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Urban Soil Reuse as Planting Soil: Current Science and Lessons Learned

Over the last several years, DeepRoot has written about reusing urban soils as a planting medium. To date, the following have been covered via the DeepRoot blog: Reusing Existing Urban Soil for Planting Urban Soil Assessment and Reuse: Part 1 and Part 2 Search for the “Perfect” Soil Specification The articles above create a basis... More

Speaking for the Trees: Getting to Know Diana Beresford-Kroeger

If you love trees but aren’t familiar with Diana Beresford-Kroeger, it’s time to acquaint yourself with her work.  A botanist, medical biochemist, author, and activist, her background combines western scientific training with traditional folk-knowledge and methods. Perhaps her strongest talent is her ability to bring an understanding and appreciation of the scientific complexities of nature... More

Where to Plant a Street Tree?

We hear a lot of discussion about the need to increase urban tree canopy, and the area people often focus on when planting new trees is the strip of land along the street in front of homes or businesses. This strip is known as a planting strip, buffer, neutral zone, park strip, or in Great... More

How Road Salt and Stormwater Affects Tree Health

A common concern when integrating street runoff into a Silva Cell system is the effect that deicing salt may have on trees.  In areas with cold winter climates, we commonly see salt damage to street trees.  Deicing salt from roads is picked up by stormwater runoff and enters tree pits. Often, roots are damaged when... More

Creative Placemaking: Using the Arts as a Tool for Community Development

Public parks share dynamic relationships with the communities they serve. The way we design parks can either promote or hinder their diversity of use, exclude or empower neighborhoods, resemble anywhere or reflect the history and collective values of the place. To create parks that enable residents to feel more connected to place, community development project... More

Soil Assessment in the Field and in the Lab

If you work with trees, you know how important soil is. Understanding a site’s soil is key to plant selection, amendment recommendations, and maintenance planning. But soil science is complex, and analysis takes time and money. Here are a few considerations to help make soil assessment more efficient on a budget.  Divide and conquer. Even... More

Money Really Does Grow on Trees

It’s difficult to convince people to commit time, money, and energy to an abstract concept. Show people an image or some thoughtful calculations, however, and suddenly it is easier to motivate them in your favor. Such is often the case with planting trees in our cities and parks. Environmentalists, designers, arborists, and others have known... More

What’s in a Detail? The Hidden Story of a Green Infrastructure Detail

A big shift in how stormwater is managed is occurring as more and more agencies begin planning and implementing green infrastructure to reduce volume and increase quality of stormwater runoff. While regional climate considerations, agency operations and maintenance practices, and the physical use of adjacent space (e.g. if the stormwater facility next to a road... More

LEEDing by Example: How D.C. Became the First LEED Platinum City in the World

Contrary to recent actions taken by the Federal government, Washington D.C.’s local government has made unprecedented strides towards creating a cleaner, more sustainable future. The District of Columbia has recently emerged as an environmentally progressive leader and is actively working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, support clean energy innovation, and focus on livability for all... More

Slow Streets: The Key to Greener, Safer Cities

It seems like everyone wants green, tree-lined city streets. Under the filtered light of a towering tree canopy the air is cooler, the city seems more humane, and our minds become calmer. This idyll is far from reality, though, for many of us who walk along streets where trees are stunted or absent altogether. Street... More