Trees are woodland forestry plants.  As soon as we forget this fact, we neglect the necessities that trees need and are likely to make mistakes when planting trees in urban forests.

A tree in a woodland forest has near perfect conditions; a sheltered microclimate, rich fertile soil with an abundance of nutrients and humus, uncompacted leaf mould, and rich rooting volume with plenty of moisture and pore space.

Now spare a thought for a tree in an urban forest: a harsh paved surround, increasing microclimate temperatures and reflecting glare, exposure to wind and de-icing salt, and gratuitous vandalism. While below ground, an equally hostile environment of compacted soils, lack of quality rooting volume, competition for space with multiple utilities, and if it does manage to spread its root system, someone will mutilate it through trenching or pavement reinstatement.

Jack Layton Ferry Terminal

With these factors in mind we can begin the process of successfully integrating urban forests into city environments. By using suitable urban tree planting products, we can protect trees in urban forests above and below ground. And by managing and providing for their delicate root systems, we can recreate optimum conditions for our urban forests to establish. We cannot recreate entirely the conditions trees enjoy in woodland forests, but we can go a huge distance in improving their chances of thriving in challenging urban conditions by employing tree literate design.

Related Posts

Trees, People, and the Built Environment

There will be a urban tree research conference, taking place on April 2-3 in Birmingham. Three renowned experts in architecture, planning, urban ecology and sustainability will address over 400 delegates at the two-day conference. They …

9 Reasons Our Cities Need Mature Urban Trees

Trees improve the livability of urban areas for many reasons. However for several years now, tree canopy in our cities and towns has been diminishing. Large mature trees which reach the end of their lives are frequently …

Trees Make Places Friendly

Trees make places work, look and feel better. As well as playing a role in climate management our neighbourhoods and supporting human health and environmental well-being, trees can also help to create conditions for economic …