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What Is Soil Organic Matter_Natural Resources Conservation

What Is Soil Organic Matter?

Today’s post, written by James Urban, FASLA, originally ran in 2011. But understanding soil organic matter – a sometimes mysterious-seeming property of healthy soil - remains a fundamental component of any discussion about planting trees for long-term success. -LM As a soils guy, I have a lot of discussions with clients and colleagues about the quantity... More
Green Side Up_PJMixed

Beyond “Green Side Up”
Four Reasons Your Trees May be Failing

You’ve done your site analysis and ensured enough rooting volume for the tree.  You spent time carefully selecting the right species and cultivar. You’ve even inspected nursery stock and rejected specimens with uncorrectable root defects. In other words, you tried to do everything right. Yet six months later, the trees don’t look so good. What... More
How Tree Roots Affect Infiltration Rates_Jared Tarbell

Tree Roots Improve Soil Infiltration Rates

As discussed in previous blogs, tree and soil provide stormwater benefits in many different ways: Cleansing:  Trees clean stormwater through many different mechanisms, including filtration, adsorption, and plant uptake. Interception: Interception is the amount of rainfall temporarily held on tree leaves and stem surfaces. This rain then drips from leaf surfaces and flows down the... More
Treating Trees as Actual Infrastructure_Roman Kruglov

Treating Trees as Actual Infrastructure

A couple of weeks ago my brother sent me a link to a story on WNYC about the variable mortality rates for trees that were planted as part of New York City’s Million Trees initiative. We’ve seen the uneven outcomes of planting efforts like these before, and New York is no exception. Dedicated (volunteer) citizens who water... More
Is average tree lifespan a meaningful number_camknows

Is Average Tree Lifespan a Meaningful Number?

7 years. 13 years. 15 years. You’ve probably heard all of these figures (and more) applied to the true average lifespan of a street tree. So which one is correct? According to Lara Roman, a Research Ecologist with the USDA Forest Service, the question is more complicated than it first appears. The 7 year figure... More
Where Has All the Soil Gone_USDA NRCS

Where Has All The Soil Gone?

Q: What does it mean to say we are losing soil? Where does it go? A: You may hear the phrase: “We are losing our soil.” Sounds serious…but how do we lose soil? Where does it go? Soil erosion is the movement of soil by wind or water, and it’s through erosion that soil is “lost.” If... More
St. Mary's Way - finished

Transforming the Character of St. Mary’s Way
Silva Cell Case Study

In 2008 the City of Sunderland released their comprehensive Central Area urban design strategy, outlining their vision for revitalizing the city centre by improving pedestrian accessibility, creating a people-focused identity, enhancing the public realm, and bringing forward major regeneration projects that would help to attract investors and improve quality of life for residents, workers, and... More
Is soil renewable or non-renewable_Sustainable Soil Solutions Pro

Is Soil Renewable or Non-Renewable?

Q: I recently got into a conversation with someone who claimed soils are a renewable resource because the nutrients in them can be replaced with fertilizers. But I’ve heard that soil takes a really long time to form, so that to me makes it non-renewable. What’s your opinion? A: The idea that soil is renewable... More
Stormwater Quality Benefits of Trees_Adelie Freyja Annabel

How Trees and Soil Improve Water Quality

We write a lot about the benefits that trees and soils have on water quality. But what, exactly, do they improve? Back in 2011, landscape Nathalie Shanstrom tackled this topic, explaining in easy-to-understand terms what we mean by when we refer to water quality improvements. While seriously impaired runoff is not a concern on most sites,... More

Two New Trees Replace Poisoned Predecessors
Auburn University: Toomer’s Oaks

In January 2011, two live oak trees on the Auburn University campus were deliberately applied with an herbicide used to kill trees (Spike 80DF, also called tebuthiuron) in lethal amounts. The trees, located at an entrance to the University known as Toomer’s Corner, had traditionally been used as a gathering area for Auburn fans following team victories. The... More