Introducing Stephen Lovering, Technical Product Consultant, Victoria, Vancouver Island BC, Canada

Steve Lovering Photo - Citygreen

Kicking off 2018, we’re thrilled to welcome Stephen Lovering to the Citygreen team, based in Canada. With a Bachelor’s Degree in Landscape Architecture from Leeds Metropolitan University in the UK, Stephen has spent the last five years assisting municipalities, design professionals, and contractors with innovative solutions and products relating to the building industry. Previous to that, he worked as a Landscape Architect designing new communities in and around Calgary, Alberta.

The common thread connecting all his previous roles is an in-depth understanding of how landscapes effect the way people live and move within their community, and the impact this has on their happiness and health. Well-designed green spaces and well-located tree canopies enable people to move around streets, parks, and playgrounds easily – providing a raft of physical, mental, and economic benefits in the process.

As Technical Product Consultant at Citygreen, Stephen will collaborate closely with councils, municipalities, and design professionals in Canada to incorporate cutting-edge urban landscape solutions into their projects, while supporting contractors with best practice techniques and technical knowledge around the installation of Citygreen products. Together, they’ll be addressing issues around public health, lack of tree canopy coverage, and stormwater development – contributing to our overriding vision of a world where sustainable green space is within reach of every person, every day, and natural resources are utilized (not wasted) for the benefit of mankind.

To get in touch with Stephen, call 778-533-7764, email, connect with him on LinkedIn, or book a meeting time a meeting



Asset Handover – Who is Assessing the Trees

assessing trees

The Urban Forest and Urban Greening are increasingly being recognised as hugely beneficial to society. These benefits are so well understood that tree planting is a commonplace requirement of many building permits and development approvals.

Traditionally though, this has often been a half-hearted affair – with budgets dwindling at the end of the construction, subpar trees are chosen, and lowest cost planting methods are utilised. Let’s be clear, low cost is not the issue. Its low ROI and low lifetime value of the green asset that we are looking to improve.

Huge amounts of all tree maintenance issues are a result of a poor decision at design, poor planting methodologies or issues during early tree establishment.

tree maintenance issues

That is the end of the rant… NOW…

Complaining about a problem without proposing a solution is called whining. Theodore Roosevelt

Some Ideas on the Solution

Handover inspections – Assess your trees before the contractor handover period ends

Inspection of trees should be conducted at least twice prior to handover of landscaping to any asset holder one of these should be in the growing season and well after planting to allow the trees to respond to planting treatments. These inspections should be completed by an urban forester, arborist, or soil scientist. If any concerns are raised nutrient testing of soil or leaf nutrient tissue should be done or a full arborist report should be completed if the trees are significant. This enables any issues to be identified and also allows time for the contractor to rectify these issues prior to handover. This is all about making sure the tree achieves its intended social or economic ROI for the community. This inspection also reduces risk of later issues with the tree and reduces cost of lifetime tree maintenance.

Review tree planting codes

If you are in the role of developing a planting guideline for urban trees then consider these things;

  • Tree species – Assess what value trees are currently providing in your area. Remember that human habitat value is just as important as wildlife habitat value, because if residents value trees then the process is much smoother. Local trees can provide shade in summer, sunlight in winter (deciduous trees), visual amenity colours or flowers (tourist attraction), wind protection, high canopies that are natural or lifted to allow lines of sight to be maintained. These are just a few. Talk to your local Landscape Architecture Association, these designers carry a wealth of knowledge. #American Society of Landscape Architects #Australian Institute of Landscape Architects #International Federation of Landscape Architects
  • Planting Details / Planting Requirement – Trees need their roots and their roots need soil to grow into. Just thought I’d let you in on that little secret. If you only give your trees a very small amount of root volume / Small tree pit you will have one of these.

Bonsai – tree or shrub that has been dwarfed, as by pruning the roots and pinching, and is grown in a pot or other container and trained to produce a desired shape or effect.

Urban Bonsai – A tree or shrub planted into compacted subgrade. Root growth is limited due to compaction and tree growth is stunted. Occasionally tree root balls are pruned to ensure it fits into is new home. Urban bonsai often results in conflicts between tree roots and pavement causing maintenance headaches.

tree maintenance

Enforce the Codes

  • Handover inspections – Inspect the green assets just as would be done for hard assets
  • Use suitability qualified professionals to review tree planting compliance and tree health prior to handover
  • Extend handover and maintenance periods for price significant or amenity significant tree plantings to ensure that trees are
  • Hold bonds – Tree valuation is a science and accurate financial values can be placed on trees. This method can be used for both new plantings as well as protecting current tree installations.

Urban Greening – Cooling the city one tree at a time

urban greening

City of Adelaide leads Urban Greening Program to mitigate heat island effect.

By Nathaniel Hardy | Citygreen USA – Soil and Horticultural Consultant

With a population of 1.3 million people over a 3,258 km² area, Adelaide is one of Australia’s rapidly-growing capital cities. Like many cities around the world, the City of Adelaide recognised urban heat island effect was becoming a major problem with an increasing impact on the health and wellbeing of its people. An urban or metropolitan area that is significantly warmer than its surrounding rural areas due to human activities, urban heat island effect causes a range of problems, including: increased heating and cooling costs, limited outdoor recreation, poor quality of life, and heat-related mortality.

The City of Adelaide piloted an innovative Urban Greening Program, whereby they used thermal imaging and aerial heat mapping to identify areas with the hottest temperatures. This heat map was then overlayed onto a geographical map, enabling hot spots to be identified and transformed into opportunities for city greening. A plan was then created to mitigate heat island effect in these areas with an innovative curbside plantout program.

street garden

With a number of roads and city blocks identified, holes were cut in the pavement between carparks, Citygreen’s innovative Stratacell system was installed, and trees were planted – ensuring adequate space and uncompacted soil for the trees to thrive without impeding the surrounding pavement and / or infrastructure. Crucially, because curbside plantouts were implemented between car parking spots, no carparking space was lost.

urban greening

So far, numerous trees have been planted via this program, which continues to roll out across the city. Whilst it is too early to know the impact in terms of urban heat island specifically, community feedback has been overwhelmingly positive with trees beautifying previously-drab urban streets and providing the promise of future shade.

New York’s College of Environmental Studies and Forestry. Showing in 10 megacities an increase in urban greening would achieve an annual half-million saving in heating and cooling costs. [1]


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