Here is a very useful document outlining the New York Tree Planting Standards. It is what Eco Brooklyn references when planting trees in sidewalks. The city and Eco Brooklyn agree on one crucial thing: that the open space around the tree should be as large as possible.
They want it because it lets the roots grow. Eco Brooklyn wants it because it allows us to remove even more concrete and revert it back to nature.
They recommend a 4’x10′ or 5’x10′ planter space around the tree which is great. It allows for all sorts of native shrubs and plants to live below the tree. Think blueberries and ferns with some river stones thrown in for character.
Here is the file: TreePlantingStandards.pdf
We love installing trees on sidewalks because we always use native trees and plants, something the city doesn’t always do when they plant trees. Installing trees on the sidewalk is a real opportunity for us to showcase our landscaping work to the public.
Doing landscaping for clients in their gardens is great but there is something especially satisfying about doing landscape design for people on the street where the whole world can enjoy the slice nature.