Parking Strip Guidelines

The City encourages the planting of shade trees on the parking strip. However, due to narrow parking strips bound by streets and sidewalks, these planting areas can be challenging for growing.

The City has adopted regulations in order to ensure that the living ground cover planted in this area will be beneficial to the property and city with a minimum of problems for the tree, the property owner, and the City. Trees and plants other than grass that are permitted on the parking strip are selected based on the ability to grow, height of plants, our climate, and its ability to co-exist with required clearances.

Refer to the Street Tree Guide for selecting a tree to grow in your parking strip. Please review the Parking Strip Plantings brochure before planning your parking strip landscaping as well. You can find more information on the parking strip ordinance by contacting Code Enforcement.

parking-strip-guidelines

  • The parking strip must be 5 feet or wider before a tree can be planted. 
  • Trees should be at least 1 inch thick when planted. 
  • Trees should be spaced 40 feet apart and must not be planted under overhead utility lines.  
  • Trees should be placed at least 10 feet from a fire hydrant, 10 feet from a driveway, and 15 feet from a streetlight. 
  • Trees on a corner lot should be planted at least 30 feet from the corner (starting at the curb) or 20 feet away from a stop/yield sign. 
  • Hedges and bushes should be trimmed back to the edge of the sidewalk. 
  • Sioux Falls city ordinance requires a minimum 10 feet of clearance above sidewalks and 12-16 feet over streets. Refer to the Project T.R.I.M. Guide to Trimming Street Trees to learn more. 
  • Plants must be maintained at a height of no more than 36” from the top of the curb.
  • Neither plants with thorns, spines, or other sharp rigid parts nor evergreen or deciduous shrubs are allowed.
  • Plant material may not overhang or encroach onto the sidewalk.
  • Wood mulch may be used only on a limited basis around plantings as a water-conservation measure.
  • Turf grass must be maintained at a height of no more than 8”.
  • Boulders and structural encroachments like retaining walls, fences, and steps are prohibited.
  • Landscaping pavers, edging, and nominal-size rock mulch may be used in up to one quarter (1/4) of the parking strip but can’t spill onto the street or sidewalk.
 

Most often trees and grass are planted in the parking strip. With the nature of the area, grass may be difficult to maintain in this area, so a TOP 10 PLANTS AND FLOWERS list has been provided below. This list was developed as a recommendation and should not be considered definitive.

Annuals

Annuals

Cone Flower

Cone Flower

Wildflowers

Wildflowers

Creeping Phlox

Creeping Phlox

Iris

Iris

Mums

Mums

Daylilies

Daylilies

Pasque

Pasque

Salvia

Salvia

Perennial Geranium

Perennial Geranium


KEY:

  1. Recommended for areas with modified soils or newer developments with health soil less than 8 inches deep
  2. Trees require a minimum parking strip width of 7 feet. 

FAMILY: ACERACEAE

Black  Maple 

BLACK MAPLE

Fruit: 1 inch, 2-winged samara
Growth Rate: Slow 
Lifespan: Long
Shape: Round 
Height: >40’
Width: 40’ 
Fall Color: Excellent 
Salt Tolerance: Poor
Moisture: Moist
Exposure: Shade to partial shade

PHOTO COURTESY OF: Ozarks Regional Herbarium, Department of Biology, Missouri State University
Freeman Maple

FREEMAN MAPLE (1)

Fruit: Seedless on many cultivars
Growth Rate: Fast 
Lifespan: Short 
Shape: Oval 
Height: >40’
Width: 40’ 
Fall Color: Excellent 
Salt Tolerance: Fair 
Moisture: Dry to wet 
Exposure: Partial shade

PHOTO COURTESY OF : William A. Hoch
Miyabe Maple

MIYABE MAPLE

Fruit: 1 inch, 2-winged samara
Growth Rate: Medium 
Lifespan: Medium
Shape: Oval 
Height: 20’-40’
Width: 30’ 
Fall Color: Fair 
Salt Tolerance: Good 
Moisture: Dry to moist 
Exposure: Partial shade

