Native Trees for a parking lot.

Asked November 4, 2017, 4:26 PM EDT

I am a Master Gardener in Dorchester Co. and have been asked to be on a committee to select native trees for a church parking lot that will be redone with a permeable surface. I know dogwoods don't do well in that environment and I have just learned that fringe trees are susceptible to emerald ash tree borers, and I am not sure the church would appreciate the smell of serviceberrry trees. Given these restrictions can you suggest an understory tree that would be suitable. The organization that is behind this initiative is TREES FOR SCARED PLACES in Annapolis,Md.

Dorchester County Maryland

1 Response

We need more information. Understory native trees grow best in morning sun and afternoon shade. What is the site like - sun versus shade? You will have to match the plants to the site and consider mature height and width.
Where will the trees be planted? Around the church, in parking lot islands,? Also, in a parking lot you may not want trees that drop their berries.
It sounds like you are looking for smaller trees, however if the area is hot and sunny the above natives may not be the best choice.

Here is some information on the above. Fringetree - the studies on the tree and emerald ash borer are questionable.
Serviceberry - it is mentioned in the Manual of Woody Landscape Plants by Michael Dirr that the flowers are faintly malodorous. We do not have research on this.

It is possible that you may be able to plant a mix of native and non native tree species according to the site requirements. Give us more information.