BELOW ARE THE STEPS THAT ARE OFTEN TAKEN WHEN STARTING A NEW STREETSCAPE OR OTHER URBAN LANDSCAPE PROJECT, AS WELL AS SOME OF THE RESOURCES AND SUPPORT GREENBLUE PROVIDES
Understanding The Benefits of Trees in the Urban Landscape
The foundation of any successful streetscape design or urban landscape project comes down to an understanding of the benefits that urban trees offer and the importance of having mature tree populations in our cities. Then, we can be educated on the reasons that urban trees fail and familiarize ourselves with the systems that are available to ensure trees thrive in urban areas without damaging surrounding infrastructure. Refer to the GreenBlue Specifier Reference Manual – Booklet 1.
- GreenBlue offers Continuing Education Seminars on why trees in our cities fail, how to successfully design trees into the urban landscape, opportunities for utilizing trees in stormwater management, and more. Our courses are accredited by ASLA / CSLA (LACES), ISA, and LEED.
Establishing Project Goals
Anticipating the goals of any given project can entail many design elements such as tree plantings, tree protection, street furnishings, and more. Consider what you’d like to accomplish in each of these areas prior to design planning.
TREE PLANTING –
For tree planting, consider the mature size that you’d like the trees to achieve and plan the tree pit layout to accommodate this growth, in accordance with the following best practices.
- First, you must choose the best soil cell system for your ArborSystem application. If you’re unfamiliar with the various ArborSystem soil cells available, or the concept of soil cells and how they work in general, take some time to review that now.
- Establish a target soil volume per tree using the Soil Volume Calculator as a guide.
- Depending on tree placement, surface finishes, adjacent areas, and other factors, you will be able to determine the number of trees that require soil cells.
- Select appropriate root management and irrigation / aeration solution based on tree planting detail.
STORMWATER MANAGEMENT –
If you’ll be utilizing your ArborSystem tree pit for stormwater management as well, contact a GreenBlue Project Consultant to review the opportunities that could be potentially integrated into your design. Note that all stormwater systems must always adhere to local civil engineering requirements.
- Depending on selected ArborSystem soil cell, each module can hold well over 90% of uncompacted soil for tree growth and/or stormwater harvesting/storage.
SITE FURNISHINGS –
Reviewing design options for site furnishings is an important step in the process of creating sustainable streetscapes and more livable urban spaces. Some of the considerations will need to include quantity and flow of pedestrian traffic, areas of potential vehicular traffic in pedestrian right-of-ways, layout of selected furnishings, and selection of material and finishes. Review our Street Furnishing Collections to find solutions to meet your site requirements, including mounting, or speak to a Project Consultant.
Reviewing Master Plan & Providing Budgetary Costing
The uniqueness of each project and the variation in every tree pit creates a differentiation in site characteristics that makes standard costing guidelines difficult to estimate. However, as a rough idea based on past projects across North America, the ArborSystem – complete with soil cells, root management, irrigation/aeration, and root ball guying – can be installed for approximately $9 to $15 per cubic foot ($320 to $530 per cubic meter).
During project design, our consultants will:
- Review your project free-of-charge in order to provide budget pricing on the use of ArborSystem that suits your goals.
- Offer best practice advice tailored towards your specific tree pit surroundings and site circumstances.
- Provide detailed tree pit drawings with specified layout details tailored to your project circumstances.
Designing with ArborSystem
UNDERSTANDING THE ARBORSYTEM –
The GreenBlue ArborSystem is comprised of several product lines that combine to create the ultimate urban tree planting package. These products are:
- Soil Cells (RootSpace® | StrataCell® | RootCell® | GrassRings®)
- Soil cells provide uncompacted soil volume for healthy tree root growth while providing a load-bearing, structurally stable base for paved surfaces
- Stormwater Management (ArborFlow® | CurbFlow™ | RootRain Linear Drain™)
- Stormwater management allows us to turn rainwater runoff from a hindrance into a benefit – providing water for trees, while keeping runoff out of the sewer system
- Irrigation & Aeration (RootRain™)
- Irrigation provides critically important nutrients to the tree’s rooting zone, while aeration allows for oxygen to reach the rooting area and allows for gaseous exchange below hardscape surfaces or planting areas
- Root Management (ReRoot™ | RootStop™ | RootDirector™)
- Root management keeps tree roots in intended rooting zones and away from utilities, paved surfaces, and other infrastructure
- Rootball Guying & Tree Ties (ArborGuy™ | NatureTie™)
- Rootball guying is an unobtrusive alternative to tree staking which is safer and more aesthetically pleasing
- Tree Protection (Tree Grates | Tree Guards)
- Tree grates and guards protect newly planted trees in their establishment phase and onwards from bicycles, pedestrian traffic, and gratuitous vandalism.
PLACING ARBORSYSTEM IN YOUR DESIGN –
- With an understanding of the uncompacted soil volume you are targeting to ensure healthy tree growth, you’ve estimated the ArborSystem packages required for tree placements on the site and can begin placing them on your plans.
- You can utilize our tree pit CAD details or contact a GreenBlue Project Consultant and we will complete an ArborSystem layout for you completely free of charge.
UTILIZING TREE PIT CAD DETAILS –
- Our upcoming Tree Pit Design Tool is a valuable resource to help visualize your tree pit layout design ideas and accomplish your goals for ArborSystem.
- Our pre-drawn CAD Tree Pit Layouts provide detailed designs for common layouts.
CREATING YOUR SPECIFICATION –
- Download a prepared specification in MS Word or PDF for any soil cell on the respective product page – StrataCell, RootCell.
- Appropriate soil selection is vital for healthy tree growth. Refer to the GreenBlue blog for information, or discuss further with a Project Consultant. Although we do provide a recommended filler soil specification for your convenience, any typical sandy loam would suffice.
Submitting Your Plan for Review by a Project Consultant
At GreenBlue, our goal is for the tree plantings on your project to thrive and reach maturity so that our cities can reap the benefits that healthy urban trees offer. We review all ArborSystem projects to help ensure that this goal is realized.
- Submitting your plan is easy and we work hard to ensure you hear back from us in a very timely manner. By submitting your project as early as possible, you ensure advanced consultation to help your project accomplish its goals.
- A review of your design plan allows one of our knowledgeable Project Consultants to make suggestions to help ensure the design meets your projects goals and budget requirements.
Site Inspection & Contractor Accreditation
Proper installation and appropriate tree planting directly impact the long term success your project. Not only for the health of the trees, but also pavement integrity and stormwater function, with potential dire consequences if installers are not component in best practice installation.
- GreenBlue supports every ArborSystem project whether it be through onsite consultation and/or online installation accreditation to ensure that our systems are being installed according to best practice. This provides you with the confidence that your design layouts are being executed as planned.
- And as an added assurance, we also provide contractor accreditation programs to installers to familiarize them with the ease of the system and teach them exactly how the ArborSystem works and why it’s so important.
Click here to get in touch with a Project Consultant now!