Norway Maple

NORWAY MAPLE

Fruit: 1.5 to 2 inch, 2-winged samara
Growth Rate: Medium 
Lifespan: Long 
Shape: Round 
Height: >40’
Width: 45’ 
Fall Color: Fair
Salt Tolerance: Good 
Moisture: Moist
Exposure: Partial Shade

PHOTO COURTESY OF : William A. Hoch
Sugar Maple

SUGAR MAPLE 

Fruit: 1 inch, 2-winged samara
Growth Rate: Slow 
Lifespan: Long 
Shape: Oval 
Height: >40’
Width: 35’ 
Fall Color: Good
Salt Tolerance: Poor 
Moisture: Moist
Exposure: Shade to partial shade

FAMILY: BETULACEAE

Ironwood

IRONWOOD (2)

Fruit: 1/3 inch nuts in hop-like fruit
Growth Rate: Slow 
Lifespan: Short 
Shape: Round 
Height: 20’ to 40’
Width: 20’ 
Fall Color: Fair 
Salt Tolerance: Poor 
Moisture: Dry to moist 
Exposure: Shade to full sun

FAMILY: BIGNONIACEAE

Northern Catalpla

NORTHERN CATALPA (1)

Fruit: Long bean-like pods
Growth Rate: Medium 
Lifespan: Short 
Shape: Oval 
Height: >40’
Width: 30’
Fall Color: Poor 
Salt Tolerance: Fair 
Moisture: Dry to wet 
Exposure: Partial shade to full sun

FAMILY: FABACEAE

American Yellowwood

AMERICAN YELLOWWOOD (1)
Fruit: 2 to 3 inch seed pods
Growth Rate: Medium 
Lifespan: Long 
Shape: Vase 
Height: 20’ to 40’
Width: 35’ 
Fall Color: Fair to excellent 
Salt Tolerance: Fair 
Moisture: Dry to moist
Exposure: Partial shade to full sun

PHOTO COURTESY OF : Pat Breen, Oregon State University
Black Locust

BLACK LOCUST (1)

Fruit: 2 to 4 inch pods
Growth Rate: Fast 
Lifespan: Short 
Shape: Oval 
Height: >40’
Width: 30’ 
Fall Color: Fair 
Salt Tolerance: Good 
Moisture: Dry to moist
Exposure: Full sun

PHOTO COURTESY OF : William A. Hoch

 

Kentucky Coffeetree

KENTUCKY COFFEETREE (1)

Fruit: Seedless on many cultivars
Growth Rate: Medium 
Lifespan: Medium 
Shape: Oval 
Height: >40’
Width: 35’ 
Fall Color: Good
Salt Tolerance: Good 
Moisture: Dry to moist
Exposure: Full sun

Thornless honeylocust

THORNLESS HONEYLOCUST (1)

Fruit: Seedless on many cultivars
Growth Rate: Fast 
Lifespan: Medium 
Shape: Round 
Height: >40’
Width: 35’ 
Fall Color: Good
Salt Tolerance: Good 
Moisture: Dry to wet
Exposure: Full sun

FAMILY: FAGACEAE

Bur Oak

BUR OAK (1 and 2)

Fruit: 3/4 to 1-1/2 inch acorn
Growth Rate: Slow 
Lifespan: Long 
Shape: Round 
Height: >40’
Width: 45’ 
Fall Color: Poor
Salt Tolerance: Fair 
Moisture: Dry to wet
Exposure: Full sun

Heritage Oak

HERITAGE OAK (Quercus x macdanielli)

Fruit: 3/4 inch acorn
Growth Rate: Slow 
Lifespan: Long 
Shape: Round 
Height: >40’
Width: 45’ 
Fall Color: Fair 
Salt Tolerance: Fair/Good 
Moisture: Dry to wet 
Exposure: Full sun

Northern Red Oak

NORTHERN RED OAK (1)

Fruit: 5/8 to 1 inch acorn
Growth Rate: Medium 
Lifespan: Long 
Shape: Round 
Height: >40’
Width: 45’ 
Fall Color: Good
Salt Tolerance: Good 
Moisture: Moist
Exposure: Full sun

