Locate trees and shrubs where they belong — and choose the right kind.
The best trees for road frontage areas include crape myrtles, dogwoods, maples, redbuds and service berries.
Trees to avoid: fruit and nut trees, mulberries and oaks. Setting trees back from the sidewalks helps prevent bulging roots and uplifted pavement.
Learn more at Athens-Clark County’s Technical Guide to Tree Conservation.
Trim the shrubs. Prune the trees. And ask others to do the same.
Few things are more annoying to people who walk than overgrown shrubs that force them to walk in the street.
If your neighbors are about to plant trees or shrubs near a sidewalk, ask them to consider how big they’ll be decades later. And if you encounter overgrown shrubs, especially prickly ones, ask neighbors to trim them.
Likewise for tree limbs that intrude into the sidewalk area. The Americans with Disability Act — and common courtesy –call for at least 7 feet of vertical clear space above sidewalks. Anything below that puts people at risk of whacking their head.
If needed, do it yourself.
We checked with the Atlanta Department of Public Works. Anything intruding into sidewalk space is considered public property. If you can’t get your neighbors to prune overgrown trees or shrubs, have at it.