Tree species for front lawn



I live in aurora and will be getting a new front lawn tree placed soon

The city gave me a few options including an accolade elm, Freeman maple and London plane.

Our home is north facing and used to have a HUGE oak tree that was beautiful before it was infested.

My main questions relate to info re:
– aesthetic (the trees in our neighborhood are a decent size already and colour beautifully)
– fast growing
– minimally invasive root system (though I read that the species doesn’t matter actually)
– no seedlings/floaters etc that need to be cleaned up. Ie. Easy to rake : )

Thank you so much!


How lucky you are to be offered such choices! Here are comparisons based on the characteristics you identified. Note that there are various cultivars of  the maple and the plane tree, which accounts for the variation in size. You will want to ask the town which cultivar they are offering you.

Fast growing: All three options.

Aesthetic / size:

London Plane Tree, very attractive bark, yellow leaves in fall. 70-100 feet tall, 65-80 feet wide.

Accolade Elm, excellent gold leaf colour in fall. 60 feet tall, 40 feet wide.

Freeman Maple, excellent orange-red leaf colour in fall. 45 – 60 feet tall, 20-40 feet wide.

Root systems: (Plan position accordingly)

London Plane Tree, very large system, can cause problems., buckling walkways, for example.

Accolade Elm, shallow, extensive, again can buckle walkways.

Freeman Maple, shallow, not seen as problematic as the above.

Clean up:

London Plane Tree, seeds shatter in winter months, bark sheds regularly.

Accolade Elm, has winged seed carriers for wind dispersal.

Freeman Maple, has winged seeds in pairs.

Other considerations: 

You say the lawn in on the north side of the house,and that there are very large trees nearby, so the amount of available light for the young tree may be important.

London Plane Tree grows well in full sun and part shade.

Accolade Elm grows best in full sun.

Freeman Maple prefers full sun.

I hope this information helps you to make a decision on which lovely tree you will choose.