Parking Lot Landscaping Tips and Warnings
A parking lot says a lot about a business. If you want to appeal to customers, you want a nice, clean, and well-maintained parking lot. A significant aspect of that appeal will come down to the choices you make. Parking lot landscaping is vital for any business that wants to be successful.
What to Do and What to Avoid
Here are some of the things you want to do with parking lot landscaping and what you don’t want:
Trees are great. Just about everyone loves trees. You should plant as many trees as you can around the parking lot. This will help the parking lot look great and provide shade to keep things more comfortable. Trees provide an aesthetic and practical benefit to parking lots.
While all that is true, there are problems regarding which trees you plant. Not all trees will work in a parking lot. It would be best to avoid trees with strong, wide roots. These roots can tear up pavement and destroy the parking lot. There are also trees that drip sap and drop lots of debris, making a mess in the parking lot and on cars.
Good Trees for Parking Lots
- Leyland Cypress – This evergreen provides dark green foliage and lots of shade, growing up to 70 feet high and 15 feet wide.
- Italian Cypress – A tall, narrow conifer with gray-green needles that can reach 70 feet high and 20 feet wide.
- Chinese Elm – Disease-resistant cultivars are making elm trees popular once again and this particular species thrives in drought and is resistant to Dutch Elm Disease and beetles.
- Crepe Myrtles – Hardy, flowering heat lovers that thrive in parking lots and doesn’t succumb easily to disease or drought.
Bad Trees for Parking Lots
- Bradford Pears – They may be pretty, but the flowers stink, windy conditions shred them, and its seedlings litter your lot and cover and cars parked under them.
- Cottonwoods – They grow tall and offer lots of shade, but they have aggressive shallow root systems and a weak wood structure that’s bound to damage a car in no time. Plus the cotton they drop will destroy the HVAC systems of your business.
- Silver Maple – Unlike the popular Red Maple, its silver cousin has an aggressive root system that will damage your pavement and your underground utilities. It loses limbs easily during storms, and it reproduces like crazy.
- Sweet Gum – The Sweet Gum has beautiful fall covers, but the large spiky balls it drops are like something out of a horror movie.
Don’t just consult an online list about good trees and bad trees. You need to consult an actual arborist about which trees are right for your exact hardiness zone. What does well in Oklahoma won’t do well in California, and vice versa.
A natural barrier, like shrubs, is always more appealing to the eyes than an artificial barrier, like a fence. When possible, use shrubs instead of a fence to provide a more natural and pleasing experience for the eye. Shrubs are also an excellent decoration for the entrances and exits of a parking lot.
While shrubs have many advantages, not all plants are a good idea. You don’t want a shrub that produces any fruit or large amounts of seed. These can cause staining to both vehicles and the asphalt of the parking lot. Stains can be difficult to get out of asphalt, and acidic chemicals can also cause damage to pavement over time.
Plants are a great choice to place around a parking lot. If they flower, they can draw attention to your parking lot and your business. They will also provide a good contrast to the color and rigidity of the pavement. Dark asphalt can even make the flowers and colors of the plants pop.
While plants are great to have around, make sure they are hardy and resilient. Delicate plants won’t survive long in most parking lots. You also want to make sure that you don’t have to provide a lot of water. Water is the number one enemy of pavement.
Grass and other hardy plants make excellent ground cover. You don’t want your parking lot to be surrounded by rock or gravel unless you want to commit to a lot of maintenance. Grass and other ground-covering plants can be an excellent alternative.
Avoid plants that will require a lot of maintenance. Not all species of grass, for instance, will be a good choice. You don’t want to cause a large increase in your maintenance budget. Commercial landscaping services aren’t cheap, and large areas can be difficult to mow or maintain on your own.
Make Maintenance Easy
The best thing you can do is to always keep in mind that every aspect of your landscaping may need maintenance. This can be something as easy as trimming low-hanging tree branches or as time-consuming as mowing acres of grass. Plant your landscaping to maximize the impact of your choices, and minimize the maintenance required.
You also need to make sure that the regular maintenance of your parking lot is not impeded. This means that you should have ample space and available room to seal the parking lot without killing off bordering plants, shrubs, or trees.
Your Parking Lot Landscaping
The parking lot landscaping you choose can reflect a lot about your business. The choices you make should also reflect your business and convey a message to customers. If you want help with having the best possible parking lot, CPEX is here for you.
While we aren’t landscapers or arborists, we can certainly warn you about some of the trees that have caused our customers countless asphalt repairs over the years.
Whether it’s a new parking lot or one needing repairs, we have the tools and equipment necessary to do the job right. All the landscaping in the world won’t matter if the pavement is cracked and damaged. That is what people will notice when they see your parking lot, not the landscaping.
If you are ready to have your parking lot repaired or paved, we are ready to help. All you need to do is to contact CPEX.