Why You Don’t Need To Replace Organic Matter In Soil

  As an urban trees and soils consultant, I am always looking for studies that examine how trees survive and adapt to the built environment. One of the biggest questions and confusions I encounter is the issue of whether organic matter (something that I discussed in a previous post) needs to be added to urban… More

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It’s Thanksgiving! Turkeys in Trees

It’s Thanksgiving-eve! Surely everyone, if they’re even still at their desks, is waiting for the day to end so they can head home, or wherever they’re going for the holidays, and think about tomorrow’s feast. While few of the turkeys that will be eaten tomorrow are wild, I thought the holiday still merited a look… More

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Does Bioretention Still Work When the Ground Freezes? Part 2: Maximizing Bioretention Cold Climate Performance

Part 1 of this blog series summarized recent studies in Minnesota, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and King City, Ontario, which all found that the difference between summer and winter performance of bioretention systems is not substantial, even on sites with severe winters. Now that we know that, how do we go about maximizing bioretention performance in… More

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Forest Soils Versus Urban Soils

You don’t need much experience in arboriculture or landscape design to notice that planting trees in cities is very different from planting trees in forest environments. There are many reasons for this, but perhaps the biggest is the difference in composition of the soil.

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What is Soil Organic Matter?

As a soils guy, I have a lot of discussions with clients and colleagues about the quantity of organic matter in soil. Perhaps surprisingly, there is a lot of confusion and misinformation around this issue. What is organic matter, and where does it come from?

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