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Geary-Japantown 1970s

Look for the Silver Lining
Interview with San Francisco’s Urban Forester

Chris Buck works for San Francisco Public Works, which regulates the planting, care and removal for sidewalk and median trees in the city.  After serving as an inspector for the last eight years, he is now the Urban Forester. Chris often volunteers for the Western Chapter ISA and California Arborist Association and is a judge of... More
Old Cattle Market

Tree Observation for Non-Professionals

A few weeks ago we published a post about 13 steps to evaluate trees. It was written by a longtime contributor to this blog, Peter MacDonagh, who is an arborist, horticulturalist, adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota, and Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects. Some people in our community took issue with... More
Combined Sewer Overflow discharge point_ehplen

A Cooling Tool for CSO Hot Spots

There are many significant benefits to an MS4 (Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System) approach to managing urban stormwater. Many newer cities are fortunate to have such a system in place, but a great many don’t. Instead, they have a combined sewer system (CSS) where the same set of pipes handles both stormwater runoff and waste... More
Luke Jones

“It’s Different Here”
Maria D’Agostino on Alaskan Urban Forestry

Maria D’Agostino is a Community Forester and Consulting Arborist. After many years of learning and sharing urban forest practices in the San Francisco Bay Area, she moved to Alaska when the Municipality of Anchorage hired her to be their Municipal Forester. Later, she started her own consulting practice to help Alaskans understand the value and... More

Can Dirt Become Soil Again?

Does soil become "dirt" when it's in an urban context? And if so, can it be made into soil again? I’ve known Dr. Bryant Scharenbroch, a soil researcher at Morton Arboretum and assistant professor of soil science at University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point, for 11 years. In that time, he’s been involved in some... More
New Research on the Impact of Trees on the Urban Heat Island Effect_Joseph Gruber

New Research on the Impact of Trees on the Urban Heat Island Effect

New research on trees and urban heat island effect that may influence how and where we plant trees. Today I had the privilege of talking to Austin Troy, Professor and Chair of the Department of Planning and Design at the University of Colorado Denver. He recently presented preliminary results of his research on “The Effect... More
Lead image

Toronto’s Proof-of-Concept Sidewalk
Silva Cell case study

Exciting interim monitoring results from a 2009 Silva Cell installation. The Queensway is a major thoroughfare in Toronto that, after its construction in the 1950s, incorporated streetcar service as well as vehicle traffic. Starting in the 2000s, there was an increase in residential development, and the area has undergone new construction projects in order to accommodate... More

How Sandy Does Bioretention Soil Need to Be?

Bioretention soils can contain more fines than you may realize and still be very effective. Bioretention media is an important topic in the design world. As green infrastructure solutions gain acceptance, there is increased focus on finding the most effective media for on-site stormwater management. But there isn’t (yet) a lot of agreement on what... More
Distant Hill Gardens

Want Pollinators? Plant Trees

Thanks to widespread efforts to raise awareness of the large declines in bee and Monarch butterfly populations, most people are aware of the need to protect pollinators.  Monarch butterfly populations have declined 90% in the last 20 years. Bees and other pollinators are in trouble too. Primary causes of the drastic declines in pollinator populations... More
222 Hennepin Avenue

Smart Tree Care and Maintenance – Even More Lessons

In part one of this series, we gave recommendations for how to address tree maintenance needs in a smarter and more financially (and ecologically) sustainable way. In part two, we shared specific lessons from other cities that I was aware of – and asked you to reach out and share your experience. Today, we’ll share... More