Landscape Material

Landscape Material

Trees, shrubs, and other plantings utilized in parking lots, streetscapes, and buffer areas.


Landscape material greatly enhances the attractiveness and appeal of commercial and residential developments, contributes to community character, and provides environmental benefits. Trees, shrubs and groundcovers provide many benefits, including:

Street Tree

A tree that is currently located or proposed for planting along streets, highways, or parking lots. Such trees can be located on private property or on publicly-owned land.

When planning a streetscape, parking lot, or buffer area that is to include plant material, several factors should be considered when selecting plant species, including:

Plantings should always be located outside the clear sight triangle and should be several feet from the edge of the curb to allow for the openings of vehicle doors and free movement of passing vehicles. Drivers must be able to see between vegetation therefore plantings within or near the clear sight triangle should be trimmed to 2.5 feet high or should hang no lower than 8 feet. See also the INTERSECTIONS design element.

Requirements for street trees should be included in the subdivision and land development ordinance and be applied to all types of subdivisions and land developments.

Requiring the right types of trees and appropriate spacing between trees during the plan review stage is important to avoid fixing costly mistakes at a later date. The use of native species (a species that occurs naturally within a region, either evolving there or arriving and becoming established without human assistance) should be encouraged, if not required.


Street trees in West Chester,PA.

This is an example of a good parking lot landscape installation.

View a PDF of this Design Element.

View a PDF of the entire Multi-Modal Handbook.