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A Million Trees? Only If We Can Keep Them Around

In February, the U.S. Forest Service published a report indicating that cities around the country are losing around 4 million trees per year. Of the 20 cities included in the study, 17 showed significant losses of canopy cover, and 16 showed significant increases in impervious hardscape (or paved surfaces that don’t absorb water). At the same time,… More

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Silva Cells Coming Soon to Venice Island

This picture is of the Venice Island Recreation Center, in the Manayunk neighborhood of Philadelphia, PA.  The island sits between the Manayunk Canal and the Schuylkill River and between the Lock and Cotton Street. And in about three months, Silva Cells will be installed here. It will be the first usage of this product by… More

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Fifth Avenue Highmark Silva Cell Sign

We love this sign from Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, Treevitalize, and Highmark outside our installation at Fifth Avenue Place (Highmark). The Silva Cells went in the ground in November 2011.

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Yoga for Trees

This post is by Bill Spiewak, an arborist in Santa Barbara, CA, and originally appeared on his blog, Treemendous. Last month in my arboriculture class, I may have implied to my students that this instructor is falling off the deep end. I asked them to stand and assume the yoga position, tree pose. My objective… More

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The Basics of Phytoremediation

Phytoremediation is the use of green plants and their associated microorganisms to stabilize or reduce inorganic and organic contamination in soils and surfacewater or groundwater. In other words, the process of using trees and other plants as biological filters. It is also a key component of what we mean when we talk about ecosystem services… More

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How To Keep Silva Cell Costs DownDesign guidelines for meeting your budget

Many designers understand the need for the Silva Cell and support it as an effective design tool for tree growth and stormwater management in urban environments. Yet, all too often it gets value engineered out of projects for being too pricey. While cheaper than creating a custom suspended pavement system, and actually money-saving in the long-term,… More

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Why Public Art Should Make Us Rethink Trees

Trees are effortlessly artful. This artfulness may be part of why they have such a calming and restorative effect on people and can elicit such powerful emotional attachment. Trees are also functional infrastructure. You can debate which role is more valuable, but from an economic standpoint, infrastructure usually wins hands-down. That’s one reason why recent… More

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Performance Metrics and Longer Contracts for a Successful Landscape

Last month’s Landscape Architecture Magazine had an interesting feature by Mike Singer. The article, titled “Are We Done Yet? Measuring for a project’s success is keeping clients and designers engaged well after installation,” explores an emerging trend in the field: extended contract periods to address the long-term success and performance of the site’s landscape.

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