I want to plant some trees that would be around three feet from the sidewalk. Our garden is quite small, so we would like a tree no larger than 10 to 15 feet. Also, I have concerns about the roots tearing up the sidewalk. Do you have any tips on some good tree choices? I have been researching some deep-rooted trees, but all are too large for our space.

Prior to planting, it is useful to do a soil analysis to determine the soil type, soil nutrient content, and soil pH to best match the tree to the site.

In some cases, installation of root barriers can direct tree roots deeply to reduce the chances of damaging the sidewalk. With a small ornamental tree, it is unlikely that you would experience sidewalk damage.

Flowering dogwood, kousa dogwood, Japanese snowbell (Styrax), star magnolia, sweetbay magnolia, cornelian-cherry dogwood, some varieties of crape myrtle, and winterberry holly are a few species that could work. Looking at dwarf conifers and large shrubs creates more alternatives.

The space the tree will occupy will help inform the decision.

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