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Boulevard Landscaping


Does anyone go a step further from number of trees per unit a developer must provide in the boulevard............to the types of trees?

Reason being that we don't want the trees tearing up the sidewalk...curbing. Also, that developers just go out and get the cheapest trees they can find and throw them in the boulevard.


Our ordinance calls out the number of trees based on frontage, the caliper and specifies that they must be city approved trees. then we have a list of the acceptable trees. Of course you probalby wouldn't like our list as it's mostly Oak trees with some others mixed in so they are garenteed to get large fun into phone lines and basically be a nuisance.

peter lowitt

We have a heirarchy of trees in addition to requirements regarding calipher inches and such. We prohibit INVASIVE SPECIES , then we 1)encourage Native SPECIES, 2) the use of Salt Tolerant Species in areas like Boulevards (Cause it snows up here) and 3) plants that withstand urban conditions.


that sounds what I'm looking for........believe me, it snows here too........

can you post a listing of the allowable trees in the boulevards in your community?

peter lowitt

You my visit my marvelous web site (www.devensec.com) and use the serach engine. Search the Regulations and type in Appendix - 3.05 Street trees and you will be there. This site is located in North Central Massachusetts so remember that the appropriate plantings for your community will differ from ours....
We don't have specific requirements for how many trees a site or boulevard has to have. If the developer gives us a crappy landscaping plan, the are given the standard approval condition:
-a new plan must be submitted to reflect the changes proposed by the Planning Deparment Mark Up Plan. Which is basically the planners getting out their green pens and tree stamps and going to town. The Bradford Pear has been one of our Board Member's favorite recently for street trees. I think Little Leaf Lindens are also pretty salt tolerant.


A shadow of my former self
Staff member
Here's the regs and list we use in my town...I just rewrote the regulations last year:

a. The existing landscape of Londonderry is diverse, containing natural wooded environments, orchards and open fields, as well as wetlands and streams. New development should be respectful and sensitive to the dominant landscape character of Londonderry as a whole.
b. The purpose of landscaping design standards in Londonderry are to:
1. Preserve and enhance the character of Londonderry’s landscape
2. Enhance the goals of the Master Plan, the Zoning Ordinance, and the Orchard and Open Space Preservation Plan, and provide attractive settings for new development.
3. Preserve and enhance local and regional open space resources such as, but not limited to, the apple orchards and the Musquash Conservation Area.
4. Preserve the integrity of valuable historic resources, particularly stonewalls and dwellings and structures listed in the Heritage Commission's Cultural Resource Survey.
5. Support and encourage the use of sustainable design principles and operating practices that preserve and enhance wildlife habitats, water quality, and overall health of the natural environment.
6. Encourage the use of indigenous plant material to provide natural habitat and food sources and to maintain ecological diversity.
7. Maintain a quality image of the public spaces within Londonderry and high property values for present and future development
c. General Requirements:
1. All required landscaping shall be located entirely within the lot, unless agreements have been made with the Town for landscaping in the road right-of-way.
2. Native plants shall be used in appropriate locations, such that individual plants are selected for their ability to thrive in or adapt to the particular soil and light conditions they are placed in. (For a list of recommended native plants, see Appendix LS1: Notes on Native Trees and Shrubs and Their Use in Landscaping)
3. Under no circumstances shall any plants be used that are recognized by the horticultural or agricultural industries as invasive, whether they are native or exotic (non-native). (For a list of known invasive plants, see Appendix LS2: Notes on Native Trees and Shrubs and Their Use in Landscaping)
4. All plant material shall have a minimum winter hardiness for Zone 5B as determined by the American Standards for Nursery Stock.
5. Minimum sizes for plant material, unless indicated elsewhere in these regulations or the Zoning Ordinance, shall be as follows:
i. Deciduous shade trees: three inch caliper,
ii. Deciduous ornamental trees: two inch caliper, and
iii. Evergreen trees: six foot height.
6. Landscaping shall be laid out in informal drifts rather than formal rows and shall undulate with site topography. Individual clusters of trees or islands of shrub beds are acceptable as long as the tree clusters and/or shrub islands overlap. Linear solutions shall be avoided wherever possible, unless existing landscaping is so arranged.
7. The applicant may request that the Planning Board determine that existing vegetation is suitably located, sufficiently visually impervious, and vigorous enough to be substituted for landscaping material required by these regulations.
8. Plant material located within 20 feet of any road or other paved area shall consist of species recognized by the nursery, horticultural and botanical industries as being tolerant of roadway deicing salts.
9. Landscaping requirements for parking lots are located in Section 3.11f.
10. Landscaping shall be maintained in good condition, and any dead vegetation shall be replaced within one year.
11. No person shall deface, alter the location, of, or remove any stonewall which was made for the purpose of marking the boundary of, or borders, any road in the Town of Londonderry, except upon written consent of the Planning Board with written comments from the Heritage Commission.
12. Landscaping shall be designed so that it does not interfere with sight distances at driveways.

