Study to reduce street tree failures

Study finds ways to cut new street tree failures

Trees planted in new streets and paved areas can be made to thrive without damaging walkways, says a report by a team of consultants. The report, by Welsh engineering, environmental and landscape consultancy Richards, Moorehead & Laing, is designed to help designers guarantee the trees they plant survive in urban settings. The failure rate for newly planted street trees is excessively high, so it is essential to find solutions to the many tree establishment problems, says the report, called Urban Tree Planting Research. The findings are the result of a four year study sponsored by Transport for London (Street Management). Researchers investigated new techniques for establishing trees in urban streets. The interaction of engineering issues and plant requirements were key factors. RML project manager Steve Blunt said: “We began by identifying underground conditions that cause trees to fail. We went on to identify and trial treatments that can be used before planting to increase success rates.” The team looked at the ability of roots to develop in a wide range of substrate materials and environmental conditions. Blunt said: “The report shows how trees planted in newly paved areas can thrive without compromising the need for stable, safe surfaces for pedestrians.” L The report can be bought at www.rmlconsult.com for £50 plus VAT or in printed form by request.

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