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The Tree Inventory of the FutureInterview with an Open Tree Map project lead

OpenTreeMaps are collaborative, crowd-sourced projects where citizens help inventory urban trees, learn about the environmental benefits trees provide and explore nature in their city. Kelaine Ravdin, owner of Urban Ecos, has worked as the project lead on OpenTreeMap projects across California, including Sacramento, San Francisco, San Diego, and Los Angeles. Kelaine’s work blends a deep… More

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Palo Alto, CA Street - Jill Clardy

Perspectives on land use, development trends, and green infrastructure

In February I had the opportunity to speak with David Dockter, an arborist with the Department of Planning and Community Environment and Public Works in the city of Palo Alto, CA. As someone expert in trees who works within the building permit and planning department role. Dave has a unique perspective on working with developers… More

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Treating Trees as Actual Infrastructure

A couple of weeks ago my brother sent me a link to a story on WNYC about the variable mortality rates for trees that were planted as part of New York City’s Million Trees initiative. We’ve seen the uneven outcomes of planting efforts like these before, and New York is no exception. Dedicated (volunteer) citizens who water… More

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Cities That are Pioneers in Developing Stormwater Credit Systems for Trees

Cities That are Pioneers in Developing Stormwater Credit Systems for Trees

Recognizing the many benefits trees provide, more and more jurisdictions are providing incentives to both preserve existing trees and plant new trees. Examples of such incentives include grants, tax rebates, development incentives, stormwater fee discounts, and stormwater credits. Today I’ll be focusing on stormwater credits for trees, particularly stormwater credits applicable to individual trees on… More

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Philadelphia’s Green Streets Design Manual Weak on Trees and Soils

In October, I wrote about some of our concerns with Philadelphia’s highly-lauded green infrastructure plan, now codified in their Green Streets Design Manual. This plan has received more praise and recognition than any other citywide green infrastructure policy that I’m aware of (here are a few examples). I’m thrilled to see a major green infrastructure… More

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Minnesota’s Evapotranspiration Credit System for Trees

Last year, The Kestrel Design Group developed a formula for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to estimate evapotranspiration benefits from trees to include in their stormwater crediting system. This formula is one of the first – or possibly the first – in the country to formally quantify this benefit.  I spoke to Nathalie Shanstrom, a landscape architect… More

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Cities Where the Silva Cell Is Approved for Use

In the seven years that the Silva Cell has been on the market, a number of cities have designated it as an approved technology for their sustainability goals, whether for tree growth, on-site stormwater management, or both. Here is a list of all the places, organized by state/province, that include it in their policies.

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What’s Missing From the Top 10 Cities for Urban Trees

For the last two weeks in December I’ll be re-posting some of my favorite blog posts from this year. Today’s post discusses a big metric that is missing from the evaluation criteria American Forests used in assessing their “10 Best Cities for Urban Forests” list released earlier this year. – LM A few weeks ago, non-profit… More

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Raleigh, NC Sets Minimum Soil Volume for Street Trees

As of this summer, Raleigh, NC now requires a minimum of 600 cubic feet of soil for all street trees planted in the right of way for new developments. Their new Street Design Manual outlines this requirement, and the design methods available for achieving it, in section 6.18, page 82-86.

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Toronto Expands Green Roof Incentive Program

In 2009, Toronto became the first city in North America to establish a bylaw requiring green roofs of new development. This bylaw has now been in effect for nearly four years; applies to new building permit applications for residential, commercial, and institutional developments of greater than 2,000 square meters. Recently, Toronto expanded their Eco-Roof program… More

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