d. Preservation of Existing Vegetation
1. Buildings, parking, loading docks, access roads, and other site elements shall be sited to preserve existing healthy mature vegetation and maintain natural topography to the maximum extent feasible.
2. Healthy trees with a minimum 12 inch caliper, and existing wooded areas are recommended for preservation, particularly those trees located within setback areas where buildings cannot be constructed.
3. Construction activities and site alterations shall not disturb the root zone of the trees designated for preservation. During construction, the applicant shall install and maintain tree protection fencing, or other protective measures approved by the Planning Board, located 12 inches off the drip-line of the trees to be protected. All no-cut zones shall be appropriately monumented and delineated on the site plan.
4. The applicant shall be responsible to replace any trees designated to remain, which have been damaged, killed, or removed as a result of construction activities. The Planning Board requires replacement-in-kind, per caliper inch of deciduous trees and by height for evergreens. Two inch caliper deciduous trees and 4 foot tall evergreens shall be the minimum size used for replacement. For example, if a 24-inch caliper deciduous tree is damaged or killed during construction, the applicant shall replace the tree with six 4 inch caliper trees, or any other combination that adds up to 24 caliper inches. A 36-foot tall evergreen, for example shall be replaced with six 6 foot tall evergreen, or any other combination adding up to 36 feet.
e. Screening
1. Screening shall be a year-round visually impermeable barrier that may be existing, constructed, or a combination thereof.
i. Existing screens may consist of natural topographic landforms, rock outcrops, or vegetation that is dense enough to be visually impermeable.
ii. Constructed screens may consist of built screens, such as walls or fences, topographic screens, such as berms or landforms, vegetative screens consisting entirely of evergreen material, or a combination thereof.
2. Screening is required to soften the visual impact of buildings, parking areas (see Section 3.11f), loading docks, trash disposal areas, exterior storage, and other unsightly areas associated with or generated by a particular development as viewed from a public right-of-way, residential zoning districts, and the principal entrances of buildings on abutting lots.
3. The use of existing vegetation, topography, and natural features to comply with screening requirements is encouraged.
4. Screening may be required, at the discretion of the Planning Board, along the entire front setback or only a part of it. Screening may also be required to extend beyond the minimum setback areas or further into the lot, particularly if the building is located beyond the minimum setback or if the lot configuration is such that the visibility into side or rear setbacks is unimpaired from the public right-of-way, residences, and principal entrances on abutting lots.
5. A minimum of 50% of built screens which face the public right-of-way, residences, and principal entrances on abutting lots shall be softened with landscaping.
6. Vegetative screens shall achieve a minimum of 75% vertical opacity to a height of 6 feet, year-round, within one year of installation. Screens shall not be located so as to impede vehicular or pedestrian traffic.
f. Maintenance
1. The owner of any lot shall be responsible for the maintenance of all landscaped open space, natural screens, and constructed screens within the lot. Landscaping shall be maintained in good condition such that planting shall be vigorous and in good health at all times and that the parcel shall present a healthy, neat, and orderly appearance, free from refuse and debris. Any dead vegetation that is part of the approved landscaping design shall be replaced within one year.
2. Landscaping shall be maintained so that it does not interfere with sight distances at driveways.
3. The Planning Board, at its discretion, may require a landscape maintenance and water management plan. The maintenance plan shall include, but not be limited to the following:
i. Integrated Turf Management: mowing schedule, weed control, pest control, soil pH management, fertilizer plan, aeration/dethatching schedule, repair/replacement plan.
ii. Shrub and Groundcover Management: mulch schedule, weed control, pruning where needed for visibility, preventative pest/disease management, repair/replacement plan.
iii. Tree Management: mulch schedule, weed control, deadwood removal, pruning schedule, particularly for trees located next to walkways or roadways, fertilizing schedule, preventative pest/disease management, repair/replacement plan.
iv. Water Systems Management: water source, system description, spring start-up, fall close-out, system testing schedule, repair/replacement plan. The applicant may install a permanent water supply system consisting of a sprinkler system and/or hose bibs placed at appropriate locations and intervals. Wherever possible, irrigation water shall be derived from sources other than the municipal water system, including “gray water,” re-used water, detained stormwater, roof drainage, or water from on-site wells. “Gray water” is water from sinks, showers, dishwashers, and washing machines. On-site cisterns may be installed to store water for irrigation.
v. Rodent Control: design preventative measures, operational preventative measures, monitoring, schedule, remediative action plan.
vi. Seasonal Maintenance: Spring clean-up plan, fall clean-up plan, disposal plans for leaves and plant debris, winter plowing plan, winter deicing plan.


