Celebration Maple Tree
Last summer, our builder planted a Canticleer Pear tree in the narrow space next to our driveway. Shortly afterwards it died, I believe due to neglect when they planted it. So they replaced it with a Celebration Maple tree.
The maple tree is planted 4 feet from the edge of our driveway, 14 feet from our house and 13 feet from a newly planted red oak tree in the park area next to us.
We have a small residential lot in Aurora, Colorado. I am concerned about the mature size of the tree, surface roots eventually cracking our driveway and it's proximity to the oak tree in the park. I also know that many maple trees do not do well in alkaline soil.
We are debating about digging up the tree this spring and giving it away. If so, what might be a better tree to replace it? What is your advise?
Arapahoe County Colorado trees and shrubs
Pyrus calleryana, or 'Chanticleer' Pear is a highly rated tree for the Front Range due to its drought tolerance, adaptiveness to alkaline soils and a wide range of soil types. It is a smaller tree with a pyramidal, upright shape with a height of 25 feet and width of 15 feet.
Acer x freemanii 'Celebration' or the Celebration Maple has a columnar shape and reaches 45 feet tall and 25 feet wide. Freemanii maples are hybrids of Silver and Red Maples, and do tend to have problems with iron chlorosis in alkaline, heavy clay soils.
A rule of thumb is to plant trees a distance equal to at least 2/3 of their mature height from any structure. In the case of the Chanticleer Pear, it should be at least 17 feet from the house; the Celebration Maple at least 30 feet. See this link for more information on tree placement:
Tree root systems extend about one to 1-1/2 feet out from the trunk for every inch of trunk diameter. A 12-inch diameter tree will have roots about 18 feet in all directions. Tree roots will grow anywhere there is uncompacted soil and oxygen, which includes under a driveway and sidewalk. Here is some additional information on trees and their roots.
Here is a good article on tree roots, driveways and sidewalks.
It appears the Celebration Maple is not the best choice, nor in the right place. You didn't specify how large the maple is, but digging up a tree that has been in the ground with the intention of trying to save it can be a challenge. This is best done in early spring before it leafs out. Water well from the trunk to the dripline the day before digging. Dig as much of the root ball as possible (at least 90-95% retention), and wrap the root ball and keep wet or have the new location ready to plant.
Not knowing how much space is available between the house / driveway / park tree, it is difficult to recommend a specific tree. It would also depend on how large the nearby oak tree would get.
Here are some links that would assist you in picking a smaller/upright tree or columnar evergreens. You may also consider shrubs since the space is smaller.
Here is the Front Range Recommended Tree List. Pay close attention to the rating and the comments: