The latest news in urban sustainability research, innovation, community initiatives, and products. Stay up-to-date by completing the subscription form.

The Ultimate Guide on How to Plant Trees in Urban Areas

Urban trees planted in citygreens stratavault system on the water in Barangaroo, Sydney Australia

Are you looking for ways to increase greenery in your city? As worldwide urban tree specialist with over 30 years, Citygreen can attest to the benefits of planting more trees in urban areas. Not only do they help to improve air quality, reduce the urban heat island effect, but they also provide habitat for wildlife, improve the physical and mental health outcomes for local communities, and increase property values. In this overview, Citygreen will provide a step-by-step approach to planting more trees in urban areas, with examples of successful tree-planting initiatives to demonstrate their effectiveness.

An exampe of how to plant urban trees with Trees used to shade a carpark in Orange, NSW.

Urban trees used to shade a carpark in Orange, NSW

Benefits of Planting Trees in Urban Areas

The benefits of planting trees in urban areas are numerous and far-reaching. Trees help to improve air quality by absorbing pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and fine particulate matter. They also help to sequester carbon, which is important for mitigating the effects of climate change. Additionally, trees help to reduce the urban heat island effect, which occurs when cities are significantly warmer than surrounding rural areas due to the heat absorbed and reflected by buildings, pavement, and hardscaped surfaces Trees provide shade, which helps to cool urban areas and reduce the amount of energy required for air conditioning.

Trees help to increase biodiversity and support local ecosystems, providing habitat for wildlife, including birds, insects, small mammals, and clean surrounding soil of pollutants and particulates. This is especially important in urban areas, where natural green space is often limited and runoff from hardscaped surfaces, infrastructure and cars can have detrimental effects to the area.

Identifying Suitable Areas for Planting Trees in Urban Areas

Identifying suitable planting locations is an important step in planting more trees in urban areas. Areas that lack greenery and could benefit from more trees include parks, sidewalks, residential areas, and public spaces. For example, Penrith City Council in Australia identified suitable areas to plant urban trees by using heat sensor data, topography mapping and community survey data to review where the most vulnerable in their community lived to determine areas where additional tree canopy cover would be most beneficial and prioritized planting in those locations.

You can review Penrith City Councils full ‘Cooling the City Strategy’  from our Where Shade Hits The Pavement Event here:

When choosing planting locations, it is important to consider factors such as accessibility, sunlight, and available soil volume and quality. Trees should be planted in areas that are easily accessible for maintenance and receive adequate sunlight, water and soil volume. Soil volume and quality is absolutely crucial to the success and longevity of urban trees, as trees require well-draining soil that is rich in nutrients and uncompacted to provide space for root growth.

wynnum 1 trees in urban areas Citygreen

In urban areas where soil volume and space is a concern, Citygreen’s leading range of structural soil vault systems are designed to provide adequate growing medium for tree roots, infrastructure protection, and provide additional green blue stormwater management properties (WSUD) all within one system.

Learn how your team can deliver high quality urban trees in a shorter time with a Lunch & Learn.

Benefits of Planting Trees in Urban Areas

The benefits of planting trees in urban areas are numerous and far-reaching. Trees help to improve air quality by absorbing pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and fine particulate matter. They also help to sequester carbon, which is important for mitigating the effects of climate change. Additionally, trees help to reduce the urban heat island effect, which occurs when cities are significantly warmer than surrounding rural areas due to the heat absorbed and reflected by buildings, pavement, and hardscaped surfaces Trees provide shade, which helps to cool urban areas and reduce the amount of energy required for air conditioning.

Trees help to increase biodiversity and support local ecosystems, providing habitat for wildlife, including birds, insects, small mammals, and clean surrounding soil of pollutants and particulates. This is especially important in urban areas, where natural green space is often limited and runoff from hardscaped surfaces

Selecting the Right Tree Species for Urban Areas

Selecting the right tree species is crucial for the success of tree planting initiatives in urban areas. Trees that are well-suited to urban environments should be selected, such as those that can tolerate & filter pollution, withstand drought, provide tree canopy and environmental and aesthetic design. Native tree species that are adapted to the local climate should be prioritized, as they are more likely to thrive and support local wildlife. For example, the Greening Australia initiative in Australia, planted over 500,000 trees, shrubs, and grasses in urban areas using native species. 

Related: Best Tree for Reducing Air Pollution.

