East Main Street & Cross Street

Location: Welland, Ontario

Year of Installation: 2008
Owner: City of Welland, Ontario
Designer: TSH Associates (now AECOM)
Landscape Contractor: Stevensville Lawn Service

Completed in 2008, the East Main Street and Cross Street improvements in Welland, Ontario represents one GreenBlue Urban’s earliest North American projects. Although not as well-rooted as some of our founding projects like Blackheath Hill (2001) and St Paul’s Cathedral (2003), East Main Street and Cross Street characterized part of a fundamental redevelopment in the City of Welland.

In 2008, Welland celebrated its 150th Anniversary commemorated by huge downtown revitalization investment. Healthy street trees played a key role in this redevelopment. Conceived by TSH Associates (now AECOM), the design incorporated a continuous corridor under the sidewalk using RootCell – GreenBlue Urban’s first generation soil cell (now superseded by RootSpace). The technique of linking trees together using continuous soil cell trenches is applied on many urban tree planting projects, allowing numerous tree root systems to share soil volume in a protected load-bearing soil zone underneath the sidewalk. This achieves high soil volume for multiple trees in the most cost-effective manner possible.

Each tree along the continuous sub-sidewalk soil support system then integrates with a twin inlet ArborVent Irrigation/Aeration system, which provides water and air supply to the soil even though it’s fully paved over. Oxygen freely enters the soil profile through this ventilation system, subsequently allowing naturally occurring methane produced through microbiological processes in the soil to be released.

ArborVent inlets shown here on East Cross Street – one on either side of each tree allowing for irrigation and aeration of the root zone below (Photo taken in 2010 – two years after planting)

Each tree pit also incorporates a sub-base drainage pipe to address one of the biggest causes of tree mortality in urban areas – poor drainage that creates anaerobic soil conditions.

2010 vs 2018 – huge growth rates for these trees on East Main Street

Eleven years after planting and these sugar maple and locust trees along East Main Street and Cross Street are thriving like they would be in a natural forest setting – because that’s exactly what’s been provided for them. Give a tree what it needs, and you’ll be surprised at the rate of maturity, even in the harshest of urban environments.

Products Used:
RootCell Pavement Support System
ReRoot Root Management
RootRain Urban Rootball Irrigation/Aeration
RootRain ArborVent Irrigation/Aeration
ArborGuy Rootball Guying System
Tay Tree Grates