Every Project Needs a Lorax

The Lorax, as many people know, is a Dr. Seuss book about a mythical creature who “speaks for trees.” Widely understood as a parable about the value and importance of natural resources and the risk industry poses to them, the word “Lorax” has come to mean someone who is environmentally minded and is an advocate for… More

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25 Year Old Suspended Sidewalk in Downtown Phoenix

As regular readers of this blog know, when I learn about early suspended pavement systems for trees, such as the Christian Science Center in Boston, I like to find out more about them. I recently learned about another one that was installed at the Herberger Theater in Phoenix, AZ in 1989 – now 25 years… More

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A Brief History of Trees in Suspended Pavement

This was originally published on the landscape architecture blog The Field. When we talk about low-impact development and design today, the term “suspended pavement” comes up a lot, but it occurred to me recently that this term is rarely defined. Here is my attempt to do that by walking through suspended pavement’s history, uses, composition,… More

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The Basics of Tree Structure and Growth

Very often the “trees” that are added to architectural drawings or envisioned as elements of a new downtown landscape are only part of the structure: the aboveground portion that includes the trunk, the branches, the canopy, and the leaves. While this portion of the tree is usually the only visible part and thus captivates the… More

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How and When to Do a Soil Test

“The soil here is terrible.” This is something we hear a lot during design discussions. People often assume that soils in heavily developed environments can’t possibly be biologically sound for plant life. In some cases, this is true. But in others it isn’t, and the only way to know for sure is to do a… More

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Calculate How Much Money Your Trees Could Be Earning

How do you persuade someone to invest in having healthy, mature trees in their community? For some, the promise of access to nature, wildlife, and all of their tranquil side effects is sufficient reason.  For others, the prospect of saving on energy bills and reducing the heat island effect wins them over. Others might be… More

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Living Up To Our Own Ideals

In my experience as a naturalist, one of the hardest things in life is to live up to our own ideals. Nowhere is this clearer than in my conservation work, where – as director of Conservation Advocacy for Audubon Naturalist Society – I work to inspire residents of the greater Washington, DC, region to appreciate,… More

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