University of Greenwich – Tree Pit Trials

Location: Hadlow College, Kent

Led by landscape architect and university senior lecturer, Duncan Goodwin, The University of Greenwich is running a University Urban Tree Pit Comparative Study, looking at the various tree pit systems available in today’s marketplace.

“For trees to become functionally useful within our urban landscapes, they need to establish and reach a state of healthy, productive maturity. Unfortunately, tree planting is often seen as a piece of ‘window dressing’ to assist a design scheme through the planning process.” commented Goodwin.

At the end of July 2014, 12 tree pits were excavated by groundworks contractor A. Eastwood and, to date, GreenBlue Urban’s Stratacell and Bourne Amenity’s Structural Tree Sand have been installed in six of the pits. This will be followed in mid August by the installation of SilvaCell from Deeproot and Cornell University Structural Soil manufactured, under license, by Landtech

Goodwin said: “This study could not have happened without the generosity of our commercial partners. Each has supplied their systems free of charge. The point of the project is not to set one system against another, but to review them all and see where each can excel. It is intended that this study will be a catalyst for raising awareness of the ecosystem services provided by trees in our urban landscapes.”

This long-term project will investigate various methods of ensuring adequate rooting volumes for trees in constricted urban landscapes and GreenBlue Urban are proud to be a part of it.

Space and assistance is being provided by Hadlow College and its ground crew, led by head gardener Alex Rennie.