Best Trees to Plant Near Driveway | Davey Tree (2023)

Want to significantly change the appearance of your home landscape?

Plant a tree! And if that tree is in your front yard specifically, your house’s curb appeal and value can also see a boost. In fact, a Management Information Services/ICMA study says landscaping with trees can increase property values as much as 20 percent.

But just as they say in real estate, one of the most important factors in determining tree value and performance is location, location, location.

While you may have a good idea what trees go best near your home or in your backyard, maybe as you pull into your driveway from the street, you see your barren lawn and wish you could add more shade, color, or height to your entryway.

Never fear: There’s a tree for that!

While not all trees are suitable for this space, there are some that can fill the bill.

Take a look at these best trees to plant near a driveway to give you some inspiration on how you can transform your landscape.

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How Far to Plant Trees From Driveway

When you’re looking at trees to plant near driveways, you have to consider how close to the driveway to plant them.

This is very important because roots that grow under concrete may not receive adequate water, oxygen, and other nutrients they need to grow healthy. Also, tree roots are usually found within the top 6 to 24 inches of soil, which means if they are planted too close they may easily lift or crack your driveway.

You should base your planting spacing on the projected size of the tree when it’s fully grown. Typically, you want to plant the tree as far away from driveway and other hardscape as practical without jeopardizing the landscape design aesthetics.

Best Trees to Plant Near Driveway
Since there are so many different types of trees, knowing which ones will perform best near your driveway is important.

Some trees, for instance, have aggressive or invasive roots. Others drop leaves, fruits, nuts, or seed cones, so you may want to limit this excess debris in your driveway, especially if you want to park your car there.

The good news is that while there are a few trees to avoid, there are also plenty of beautiful and attractive trees that can thrive near your driveway. Here are some trees to plant near driveways to consider.

Best Shade Trees to Plant Near Driveway

During the heat of the summer, nothing beats a shade tree. It provides an instant cooling effect the second you step beneath its canopy.

(Video) Trees for along a Driveway Green Giants

These driveway canopy trees will give you all the beauty and shade you need.

USDA Zones 4 to 9

  • Gingko - This deciduous, hardy, shade tree boasts unique, fan-shaped leaves and a height of 80 feet. Their gorgeous golden fall color is also a welcome sight for front yards. This slow-grower is ideal in USDA zones 4 to 9. Select a male tree if possible since female trees drop fruit and create a messy situation.
  • River Birch - The river birch can reach 40 to 70 feet with a 30- to 60-foot spread in USDA zones 4 to 9. It prefers well-drained soil, and tolerates drought conditions. River birch has bark that peels, with pinkish tones underneath.
  • American Beech - This strong tree thrives in a wide range of growing conditions. It has dense foliage and long, strong branches, growing to 50 to 70 feet high and spreading to approximately 40 feet in USDA zones 4 to 9. Its smooth, grey bark and golden fall foliage can make your home shine.

USDA Zones 2 to 7

  • Paper Birch - Named for the tree’s thin, white bark, which often peels in paper-like layers, the paper birch has a mature height of 50 to 70 feet with a 35-foot spread. It turns a bright yellow in autumn, brightening up fall in USDA zones 2 to 7.

Fast Growing Driveway Trees

If you’re seeking instant impact when planting trees near driveways, consider these gems that boast a moderate growth rate.

USDA Zones 3 to 7

  • Japanese lilac tree - In early summer, this tree shines with its white, fragrant flowers that come in roughly 1-foot-long and 10-inch-wide clusters. With a 30-foot height and 20-foot spread, it creates an impressive canopy in USDA zones 3 to 7. Japanese lilacs tolerate full sun and urban pollution, thriving in well-drained soil.

USDA Zones 3 to 9

  • Honeylocust tree - Want a tree over your driveway, but with more dappled sunlight or limited shade for a bright, open front yard? While this tree is considered a shade tree that can spread 70 feet and grow in USDA zones 3 to 9, this fast-grower has delicate leaves that allow sun to sneak through. On top of that, it can handle poor soil and has strong branches that are resistant to storm or snow damage.

USDA Zones 4 to 9

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  • Hybrid Willow - With a growth rate of 6 to 12 feet per year, this disease-resistant tree can reach its mature height of almost 75 feet in about 5 years. Dense foliage makes it a great wind break, too. This tree enjoys full to partial sun in USDA zones 4 to 9.

Best Evergreen Trees to Line Driveway

A line of evergreens can provide year-round seclusion and much-needed greenery during the winter months.

Here are some of the best trees to plant near driveways that stay green all year long.

USDA Zones 6 to 10

  • Leyland Cypress - With a broad to tapering form and smooth bark, the darker green foliage of this evergreen provides a great screen along a driveway. It grows up to 70 feet high and 15 feet wide in USDA zones 6 to 10.

