How do you grow big city trees? With large volumes of lightly compacted soil. Remember that a tree can expand up to three times further underground than it does above ground, making the quantity and quality of its soil one of the most critical components in the planting’s success.

Why do we need big trees, anyway?

Research shows that trees provide almost no value until they reach healthy maturity — at which point they begin offering a host of community advantages, including:

  • Reduce Urban Heat Island Effect
  • Carbon Sequestration
  • Energy Savings
  • Air Pollution Removal
  • Mitigate Climate Change

One of the primary functions of the Silva Cell system is to optimize soil conditions in urban settings — which are often inhospitable for tree planting, given their space restrictions and compaction requirements. By supporting the hardscapes above, Silva Cells enhance the natural environment below: lightly compacted soil in large volumes, equaling flourishing city trees — a proven methodology, backed by research.

Many cities, recognizing the importance of soil volume in the success of urban forests, have instituted soil-volume minimums: a mandated amount of soil each new public-realm tree must have available. This strategy all but ensures the growth of a city’s tree coverage.

Setting your project’s soil-volume target is an important first step in any Silva Cell application. Remember to aim high: the more soil, the better. Consider your project’s tree goals in addition to its space restrictions and budget. The DeepRoot Technical Team is here to help throughout this process.

For more resources on soil, check out our library of blog content.

More Soil Resources

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