Collection of green trees isolated on transparent background. for easy selection of designs. - a set

When selecting tree species, it is important to consider the size of the tree at maturity, as some species may be too large for urban areas and cause damage to the tree, buildings and infrastructure. There is nothing more disheartening than witnessing a tree’s canopy hacked to accommodate utilities like powerlines due to poor planning. In such instances, both the tree and the community suffer, missing out on the invaluable benefits of a mature tree in the environment. Moreover, the mismanagement of trees results in wastage of ratepayers’ money, as maintenance workers must continually tend to the space surrounding the infrastructure for the total lifecycle of the tree.

Factor to ConsiderExamples
Tolerance to pollutionLondon Plane Tree, Eastern Red Cedar, Ginkgo, Honey Locust
Drought toleranceHackberry, American Elm, White Oak, Redbud
Soil compaction toleranceRed Maple, White Pine, Black Cherry, Bald Cypress
Mature sizeJapanese Maple, Crape Myrtle, Dogwood, Serviceberry

Planning the Tree Planting Process

trees in urban areas providing shade

Fig Trees Planted in Stratavault

Best Time to Plant a Tree

Planning the tree planting process involves several important steps. The ideal time for tree planting is typically during the dormant season, encompassing autumn after trees lose their leaves or early spring before budbreak. We ideally plant during this time as tree root growth goes into overdrive, instead of the tree splitting its energy between root growth and canopy growth the tree focuses on expanding it’s fine and structural roots as far as possible. The further the fine and structural roots grow and establish, the better the outcomes the tree canopy will experience during the following growth period.

What Soil Should you use for Urban Trees

The type of soil you use and soil preparation is also important to the success of trees in urban areas, as trees require well-draining uncompacted soil that is rich in nutrients. Proper irrigation is necessary to ensure that newly planted trees receive enough water to establish healthy root systems. At Citygreen we can provide customised soil designed specifically for your tree environment.

Related Article: How Quality Soil Grows Healthy City Trees

Proper Urban Tree Planting Techniques 

When planting the tree, ensure it is positioned at the proper height and the root crown is at ground level, and the hole is dug to the correct depth to avoid oxygen deprivation that hinders root development. Confirm the tree stands straight by using a tree anchor and having someone view it from multiple angles before backfilling the hole gently yet firmly, stabilizing the root ball’s base with packed soil. Eliminate air pockets by watering periodically during backfilling.

Only stake the tree if necessary, as studies show that unstaked trees establish faster and develop stronger trunks and roots. Mulch the tree’s base with organic matter to retain moisture, moderate soil temperature, and reduce weed competition. Newly planted trees in urban areas need additional care during their initial establishment phase so addition follow-up care is needed in the weeks after such as keeping the soil moist but not waterlogged, watering trees at least once a week, and more frequently during hot and windy weather.

Water must be concentrated on the rootball at the base of the tree as a newly-planted tree can only access moisture that is within its rootball.

See the tools Citygreen use to enable urban tree planting.

To better understand how to set realistic targets for planting urban trees watch Gwilym Griffiths from  Good Canopy Company talk at Where Shade Hits the Pavement.

Engaging the Community in the Tree Planting Process

Community engagement is an important aspect of tree planting initiatives in urban areas. Involving the community in these initiatives can help to increase awareness and support for environmental conservation efforts. Ways to encourage community participation include hosting public events, working with local organizations, and providing educational resources on the benefits of trees and how to care for them. Community members can also be involved in the selection of tree species and planting locations. 

Reach out to your city council and see if they offer a free tree planting program.

trees in urban areas planted with soil cells to ensure growth

Maintaining Planted Trees in Urban Areas

Proper maintenance is crucial for the health and longevity of planted trees in urban areas. Regular watering is necessary to ensure that trees receive enough moisture, especially during hot and dry periods. Pruning is important to remove dead or damaged branches and promote healthy growth. Monitoring for pests and diseases is also important, as urban environments can be conducive to the spread of these issues. It is important to address any issues early to prevent them from spreading and causing damage to the trees.

Monitoring the Impact of Urban Tree Planting on the Environment

What gets measured gets improved. Measuring the impact of tree planting initiatives in your community is crucial. This involves monitoring the reduction of air pollution, the increase in biodiversity and health of the tree, heat measurements, property values, and increased community activity. By tracking progress, you can determine the monetary and environmental value these trees bring to the community.