USDA Zones 3 to 7

  • Rocky Mountain Juniper - For a bluer-green shade in your front yard, try this evergreen that grows to 30 feet in height with a 6-foot width in USDA zones 3 to 7. It also has exfoliating red-brown bark that brings character.

USDA Zones 7 to 10

  • Italian Cypress - There’s something elegant about tall, narrow conifer like this cypress with its gray-green to dark green needles and strong columnar shape that can reach 70 feet high and 20 feet wide. This evergreen thrives in USDA zones 7 to 10.

USDA Zones 2 to 7

  • Emerald Green Arborvitae - This evergreen has bright green foliage that looks like it spreads in small, flat fans. The tree grows in a narrow pyramid up to 14 feet high and 4 feet wide in USDA zones 2 to 7.

USDA Zones 2 to 9

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  • Eastern Red Cedar - This adaptable tree grows in dry, rocky areas and can thrive in urban areas and as windbreaks in USDA zones 2 to 9. This tree can grow up to 50 feet tall in full sun and well-drained soil.

Best Narrow Driveway Trees

Looking for a more modest, vertical effect with the trees you plant along your driveway? Try these narrow driveway trees.

USDA Zones 4 to 8

  • Ornamental Pear - Suited to USDA zones 4 to 8, some ornamental pear varieties have a cone or columnar shape vs. a rounded one. A pyramid shape with a minimal spread of 15 feet across provides a gentler effect. But this tree won't sleep on the job when it comes to impact; it boasts showy white flowers (that may have an unpleasant smell to some) in early spring and vibrant orange-red leaves in the fall reaching up to 40 feet in height.

USDA Zones 4 to 9

  • ‘Goldspire’ Ginkgo - The deep, golden foliage of this tree has a narrow growth habit that comes along with its bright, eye-popping shade. Enjoying USDA zones 4 to 9 and full to partial sun, it can grow 15 feet high and 5 to 6 feet wide.

Best Trees for Long Driveway

If you have a very long driveway, you might want to break the visual up with entryway color or bigger impact with tree-lined driveway ideas.

Whichever route you choose to take, these trees can help you create that front yard impact.

USDA Zones 7 to 9

  • Crape Myrtle - If you live in a warmer climate, the crape myrtle is one of the more colorful entry trees for driveways out there, boasting bright blooms. Thriving in sunny conditions and warm days, this drought-tolerant tree can grow more than 15 feet high and wide in USDA zones 7 to 9.

USDA Zones 4 to 8

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  • Flowering crabapples - Want to line your driveway with color? Try planting a row of this tree with larger varieties that can grow up to 40 feet tall and wide, and smaller ones reaching 15 to 20 feet tall and wide. Bloom shades come in everything from white to light pink to magenta and last for a 4- to 5-week period starting in spring. This tree comes in varieties that work in USDA zones 4 to 8.


Best Trees to Plant Near Driveway | Davey Tree (1)


What trees can be planted very close to a house? ›

These include willow trees, poplars, cottonwoods, aspens, silver maples, Norway maples, and American elm trees, among others. Smaller trees with shallow roots, however, pose little risk to your home. Japanese maple trees, for instance, are safe to plant relatively close to your house.

How close to a driveway can you plant a tree? ›

In general, the taller the tree, the further away from the driveway it should be planted. Small trees that won't grow more than 30 feet tall can be planted as close as 3 feet from the pavement. Medium-size trees that grow to a maximum average height of around 50 feet should be located at least 6 feet from the driveway.

What trees should not be planted together? ›

What Fruit Trees Should Not Be Grown Together? (If Any)
  • Apples or apricots with peppers or walnuts.
  • Blackberries, nectarines, or pears with raspberries.
  • Blueberries, cherries, corn, grapes, or melons with tomatoes or eggplants.
  • Peaches with plums or raspberries.
7 Sept 2022

What is the best thing to put around the base of a tree? ›

Mulching around a tree is a must. Mulch can be more than just wood chips—shredded bark, pine straw, and even gravel also work well. Use the same type and color of mulch throughout your landscape to create a unified aesthetic.

What do you call a driveway lined with trees? ›

Those of us with long driveways often fantasize about having a stately planting of matching driveway trees on both sides, forming a shady “tunnel”. This type of planting is called a colonnade.

What is the best tree for blocking view? ›

If you're looking for a massive plant to block out a massive view, white pine is it. Long-needled and soft, white pines survive winters down to -40 degrees F. They max out at 60 feet tall and 30 feet wide. Stately trees that are tolerant of city pollution, white pines are quick growing and bear elongated cones.

