Even before the environment became such a hot topic, business leaders have recognized the need for trees in their parking lots.
Trees provide needed shade in the summer, they look great, and customers appreciate the extra attention to detail on the part of business owners.
Trees make sense in parking lots for commercial properties. Not only are trees a big part of the parking lot landscape, but innovative thinkers are concocting new and better ideas for parking lots all the time.
This post is all about choosing the best parking lot trees and making your business stand out to customers and the community.
Choosing Parking Lot Trees
Roots are a major concern when selecting trees for your parking lot.
Avoid trees that have large surface roots, as they will soon buckle and break the surrounding asphalt. Trees such as sycamore, beech, and elm tend to send out shallow roots, so avoid these and others.
One possible solution for the root issue is to plant trees in pseudo planters or islands within the parking lot. Make sure these spots are filled with good soil and then mulch around the trees on an annual basis – or according to need.
You will also want to account for the projected height and width of your trees. If there are power lines over head, you don’t want a very tall tree. Likewise, bushy, broader trees might inhibit the cars.
It’s also important to find trees that don’t have a very thick canopy. While you will surely appreciate tree shade in the heat of summer, enough sun needs to get through to help evaporate rainwater.
Consider this brief list of trees for your parking lot:
- Small Trees
- Japanese maple
- Trident maple
- Eastern hornbeam
- Kousa dogwood
- Medium Trees
- Superform maple
- Norwegian sunset maple
- Heritage birch
- Large Trees
- Blue atlas cedar
- Canary Island pine
- Black Oak
Vines: An Alternative to Trees
Trees are a constant in parking lots. However, they do offer certain challenges, particularly when it comes to their root structures.
Roots can ruin a parking lot very quickly, and some trees shed a lot of sap in the summer, which will not make your customers happy.
As an alternative, consider hanging vines over the parking lot.
A simple carpentry project can create a trellis that will support your favorite hanging vine. A thick canopy of vines, leaves, and flowers will make your parking lot stand out. Not every business can say that.
The added curiosity and green-minded innovation just might land you a few extra customers.
Expanding Your Green Footprint
Your parking lot will be well served by a smart selection of trees.
Trees can help ameliorate the heat effect of the asphalt slab, but you can take things a step further, if you like.
These days, some parking lots are eschewing the solid asphalt slab in favor of grasscrete, which is a sustainable paving system that allows greenery to grow up in the parking lot surface itself.
Not only does the grass help create cooling oxygen, but your parking lot drainage issues are largely taken care of.
Solar “trees” are another option that will provide some shade for customers while generating sustainable energy.
Crowley Commercial Landscape Services
Our team of professionals at Crowley Landscape Management can help you landscape the ideal parking lot for your customers and employees.
Reach out to discuss your commercial landscape today!