trees for a side walk strip

Asked March 11, 2013, 2:02 AM EDT

Hello,
I was plaining on planting several Japanese Lilacs in my side walk strip, while looking for an inexpensive place to buy them online I wound up finding showier Lilac trees like the Katherine Havemeyer.

In an attempt to find out how they would fare in our alkaline soil - I wound up on extension service site and found a tree I like better than the tree I was researching. The extension service has listed the Chitalpa tree as an interesting but under used tree. It seems to be a relatively new hybrid and I can't find much about it.
Before planting them there are a few questions I need answered. First is it too invasive to have on a sidewalk strip. Next I'm near the mouth of a canyon so we often get some strong winds, does this present a problem for this tree. Finally this tree is listed as a zone 6 and as a zone 5 [same subspecies different retailers] are the winters here[zip 84043] too cold for this tree, or does this tree only do well in the southern part of the state?

Thanks so much for your time.

Utah County Utah urban forestry

1 Response

The Katherine Havemeyer lilac is a common lilac (Syringa vulgaris) that is not a tree. It is definitely a shrub. You maybe could prune it into a small tree form. Chitalpa is a small, shrubby tree. It would be too wide for a parking strip because it would not get tall enough to prune off the lower branches to get above pedestrians and the garbage trucks and plows. So neither would be good for a parking strip. Neither are invasive, both would be cold hardy, winds are no problem. I suggest sticking with the Japanese tree lilac (Syringa reticulata).