What trees should you not plant near your house? ›

Worst Trees to Plant Near a House
  • White ash (Zones 2-9): A fast-growing shade tree with invasive, lateral roots that's also susceptible to emerald ash borer!
  • Poplar (Zones 3-8): A tall tree with aggressive roots known for causing sewer and foundational damage.
17 Apr 2018

Can tree roots damage driveway? ›

Tree roots will grow anywhere there is uncompacted soil and oxygen, which is under your driveway and side walk. Tree roots that have been growing in this situation for some time can be quite extensive and can cause cement to buckle four inches or more, creating a significant hazard.

How far should a tree be planted from another tree? ›

Most landscaping professionals recommend that you leave at least 10 feet between small trees and at least 30 to 50 feet between large trees. Medium-sized trees can fare well with a distance of 20 feet between them.

How close can you plant a new tree to an existing tree? ›

You can select a location to plant a new tree that is near the old tree's stump. Usually most of the issues with soil structure, nutrients, and physical space occupied by old roots can be avoided by planting at least three feet, but ideally six to eight feet away from the removed tree.

What can you plant between two trees? ›

In general, shallow-rooted herbaceous perennials, bulbs, and groundcovers are best suited to sharing soil space with ex- isting tree roots because they need less growing medium and will not require the digging of large holes around the tree.

Which trees hold the soil together? ›

Roots of trees hold the soil particles and prevent their loss.

What can I plant next to narrow strips on my driveway? ›

Some of the best shrubs for driveway entrances are fern-leaf yarrows (Achillea filipendulina, USDA plant hardiness zones 3 to 9), which produce beautiful yellow blooms in the summer. These shrubs grow to about 4 feet in height, providing privacy without narrowing your range of vision when backing out.

How do you landscape around a tree without killing it? ›

How Do You Landscape Around a Tree? Raising the soil level enough to cover the exposed roots (without covering the tree's root flare). Mulching the area with three to five inches of organic mulch. Providing the tree with more frequent deep waterings (this encourages roots to grow deep).

What to put around trees to prevent weeds? ›

What Can I Do to Keep Weeds in Control? Landscape Bark or Mulch will surpress weeds and will keep water in the soil as it reduces the amount that will be evaporated. This is great if you don't want to constantly go out and water or it is not practical to go out an water.

What is a street with trees on both sides called? ›

Boulevard (Blvd.)

A large, wide street with trees on both sides. Often, there's a median with trees.

What tree has the least invasive roots? ›

4 Types of Trees with Non-Invasive Roots that are Best for Your Yard
  • Japanese Maple.
  • Crape Myrtle.
  • Eastern Redbud.
  • Cornus Mas.
  • Serviceberry.
  • Kousa Dogwood.
  • Japanese Tree Lilac.
  • Dwarf Korean Lilac.
27 Sept 2022

What kind of tree has non-invasive roots? ›

There are a few main trees able to both tolerate shade and have non-aggressive roots. Some prime examples include Florida maple trees, Pawpaws, English holly, miniature fruit trees, and Chinese pistache trees. These trees generally have shallow roots that don't cause issues underground.

What trees dont have big roots? ›

5 Trees with Small Root Systems
  • Adam's Crabapple. Adam's crabapple is a nice choice if you're looking for a deciduous tree with a thicker, rounder, and fuller appearance. ...
  • Trident Maple. ...
  • Japanese Dogwood. ...
  • Japanese Maple. ...
  • Cape Ash.

What is a nice tree for the front yard? ›

You probably want to consider smaller evergreen trees in the front yard like: junipers, hollies, or arborvitae. We really like Emerald Green Arborvitae, Blue Point Juniper, Nellie Stevens Holly, Italian Cypress, and Oakland Holly for front yards.

What is the cleanest shade tree? ›

What is the cleanest shade tree? Some of the cleanest shade trees are maples. Though they shed their leaves in the fall, after turning stunning shades of red and gold, they do not drop flowers, seeds or fruits. This makes them easy to clean up after.

What trees have the biggest roots? ›

Shepherd's tree (Boscia albitrunca), native to the Kalahari Desert, has the deepest documented roots: more than 70 meters, or 230 feet, deep. Their depth was discovered accidentally by drillers of groundwater wells.

How do I keep tree roots from lifting my driveway? ›

The only way to prevent this from happening is to install a separation barrier between the driveway and the tree. A separation barrier can be sheet metal or synthetic material soaked in copper sulphate. The only drawback to a separation barrier is that they are not always effective.

How can I protect my driveway from tree roots? ›

Keep Them From Coming Back

Installing a root barrier helps deflect roots deeper into the ground so they won't head straight for your driveway. This could be a physical barrier, such as a length of sheet metal, or a chemical barrier, such as synthetic cloth saturated in copper sulfate.

