Trees provide incredible value to urban environments including improving air and water quality, reducing flooding and combined sewer overflows, creating safer neighborhoods, reducing urban heat-island effect, and reducing energy consumption.
Trees and soil are ecologically interdependent; soil quantity and quality have a huge impact on a tree’s overall health and long-term growth. Trees need soil in order to establish healthy roots systems that have access to adequate air, water, and nutrients that will be able to support the tree for decades to come.
Right now, the way we plant trees in cities – in small sidewalk openings – doesn’t give them enough soil! Access to larger amounts of soil will help us grow the trees we see on architecture plans and renderings, but rarely see on our actual streets.
We are seeing more and more cities establishing policies to ensure the health of their urban canopy by guaranteeing trees a minimum amount of soil. We are huge supporters of these policies! Here is a list of all the places we know that have implemented minimum soil volume policies.
Unlike other amenities, trees increase in value as they grow and mature. A tree may cost as little as $500, but – planted and cared for properly – it can deliver thousands of dollars in benefits to its community over the course of a lifetime.