Planting a tree in an urban environment involves a huge change of habitat to that of a tree living in the freedom of a forest, so what does an urban tree need to survive?
For any tree to survive, it needs access to:
Let’s now compare a trees natural rural environment to that of the urban location.
We cannot entirely recreate the conditions trees enjoy in the woodland however we can hugely improve their chances of thriving by paying attention to the trees needs and putting a solution in place.
|Solutions to the urban tree planting problem
|Direct the roots downwards
|Using root directors to deflect tree roots downwards whilst they are growing results in multiple benefits:
|Irrigate the soil at the root level
|Surface irrigation is inefficient as water scarcely penetrates the surface and only encourages shallow root growth. By introducing an irrigation system located at the root zone and accessible by an inlet, water can be delivered without wastage to the desired level wherewith to encourage deep root growth. Such systems also offer an access means for air and feeding with soluble feeders.
|Provide a large volume of quality uncompacted soil
|Here arises a conflict of interest because although a tree needs loose soil in which to establish its roots, a trafficked urban environment requires a solid and stable foundation if its to be paved or tarmacked. As such, there are some ingenious soil support products on the market to overcome this problem. Typically, they are ridged plastic structures with an open lattice designs so that when interlocked together they can not only support huge weight loads, but protect the loose soil they contain.
So in summary, is it worthwhile investing in urban trees? The answer is yes, so long as you invest in a supporting system that facilitates the trees growth. Their success in investment below ground, will manifest in their canopy above ground over time.