What do you do with tree roots in your driveway? ›

4 Tips on How to Combat Tree Root Damage in Driveways and Parking Lots
  1. Remove small roots.
  2. Install a physical root barrier.
  3. Do not cut large roots.
  4. Seek advice from a professional arborist.
13 Jul 2022

What trees go well together? ›

Trees are often features in gardens & companion planting guilds are usually arranged around trees.
NameGood Companions
HazelnutComfrey, flowers and herbs such as coriander.
MacadamiaClover, chives, nasturtium, comfrey, marigold and other flowers.
OakChantarella mushrooms, blueberries.
OliveHerbs, lavender.
19 more rows

Is it better to plant a small tree or a big tree? ›

New research published by the International Society of Arboriculture supports that advice by showing that big trees aren't better for planting. Because small trees experience less root loss when transplanted, they establish themselves more quickly, usually overtaking their larger counterparts after just a few years.

What happens if you plant a tree too deeply? ›

Deep planting causes bark deterioration at the soil line, which can eventually kill the plant. It usually takes a few seasons for a tree or shrub to die from this.

What time of year is best to plant trees? ›

Planting in the fall gives trees an extra growing season before the stress of summer. The combination of cooler temperatures and fall rain allows trees to establish their roots, making it easier on them to adjust to extreme heat or drought in the summer.

Why you shouldn't plant trees too close to your house? ›

Trees cause the moisture in soil to fluctuate because of the water levels that are required to keep a tree alive. This can cause significant problems if a tree is too close to your home, because as the soil contracts and expands, it puts pressure on the foundation and can eventually cause cracks or shifting.

Can I plant a tree where a tree was? ›

While it is certainly possible to replant in the same spot after tree removal, doing so isn't ideal. Certified arborists usually recommend choosing a new planting site for these reasons: The soil may be stripped of nutrients essential to the growth of a sapling.

How close to concrete can you plant a tree? ›

In any case, keep medium-sized trees at least six feet from concrete. If you choose larger trees, they should be at least 20 feet away from paths and as far as 50 feet from the house. Some types of trees to avoid anywhere near foundations and paved areas: Oaks.

How do I keep tree roots from damaging my driveway? ›

Installing a root barrier helps deflect roots deeper into the ground so they won't head straight for your driveway. This could be a physical barrier, such as a length of sheet metal, or a chemical barrier, such as synthetic cloth saturated in copper sulfate.

Can trees break through concrete? ›

Tree roots present an even bigger potential problem for concrete surfaces. They move through cement in the same way as smaller plants, but with much greater potential energy. Trees near your concrete areas could push roots beneath and through the surface, causing expensive damage and dangerous cracks in the slab.

Can maple tree roots damage driveway? ›

Maple tree roots can damage the foundation. Like the Japanese and sugar maple, some varieties are less likely to cause problems, but it is still best to plant these trees away from your house.

Which tree roots go deep down by 30 Metres? ›

A. Desert Oak is a tree that grows almost as tall as our classrooms, i.e., about 4 meters. B. The roots of this tree go down nearly 30 times its height till they reach water.

What is a good street tree? ›

The London plane, a cross between the American sycamore and the English Oriental plane, is the king of street trees. It is the world's favorite urban tree because it is tall, big-leafed, hardy and long-lived.

How much root space does a tree need? ›

“Most tree roots… occupy an area two to four times the diameter of the crown.” “Roots may occupy an area four to seven times the surface area occupied by the crown of the tree.”

Do tree roots continue to grow after tree is cut down? ›

Once the tree has been cut, the roots cannot grow anymore because the leaves are necessary to provide the food to fuel root growth. If the roots continue to produce sprouts with leaves, then in time there may be more root growth.

What can I put around a tree that has exposed roots? ›

Yes, in fact, mulch is the best way to cover tree roots above ground. When you add 2-3 inches of organic mulch, you get double the benefits. It gives your landscape a clean look and moisturizes and protects the roots. You can sub in gravel as a low-maintenance alternative to mulch.

Which trees damage foundations? ›

Select trees that are slow-growing, with less aggressive rooting patterns to limit potential of subsidence damage. ABI identify the most potentially damaging trees to avoid planting are Oak, Willow, Sycamore, Ash, Plane and Poplar and have compiled a handy list of tree types and recommended distances from building.

What tree has a small root system? ›

Kousa Dogwood Is Known for Its Non-invasive Root

These trees are widely known due to their beauty and small root system. Kousa dogwood is one of the best choices for home landscapes and urban areas. Many homeowners decide to plant these ornamental trees as they improve the appearance of their gardens.


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