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Marcin Chady_Salmon Crossing

“Everything We Do Leaves a Footprint”

Nothing epitomizes the spirit of the Pacific Northwest quite like wild Pacific Salmon. If you don’t live in this amazing part of the world, let me explain: Salmon and the clean water and healthy forests they rely on are integral to the quality of life that west coast residents love, cherish, and dream of when... More
Dan Reed_CC BY-NC 2.0

Quantifying Stormwater Benefits of Trees and Soil
Part 2: Single-Event Stormwater Models

Part 1 of this series described quantifying tree and soil stormwater benefits for tree benefit calculators and for stormwater credits. Today we’ll be going more in depth on single event stormwater models. This will simply be an introduction to various methods to quantify the stormwater benefits of tree stormwater control measures (Tree SCMs) and is... More

Reusing Existing Urban Soil for Planting    

Most urban sites have some amount of mineral soil in place when the time comes to install plant material, yet these soils are often assumed – erroneously – to be unsuitable. Historically there have been two approaches to this situation. The default option is to ignore the problem, or make minor modifications such as digging... More

Quantifying Stormwater Benefits of Trees and Soil
Part 1: Overview of models and calculators

Trees and soil have the potential to provide significant stormwater benefits. Trees are also valued for many other benefits, and are already part of virtually all development. They can be integrated even into the densest urban areas – and many cities have tree requirement ordinances, so trees are not only desired, but also mandatory. It... More
Plaza gathering

What Trees to Plant in Cities

Species diversity in the urban forest is an extremely important topic and – unlike so many other design choices that are hindered by lengthy planning processes, tightening budgets, and maintenance considerations – it’s something we can actually have an impact on in the short term as part of the ongoing cycle of tree replacement. I’ve... More
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What is “Good” Soil?

What does “good” soil mean? It depends on your point of view. If you are engineer, you like soil that drains well or compacts easily to bear weight. If you are a farmer, you want soil that is fertile, easy to till, and soaks up water without runoff. If you are a tree… well, what... More
D Coetzee_CC0 1.0

Is i-Tree Underestimating Eco-Benefits of Urban Trees?

We have long known that urban trees help mitigate air pollution. But what about questions of how significant that mitigation is, how we track it, and where it occurs? A 2014 paper, “Assessing the relationship among urban trees, nitrogen dioxide, and respiratory health” by Linda George, Meenkashi Rao, Todd Rosenstiel, Vivek Shandas, and Alexis Dinno... More
P1080015 (2)

Nature: A Critical Element of Patient-Centered Care
Silva Cell Case Study

Meticulously designed around the needs of patients and their families, the William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, is a state of the art facility. Through innovative planning that was five years in the making, patients’ needs are met outside, on the hospital grounds, as much... More
Platanus_Alexxx Malev_CC BY-SA 2.0

What Not To Plant

Something simple and extremely fundamental must underpin any effort to increase the biodiversity of the urban canopy: adequate quantity and quality soil and water. That’s it. If a guy wanted to grow a great tree in a typical 4 x 4 urban tree opening, he could add macronutrients (NPK), micronutrients (Mn, Mg, etc.), compost tea,... More
Washington DC 1880

When “Parking” Meant “Space for Trees”

In April, the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) and DeepRoot co-hosted a design charrette at the SvR offices in Seattle. The theme of the discussion was “Cities need nature, and nature needs cities: how and where do you struggle to bring nature to the built environment?” (We are putting together videos and blog posts based around the discussions from... More