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The New Normal: A Silva Cell Case Study in Normal, Illinois

-Supporting and tripling the life expectancy of 67 trees, and helping to shape a sustainable identity for Normal’s Uptown Center: The Circle -The project won half a dozen awards and springboarded the city of Normal into a net positive economy. Halfway between St. Louis and Chicago, sits Normal, Illinois, a town of about 52,000 that… More

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How Much Soil Do You Need to Grow a Big Tree?

It seems pretty universal that everyone likes trees. We find them pretty, and calming, and they make us feel healthy. Space, pollutants and engineering requirements are all major factors that affect the growing conditions for urban trees. But other than picking a climate-appropriate tree, soil availability is one of the biggest elements in their success… More

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Silva Cell “Leeds” the Way in Sovereign Square: Case Study

Sovereign Square is the first significant redevelopment in Leeds City Centre in a generation. Seven years ago, the City of Leeds, a financial and legal hub in the UK, initiated the transformation of an industrial site to a green, urban oasis. Between Sovereign Place and Sovereign Street, the aptly named Sovereign Square has become what… More

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What Not To Plant

Something simple and extremely fundamental must underpin any effort to increase the biodiversity of the urban canopy: adequate quantity and quality soil and water. That’s it. If a guy wanted to grow a great tree in a typical 4 x 4 urban tree opening, he could add macronutrients (NPK), micronutrients (Mn, Mg, etc.), compost tea,… More

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The High Cost of Urban Monocultures

Tree species diversity is a critical element of ecology sustainability, the most urgent of which is to minimize the impact of pests and disease outbreaks on urban canopy cover. Anyone who has followed the introduction of Dutch Elm disease (DED) is already painfully aware of how devastating tree pest outbreaks can be. Where I live,… More

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The High Cost of Urban Monocultures

Tree species diversity is a critical element of ecology sustainability, the most urgent of which is to minimize the impact of pests and disease outbreaks on urban canopy cover. Anyone who has followed the introduction of Dutch Elm disease (DED) is already painfully aware of how devastating tree pest outbreaks can be. Where I live,… More

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How “Clean and Simple” Becomes “Dead and Gone”

Picture a schematic drawing for, say, a downtown revitalization project. You’d see bustling businesses, new bike lanes, colorful signs, and rows and rows of identical trees. As an arborist, horticulturist, and landscape architect I’ve given a great deal of thought to plant diversity over my career, and this practice of only planting a single species is… More

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UK Soil Volume Status for Urban Trees

Trees do a tremendous amount for our communities in a number of essential ways. Unlike a streetlamp or a water main, their influence is diffuse— they affect everything from air and water quality, to flooding, to temperatures, to property values and incidence of crime. Urban trees are under more pressure and facing greater challenges to… More

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Horticultural Myths Exposed

Horticulture is the art of cultivating. Garden herbs, plants, produce, flowers, fruits, nuts, and trees all fall under the horticulture category. The common denominator in all of these is soil. One of DeepRoot’s favorite industry leaders and researchers of healthy soil and effective horticulture is Dr. Linda Chalker-Scott. Dr. Chalker-Scott is an Extension Urban Horticulturist… More

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