I've got a couple of days to make a choice on which tree to put next to some parking spaces, ours included. The city will pay for it, and the neighbours will split the cost of the planting, but somehow I'm supposed to come up with the 'right' tree, and they're going to mangle me if I get it wrong. Cheers. So lovely. 😐 (Restrisiko: there's always a chance the neighbours overrule me in the end, and all research and thinking about it is for naught... (Sod's law dictates the likelihood of that stands in direct proportion to the work I put in. 😉))
Issues to consider: it shouldn't drop excessive amounts of fruit, flowers, or sap on the cars. (Don't get me started on the neighbour who planted a fig tree right over our car...) (If the new tree is pretty, I'm more likely to be willing to bite the bullet on the flowers issue, though, but if you've ever tried to clean up after a magnolia, well... Let's just say there are limits.) It should have a crown starting upwards of 2 metres (clearstem), or getting into the cars will not be pleasant. It needs to grow with its roots under partial paving (drainage happens, the surface isn't sealed, but it's not exactly a grassy field either). The dirt sucks, it's basically clay, and the neighbours with the fig just 'improved' it with still more clay, so that's unlikely to change. (Stupidity abounds. 😐) It won't get much care in its location; low maintenance would be great. The tree shouldn't grow too tall (maybe < 12 metres? the houses in our street are probably under that, and I don't think any of the trees are taller), and it shouldn't grow too wide...
We had an Acer Campestre (Feldahorn) (I'm not sure which kind we had, but that comes close) that died, the others close by are dying as well, so it doesn't make sense to try one there again. Apparently it had the massive drawback of aphids (can't say I saw any, but then I probably wouldn't have...), but parking under it meant the car was covered in sticky stuff for weeks, and there's nowhere else to park, so... If that happens again, my name will be mud. 'Gingermud'... Does not have a good ring to it.
The 'tree school' (arboretum?) made a couple of suggestions:
Amelanchier lamarkii (single stem) (Felsenbirne)
Prunus avium plena (Vogelkirsche)
Tilia cordata rancho (that being the only native species of the bunch) (Winterlinde)
The Amelanchier has the advantage of having the prettiest foliage, and we definitely need some of that in this country. (Autumn is ugly here: yellow and brown and wet.) And I like the slightly wonky branches. (Compare it to the Prunus (further down and on the right) which somehow looks like a tinker toy / lego tree (or that time as a kid I tried to draw a tree with a ruler... 😐), and you'll see what I mean.) But I'm a little concerned about the fruit. (I have a small Amelanchier in my garden hedge, but I imagine the difference is night and day...)
On the other hand, a little fruit is nice for the birds... I'm worried the Tilia (below, on the left) will be too tall... And the Prunus (below, on the right) likes more fertile soil... (So looking forward to that argument. But the reality is we can't improve more than a small radius of soil anyway; the surface is covered in pavers.)
Right. So I'm clearly very undecided, and I'm also open to other options. What's a good parking space tree?
Forgot to mention: needs to be deciduous.
Bradford Pear - Pyrus calleryana chanticleer, suggestion from gelsey 😘 ; we'd be going for the clearstem form, but there's some gorgeous autumn colouring on that one...
And probably this one of the ginkgoes... Ginkgo biloba 'Barabits Fastigiata'
(thanks @ zigadenus *waves*)
Having trouble finding a good pic... Again, we'd be looking at a clearstem tree.
ETA: put the pics inline. 😊