Related Article: Soil Vaults Deliver Huge ROI in Quantifiable Results

Overcoming Challenges in Planting More Trees in Urban Areas

comparison of stratavault soil cells and the end result of the tree installed in urban environment

There are several challenges to planting more trees in urban areas, such as lack of space and limited funding or initiative by developers, council . However, there are solutions to these challenges:

City Mandated Tree Plantings for new Constructions: New Constructions and developments must include a minimum number of trees in their designs to ensure that any new constructions are adding environmental value to the community to help combat climate change, and the urban heat island effect.

City Mandated Soil Volumes: Soil Volume is critical to the success of urban trees so city standards must include a minimum soil volume that is adequate for trees to survive once they reach maturity. 

Maintenance Programs: Ensuring the continued care and maintenance of newly planted trees is vital for their survival and growth. However, a challenge arises with tree ownership, responsibility, and care, particularly when dealing with project-based constructions focused on swift project completion and tight deadlines. This aspect can make it difficult to secure long-term commitment to the trees’ well-being. To address this concern, it is crucial to establish maintenance programs during the initial contract process. By doing so, we can guarantee that the development and success of the trees are not overlooked or disregarded after the initial planting phase. 

Case Study: Stratavault Empowering Tree Planting in Tamworth CBD

fitzoy street comparison from 2015 v 2023

Tamworth CBD’s bustling Peel Street serves as a central hub, attracting visitors from distant towns and farmers for work and leisure. During the renowned week-long ‘Toyota Country Music Festival,’ Peel Street transforms into a lively pedestrian thoroughfare with bustling markets and with performance stages and buskers up and down the street.

growth comparision of tree in tamworth fitzroy street

Growth Comparison of Chinese Elms Planted in Stratavault

Recognizing the potential to breathe new life into the adjacent Fitzroy Street, the Tamworth Regional Council embarked on a comprehensive revitalization project in December 2017. This transformation aimed to integrate the underutilized street seamlessly into the CBD, invigorating the street for residents and local businesses by adapting the street into a walkable pedestrian street with inviting spaces for people to gather, including the addition of trees planted in Stratavault for shade, street furniture with misting, and captivating ‘living umbrellas.’

Read the Full Case Study


Planting trees in urban areas is crucial for environmental conservation and improving the quality of life for city residents. By identifying suitable planting locations, selecting the right tree species, planning the planting process, engaging the community, and maintaining planted trees, we can increase green space in urban areas and reap the numerous benefits that trees provide. 

For more information about how Citygreen can help increase the success of your trees in urban areas please Contact us.

Slow Aging by Planting more Trees


Does Planting Trees Slow Aging?


Green park trees

In an increasingly urbanized world, where more than half of the global population resides in cities, the importance of urban green spaces cannot be understated. Parks, green roofs, and community gardens offer not only aesthetic appeal but also critical ecosystem services. A recent study in ScienceAdvances has documented the potential benefits of urban greenness for healthy aging, including improved cardiovascular health and reduced mortality rates. While physical activity and social interactions have been suggested as potential pathways linking greenness to health outcomes, the underlying molecular biological mechanisms remain unclear.

Epigenetic modifications, such as DNA methylation levels, have emerged as a promising avenue for understanding the link between environmental exposures, health conditions, and aging. Accumulated exposure to environmental factors can lead to DNA hyper- or hypomethylation, ultimately influencing human health. Epigenome-wide association studies have identified regions of DNA methylation that are associated with residential greenness and are implicated in physical activity, mental health, metabolic diseases, and neoplasms. DNA methylation-based biological age, known as epigenetic age, has been proposed as a predictive marker for age-related health outcomes.

Previous studies have established associations between epigenetic age and cardiovascular disease, cancer, and mortality, as well as various lifestyle and exposure factors. However, the relationship between greenness exposure and epigenetic age has been understudied, with only one cross-sectional study conducted thus far. Furthermore, no studies have examined the role of race and sex in the association between greenness and epigenetic age, which is crucial for understanding and reducing disparities in greenness exposure and its associated benefits.

To address these gaps, the findings explore the associations between long-term greenness exposure and epigenetic age, considering race, sex, and neighborhood deprivation as effect modifiers.



Characteristics of Study Participants

Over 900 participants were included, with a mean age of 45.3 years. The cohort consisted of 376 Black participants and 548 white participants, with 453 men and 471 women. Approximately 54.5% of participants had parks within a 5-km radius of their residential address. The mean Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) value within the 5-km buffer radius 1 year before the Year 20 visit was 0.38 . Participants with parks within 5 km had slightly lower NDVI values  compared to those without parks . Moderate correlations were observed for epigenetic age acceleration.

