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The Changing “Primal Landscape”

Everyone, regardless of where they grew up, has a “primal landscape.” This term was coined by Don Gayton, a writer from British Columbia, Canada, and it refers to the landscape a person most identifies with. At some point in every person’s life they bond with a landscape, whether it’s the forest where they grew up, or… More

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Does cold weather impact the water quality benefits of soil?

There is extensive evidence that soil is an amazing tool for improving the quality of water runoff, for reducing peak flow volume, and for storing water for use by the tree and for groundwater recharge in urban settings. We also know that trees in soil are basically “added capacity” – that is, while the soil… More

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Why Trees May Fail to Establish or Thrive (and what to do about it)

Landscape architects, architects, and engineers have many tools available to them in the design of healthy long-lived trees, and no single one of them can guarantee the establishment or long-term success of the trees. These tools need to be applied within a larger understanding of general principles of arboriculture, soil, and urban conditions in order… More

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Buried Treasure: Conserving Urban Soil in Place

It’s not unusual to find a piece of art or jewelry over 500 years old in a museum’s collection. These precious artifacts are (rightly) treated with great care commensurate with their value. Yet an inch of topsoil, which may have taken more than 500 years to develop, is commonly abused, mismanaged or discarded in the… More

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“Everything We Do Leaves a Footprint”

Nothing epitomizes the spirit of the Pacific Northwest quite like wild Pacific Salmon. If you don’t live in this amazing part of the world, let me explain: Salmon and the clean water and healthy forests they rely on are integral to the quality of life that west coast residents love, cherish, and dream of when… More

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