g. Mitigating the impacts of parking lots:
1. As a supplement to the parking lot landscaping standards contained in the Zoning Ordinance, a minimum percentage of the overall interior area of a parking lot (as measured by the exterior perimeter) shall be dedicated to landscaped areas (to be included on the landscape plans) with ground cover, shrubbery, and trees, as appropriate, as follows:
i. 10% on parking lots located in front of the principal building or on otherwise vacant lots.
ii. 8% on parking lots located on the side of the principal building, set back from the front boundary line at least even with the front of the principal building.
iii. 5% on parking lots which are located at the rear of the principal building and largely obscured from the road.
2. Landscaping within parking areas shall provide visual and climatic relief from broad expanses of pavement and shall be designed to channel and define logical areas for pedestrian and vehicular circulation.
3. Internal parking lot landscaping, as required by item 1, above, shall contain one deciduous shade tree for every 15 parking spaces. Trees shall be distributed throughout the parking lot as evenly as possible. Trees shall be set back at least 5 feet minimum from the face of the curb. Tree placement and parking lot lighting shall not conflict. Interior parking lot landscaping may be waived in truck parking areas provided they are screened and perimeter plantings, as described in items 5-7 below, are provided.
4. All landscaped areas shall be protected from encroachment by vehicles by curbing, landscaping timbers, curb stops, or other acceptable means.
5. Shade trees shall be provided around the perimeter of all parking areas at a minimum ratio of 1 tree per 20 feet of parking lot perimeter. In portions of parking areas where screening is required, shade trees shall be provided along the perimeter at a minimum ration of 1 tree per 50 feet of parking lot perimeter in addition to the required screening. Trees may be clustered or grouped, if desired, as long as clusters/groups are not more than 75 feet apart.
6. All off-street parking areas located at the front or side of principal buildings or on vacant lots shall be screened from the public right-of-way with appropriate screening, as described in Section 3.09e, to provide at least 50% vertical opacity on average up to a height of 3-1/2 feet above grade, excluding sight distance areas at vehicular entrances and exits. If vegetation is used a hedge should be planted which is reasonably expected to reach this opacity and height within 1 year. If non-vegetative materials are used, appropriate ground cover, shrubs, and trees shall be planted (or retained) within the front area to soften the development.
7. Screening from Residences: All off-street parking areas shall be screened from abutting residences or vacant lots in residential zoning districts (AR-I and R-III) located at the side or rear of the property with a wall, fence, vegetation or other means which provides at least 75% vertical opacity up to a height of six (6) feet above grade. If vegetation is used a hedge should be planted which is reasonably expected to reach this opacity and height within one year (see Section 3.09e).

Common Name Latin Name Low Maint Salt Tolerance Screen Interest Notes
Arborvitae Thuja occidentalis Intermediate Yes
Ash, Black Fraxinus nigra Wet Areas
Ash, White Fraxinus americana Intermed./Tolerant Fall Color
Basswood, Am. Or Linden Tilia americana Sensitive
Beech, American Fagus grandifolia Sensitive Large/Long lived
Birch, Paper Betula papyrifera Intermed./Tolerant Fall Color/White Bark
Black Gum Nyssa sylvatica Yes Fall Color/Winter Shape DRED suggests to try more
Cedar, Eastern Red Juniperis virginianus Intermediate Yes Disturbed areas
Cottonwood, Eastern Populus deltoides Tolerant Disturbed, wet sites
Dogwood, Pagoda Cornus alterniflora Flowers/nice shape/Fruits Wet areas/Mod. Sun
Fir, Balsam Abies balsmifera Sensitive Yes
Hawthorne, Fleshy Crataegus succulenta Intermediate Fruits/Fall Color One of the best Hawthornes
Hopthornbeam, American Ostrya virginiana Sensitive Winter Interest Winter Tolerant, DRED suggests to try more
Hornbeam, American Carpinus caroliniana Yes Sensitive Fall Color Wet areas, DRED suggests to try more
Juniper, common Juniperis communis Ground cover
Larch, American Larix laricina Tolerant Good in masses
Maple, Red Acer rubrum Yes Sensitive Fall Color
Maple, Sugar Acer saccharum Sensitive Needs large areas
Oak, Scarlet Quercus coccinea Fall Color
Oak, Red Quercus rubra Tolerant High Maintenance tree
Oak, Swamp White Quercus bicolor Sensitive Wet areas
Pine, Jack Pinus banksiana Sandy, disturbed areas
Pine, Pitch Pinus resinosa Sensitive Harsh, sandy soils
Pine, White Pinus strobus Sensitive Yes Handsome native
Plum, Canadian Prunus nigra Flowers/Fruit
Shadbush Amelanchier arborea Sensitive Flowers/Fruit Wet areas
Shadbush Amelanchier candensis Sensitive Flowers/Fruit Natural settings
Spruce, White Picea glauca Intermed./Tolerant Yes Winter Tolerant

I realize this looks awful when converted to straight text...the regs are available at: www.londonderry.org/page.asp?Page_Id=272

peter lowitt

NH Planner mentioned a truly important item, the landscape maintenance plan!. Don't forget that requirement. We spend as much time reviewing that sucker as we do the landscape plan itself.


I have seen others with an approved list and like that idea. We just stipulate caliper and spacing. Often, however, in writing the development agreement, we offer to install the trees ourselves at the developer's expense. They have usually taken us up on the deal because they just have to cut us a check and forget about it, and since our annual tree planting is large, we get a much better price than they would.