street tree.
    Very drought tolerant, with strong wood, and beautiful scarlet red fall color.
    [4] Taxodium distichum [Bald Cypress] has strong buttressed trunks, a wonderfully balanced limb structure, apple green foliage in summer that turns an elegant bronze in fall. Even though it is native to the swamps of the deep South, it thrives on the Great Plains.
    [5] Acer tataricum subsp. ginnala ‘Flame’ [Flame Amur Maple] makes a great small tree. Attractive tri-lobed leaves turn scarlet red in fall and the samaras [seedpods] mature to a good red in mid to late summer. Drought tolerant once established.
    [6] Acer truncatum [Shantung Maple] is probably the hardiest of the maples in our area. Five lobed leaves resemble the leaves of Japanese Maple and turn deep yellow-orange to orange in the fall. Tolerates wet or dry soils, drying winds, and heat very well.
    [7] Ulmus parvifolia [Lacebark Elm] is a real winner around here. Fast growth, beautiful bark, tidy leaves that turn salmon colors in fall make it very desirable. Tolerates compacted soils, alkaline soils, and small root zones. I particularly like the golden leafed variety… it glows at sunset on each summer day.

    Well, those are my suggestions.
    Hope you like them.

  2. Hello,

    I have a 24″ wide planting strip between the sidewalk and curb where I’d like to plant 3 or 4 street trees over a 75′ width of space. In particular I’d like to find a tree that has deeper growing roots so that it won’t buckle the sidewalk, curb or street and the same deep root tree that will have a tall and slender (at least for the first 12′ or so) upper canopy portion. Anyone have ideas on some possibilities?

  3. Leda Marritz

    I don’t have a specific species recommendation, but in general we discourage spacing trees any less than 25′ on center. So for a 75′ wide planting area, I would max our at three trees, and maybe even only put two depending on how large you think they will get. Also, regardless of what you plant, we always recommend using root barriers to prevent damage to the sidewalk. Good luck!

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