i-Tree: Analyze Structure, Function, and Value of Community Forests

I meet many people in the landscape architecture community who have heard of i-Tree… but don’t really know what it does. Basically, i-Tree is a suite of tools designed to quantify the structure of a community forest as well as the environmental services provided by that forest. It can be used at a wide range… More

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How Do We Do Quality Control and Production?

Production/manufacturing nerds, this one’s for you! We regularly get questions about how and where we manufacturer Silva Cells to meet target performance requirements. I asked our Director of Operations, Rebecca Stevens, to discuss the various steps involved in our quality control process. -LM By the time a Silva Cell order is received by a customer, it is simply a necessary… More

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Trees That Can Tolerate Standing Water

My window looks out on 9 Mile Creek, a rural looking creek in an urban/suburban environment in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota. In the six years our company has been here, this is the closest I’ve seen water come to the parking lot. For a number of weeks this spring and summer, the large ash trees on… More

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What Is Compost?

Question: What is “compost,” exactly? I’ve heard the term my entire life, but I’ve never really understood what it means. Answer: Most gardeners and farmers know compost to be a rich, organic soil amendment, which can be used to improve soil tilth and supply plant nutrients. The term compost is also a verb for a rapid… More

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Up By Roots Workshop Coming to Seattle

Pacific Northwest readers, take note. James Urban, FASLA and four other presenters will be leading an Up by Roots workshop at the Center for Urban Horticulture in Seattle on October 15th. This one-day workshop will highlight the principles of soil science and their use in facilitating the growth of healthy trees and developing water efficient landscapes. Healthy… More

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Top 10 Takeaways: Soil in the City Conference

Today I’m happy to introduce a new, hopefully recurring blog feature: top 10 takeaways. The top 10 takeaway lists will be compiled by L. Peter MacDonagh, FASLA, on the key elements to know about based on events of note in the design, planning, and arboricultural communities. Expect the lists to be short, pithy, and helpful… More

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Should I Be Charged Up About Groundwater Recharge?

Question: What does the term “groundwater recharge” mean and why is it important? Answer: Let’s start with the term “groundwater.” Groundwater is defined as the water that is obtained by pumping from below the ground surface from storage units commonly called aquifers. This water is an important source for agriculture irrigation as well as domestic consumption…. More

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People, Plants, and Cities Interview with Ellyn Shea, ISA

Today’s post is an interview with Ellyn Shea, garden coach, arborist, horticultural educator and researcher, and frequent contributor to this blog. In addition to 15 years of professional and personal gardening, Ellyn was Planting Manager and later director of the Tree Care program at Friends of the Urban Forest, a San Francisco non-profit that promotes… More

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