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Douglas Fir Biochar

Improving Stormwater Control Measure Performance with Biochar

If you are a regular reader of this blog, then you know we’ve had a recent spate of articles about biochard – from its history, to a discussion of possible applications and controversies, to a question-and-answer following  a recent webinar about what designers need to know about the product. Because of the tremendous potential for... More

How Much Should You Water Your Tree?

Healthy trees can grow anywhere, including cities, provided they receive enough water, soil, and sunlight. Research shows that vigorous urban trees keep people healthier, cool cities in summer, warm homes in winter, help kids learn better, decrease car accident rates, raise real estate values, and decrease crime dramatically. Even with these myriad benefits, recent heat... More
Market Street - Laughing Squid

You’ll Remember How It Feels

I am lucky enough to live within a (long) walk of my job. I often take advantage of this proximity, walking home along an unattractive stretch of San Francisco’s Market Street. Alternately teeming with tourists or occupied by people who are generally down-and-out, this three mile stretch between work and home leaves a lot to be desired.... More
Lead Image - USDA

The Challenges (and Potential Solutions) with Finding Quality Nursery Stock

It’s no secret to anyone who buys trees that nursery-grown trees, especially container-grown stock, are very prone to root defects such as circling, diving and girdling roots. With the right know-how and attention, some of these defects can be corrected at planting time. However, once roots have become woody, many defects are uncorrectable – and... More
Justin Kern_CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Why are Cities Using Green Streets for Stormwater Management?

Urban stormwater management and surface water quality protection is a decades old field of science and engineering. Engineers in the field are largely focused on mitigating the impacts of impervious surfaces like roads, sidewalks, parking lots and rooftops in urban areas to protect aquatic habitat and species, reduce drinking water treatment costs, and comply with... More
Boise Streetscape

Revitalizing Boise Using Green Stormwater Infrastructure

Since 2009, the City of Boise has implemented 28 projects to revitalize historic downtown in a healthy and sustainable way. By adopting innovative and cost-effective solutions to long-standing challenges such as stormwater management and low tree canopy cover, Boise has emerged as a leader in green stormwater infrastructure. In the past, the city struggled to... More
Engineering for Change_CC BY-SA 2.0

Your Biochar Questions, Answered

In previous blog posts we discussed the history of biochar, we offered our thoughts on its possible application, and examined potential controversies. Most recently, we interviewed Kelby Fite about his work with biochar and held a webinar to discuss what designers need to know about the product. The following post is a collection of questions... More
How do soil microbes affect health and nutrient availability

How Do Soil Microbes Affect Soil Health and Nutrient Availability?

Soil is essential to life. That’s why we hear more every day about the microbes that inhabit soil1. What many don’t realize, however, is that those microbes are related to the emerging field of “soil health.” Microbes also affect how soils are tested in laboratories. This topic has captured the attention of farmers, scientists and... More
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