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rooftop trees

More buildings mean less space for greenery on the ground. What can we do about this? Relocate the garden a couple of hundred feet above the ground of course.

Rooftop trees and gardens date back to the Mesopotamian civilization in the 4th millennium BC. Recently, though, they’ve made a comeback to increase the green cover in cities. Urban green spaces improve air quality in cities.

When most people think of rooftop gardens, they think of small shrubs and flowering plants. There's more. Did you know you can also grow trees on your terrace? Here are the 4 best trees for rooftop gardens.

Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum)

Maple trees are traditionally large and grow in open spaces. So it may come as a surprise that it is suitable as a rooftop tree. The weight of your rooftop plants is something you need to watch out for. So ornamental trees like Japanese Maple make for one of the best rooftop trees. This tree does not produce flowers, but the colored leaves will transform any setting into a colorful wonderland.

Kousa Dogwood (Cornus kousa)

Kousa is a flowering tree that has pink and white flowers. If left without care, the tree can grow to 30 feet in height. However, you can find dwarf versions that stay the perfect size for a rooftop tree.

River Birch (Betula nigra)

River Birch is a fast-growing tree that is popular in landscaping projects. It has semi-arching branches that are good for providing shade. The river birch is a very adaptable species with a high tolerance for non-optimal growing conditions. This is what makes it one of the best plants for roof gardens.

Desert Willow (Chilopsis linearis)

If you’re looking for a colorful rooftop tree with beautiful flowers, then the desert willow is one of your best options. The flowers bloom in the spring, followed by berries in the summer. The tree doesn’t need intensive care and does best in full sunlight, like on a rooftop.