PHOTO COURTESY OF: Sharon A. Yiesla
Swamp White Oak

SWAMP WHITE OAK (2)

Fruit: 3/4 to 1-1/2 inch acorn
Growth Rate: Medium 
Lifespan: Long
Shape: Round 
Height: >40’ 
Width: 45’ 
Fall Color: Fair
Salt Tolerance: Poor 
Moisture: Moist to wet
Exposure: Full sun

FAMILY: GINKGOACEAE

Ginko

GINKGO (Ginkgo biloba)

Fruit: Seedless on many cultivars
Growth Rate: Medium 
Lifespan: Long
Shape: Pyramidal 
Height: >40’
Width: 30’ 
Fall Color: Fair
Salt Tolerance: Fair 
Moisture: Dry to moist
Exposure: Partial shade to full sun

FAMILY: RUTACEAE

Amur Corktree

AMUR CORKTREE (1)

Fruit: Seedless on many cultivars
Growth Rate: Medium 
Lifespan: Medium 
Shape: Vase 
Height: 20’ to 40’
Width: 30’ 
Fall Color: Fair 
Salt Tolerance: Good 
Moisture: Dry to moist
Exposure: Full sun

FAMILY: TILIACEAE

American Linden

AMERICAN LINDEN (1 and 2)

Fruit: 1/3 inch nut-like drupe
Growth Rate: Medium 
Lifespan: Short 
Shape: Pyramidal 
Height: >40’
Width: 30’ 
Fall Color: Fair 
Salt Tolerance: Poor 
Moisture: Moist
Exposure: Full sun

Little Leaf Linden

LITTLE LEAF LINDEN (1 and 2)

Fruit: 1/3 inch nut-like drupe
Growth Rate: Medium 
Lifespan: Medium 
Shape: Pyramidal 
Height: >40’
Width: 25’ 
Fall Color: Fair 
Salt Tolerance: Poor 
Moisture: Moist 
Exposure: Full sun

Silver Linden

SILVER LINDEN (2)

Fruit: 1/3 inch nutlet
Growth Rate: Medium 
Lifespan: Medium 
Shape: Oval 
Height: >40’
Width: 45’ 
Fall Color: Fair 
Salt Tolerance: Good 
Moisture: Dry to moist 
Exposure: Partial shade to full sun

FAMILY: ULMACEAE

Common Hackberry

COMMON HACKBERRY (1)

Fruit: 1/3 inch drupe
Growth Rate: Medium 
Lifespan: Long 
Shape: Vase 
Height: >40’
Width: 35’ 
Fall Color: Fair 
Salt Tolerance: Poor 
Moisture: Moist to wet
Exposure: Full sun

Elm Hybrid

ELM HYBRIDS (1)

Fruit: 1/2 inch disc-shaped samara
Growth Rate: Fast 
Lifespan: Long 
Shape: Vase 
Height: >40’ 
Width: 50’
Fall Color: Fair 
Salt Tolerance: Fair to good 
Moisture: Dry to moist
Exposure: Full sun

PHOTO COURTESY OF: Northscaping.com
Japanese Elm

JAPANESE ELM (1)

Fruit: 5/8 inch disc-shaped samara
Growth Rate: Fast 
Lifespan: Long 
Shape: Vase 
Height: 20’ to 40’
Width: 40’ 
Fall Color: Fair 
Salt Tolerance: Fair to good 
Moisture: Moist
Exposure: Full sun

PHOTO COURTESY OF: USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Herman, D.E., et al. 1996. North Dakota tree handbook.
USDA NRCS ND State Soil Conservation Committee; NDSU Extension and Western Area Power Administration, Bismarck.
Wilson Elm

WILSON ELM (1)

Fruit: Single samara
Growth Rate: Fast 
Lifespan: Long 
Shape: Vase 
Height: 20’ to 40’
Width: 25’ 
Fall Color: Fair
Salt Tolerance: Fair 
Moisture: Dry to moist 
Exposure: Partial shade to full sun

PHOTO COURTESY OF : Fargo Forestry Department