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Drone Applications in the Urban Forest

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVS) – aka drones – are all over the news. As they get lighter and more affordable, the applications for their use widen. Brian Ritter, an ISA Certified Arborist, Registered Forester, and current PhD candidate in Forest Resources at Clemson University, studied their applications in urban forest inventories, summarizing his research in... More

A Place for Trees, People, and Transit
Silva Cell case study

Located at the base of the Rocky Mountain foothills and home to the main campus of the University of Colorado, the City of Boulder is a vibrant town with a long history of smart growth, citizen driven investment in public spaces, and alternative transportation such as bike lanes and pedestrian-only thoroughfares. In recent years a... More

The Tree Inventory of the Future
Interview with an Open Tree Map project lead

OpenTreeMaps are collaborative, crowd-sourced projects where citizens help inventory urban trees, learn about the environmental benefits trees provide and explore nature in their city. Kelaine Ravdin, owner of Urban Ecos, has worked as the project lead on OpenTreeMap projects across California, including Sacramento, San Francisco, San Diego, and Los Angeles. Kelaine’s work blends a deep... More
Palo Alto, CA Street - Jill Clardy

Perspectives on land use, development trends, and green infrastructure

In February I had the opportunity to speak with David Dockter, an arborist with the Department of Planning and Community Environment and Public Works in the city of Palo Alto, CA. As someone expert in trees who works within the building permit and planning department role. Dave has a unique perspective on working with developers... More
Postcard Elms_Beverly Library

The High Cost of Urban Monocultures

Tree species diversity is a critical element of ecology sustainability, the most urgent of which is to minimize the impact of pests and disease outbreaks on urban canopy cover. Anyone who has followed the introduction of Dutch Elm disease (DED) is already painfully aware of how devastating tree pest outbreaks can be. Where I live,... More
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Don’t Believe the Hype (Unless It’s Supported by Science)

Humans have been managing plants for thousands of years – watering, saving seeds, protecting plants from herbivores. We began learning about horticulture initially through observation. Some of our observations were correct, such as which plants needed lots of sun and which could grow in the shade. Others, such as adding sugar to the soil for... More
Interview with Jonathan Page_James Willamor

An Engineering Perspective on Suspended Pavement Stormwater Control Measures

Regular readers may have followed our articles on the monitoring results of the two Silva Cell systems in Wilmington, North Carolina by Dr. Bill Hunt’s lab. Jonathan Page is an Extension Engineer in Dr. Hunt’s lab and was involved in the data collection, analysis, and writing for this project. He holds a B.S. degree in Civil... More
Houston, TX

Top 10 Takeaways: International Low-Impact Development Conference

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) together with the Environmental and Water Resources Institute (EWRI) host one of the best research-driven conferences we’ve been to about low-impact development, held last month in Houston, TX. Today, L. Peter MacDonagh, FASLA – who spoke at the conference about using trees and soils for stormwater management – will share his Top... More
Savannah street _ mksfca

How “clean and simple” becomes “dead and gone”

Picture a schematic drawing for, say, a downtown revitalization project. You’d see bustling businesses, new bike lanes, colorful signs, and rows and rows of identical trees. As an arborist, horticulturist, and landscape architect I’ve given a great deal of thought to plant diversity over my career, and this practice of only planting a single species is... More
Is More Space Always Better

The Case For Big Tree Openings

I recently presented a webinar where I discussed three high-impact design decisions that affect long-term tree performance: tree spacing, sizing the tree opening, and water harvesting into soil below paving. Attendees asked a lot of good questions, and by far the most asked one had to do with the use of tree grates. As anyone... More