Association between Greenness and Epigenetic Aging

Their analysis revealed a significant association between 20-year exposure to greenness, and epigenetic aging. Greater greenness was associated with slower epigenetic aging, suggesting a potential protective effect of urban green spaces on the aging process. However, when considering racial disparities, we found that Black participants had less surrounding greenness compared to white participants.

This disparity in greenness exposure led to an attenuated association between greenness and epigenetic aging in Black participants, compared to white participants. This highlights the need to address and reduce disparities in greenness exposure among different racial groups.

Furthermore, the association between greenness and epigenetic aging was influenced by neighborhood socioeconomic status. Participants living in disadvantaged neighborhoods showed a stronger association between greenness and epigenetic aging, with compared to less disadvantaged neighborhoods. These findings underscore the importance of considering neighborhood characteristics and socioeconomic factors in understanding the relationship between greenness and epigenetic aging.



The results of the study provide valuable insights into the associations between urban greenness and epigenetic aging. The observed relationship between greater greenness and slower epigenetic aging suggests that urban green spaces have the potential to promote healthy aging and mitigate the effects of biological aging processes. This aligns with previous research highlighting the benefits of green spaces for cardiovascular health, mental well-being, and overall mortality reduction.

However, it is crucial to acknowledge and address the existing inequalities in greenness exposure. The findings also highlighted the greenness gap between racial groups, with Black participants experiencing lower levels of greenness compared to their white counterparts. This highlights the need for equitable distribution of green spaces and environmental resources to ensure that all communities can access the health benefits they provide.

Neighborhood deprivation, characterized by lower socioeconomic status and limited resources, may exacerbate the impact of environmental exposures on health outcomes. Recently at our event 'Where the Shade hits the Pavement' Dr. Kim Loo spoke about the link between lack of environmental exposure and the health effects of at risk people and why efforts should be directed toward promoting green infrastructure and urban planning strategies that prioritize the creation and maintenance of green spaces in disadvantaged areas.

Overall, the study contributes to the growing body of evidence supporting the role of urban greenness in healthy aging. By understanding the complex interplay between greenness, epigenetic aging, and social determinants of health, we can inform policies and interventions aimed at creating more equitable and sustainable urban environments that promote the well-being of all individuals.

Read the full report.


Key Takeaways

Inequalities in Urban Greenness and Epigenetic Aging:

  • The study examines the association between 20-year exposure to greenness and epigenetic aging in a large, biracial (Black/white), U.S. urban cohort.
  • Greater greenness is associated with slower epigenetic aging.
  • Black participants have less surrounding greenness and a weaker association between greenness and epigenetic aging compared to white participants.
  • Participants in disadvantaged neighborhoods show a stronger association between greenness and epigenetic aging compared to those in less disadvantaged neighborhoods.
  • Urban green space provides critical ecosystem services and potential benefits to healthy aging, including better cardiovascular health and lower mortality.
  • Long-term exposure to greenness has a relationship with slower epigenetic aging, with different associations observed based on race and neighborhood socioeconomic status.

The study suggests that greenness exposure in urban areas is associated with slower epigenetic aging, but the relationship varies by race and neighborhood socioeconomic status. Black participants and those in disadvantaged neighborhoods experience lower levels of surrounding greenness and have attenuated associations between greenness and epigenetic aging. Understanding these inequalities and their implications can help inform efforts to reduce disparities in greenness exposure and promote equitable access to the health benefits of urban green spaces.

5 Reasons You Need a Tree Guard.

tree guard jpg trees in urban areas Citygreen

Trees play a vital role in our environment, providing numerous benefits such as shade, cleaner air, and improved aesthetics. As caretakers of these green wonders, it is essential to ensure their well-being and protection. Citygreen has had the privilege of working closely with trees across the world, witnessing their ability to transform ordinary urban spaces into captivating landscapes that improve the space for everyone involved. Throughout our 30 years, one constant remain: the undeniable importance of protecting and nurturing our precious arboreal companions.

Below we will detail the top 5 reasons you should use a tree guard:

Protection against External Factors

Picture a bustling urban environment where trees stand tall amidst the concrete jungle. Unfortunately, they often face risks of physical damage due to human activity. In our projects, we have seen how tree guards serve as silent protectors, shielding trees from unintentional impacts and acts of vandalism. Their robust presence not only deters potential harm but also preserves the aesthetic integrity of the surrounding landscape.

Below is an example of the Bellview Tree Guard designed by Citygreen that protected a growing tree from a car collision in Ottawa.

Example of a tree guard protecting a tree against a car collision

Prevention of Pest and Animal Damage

Nature’s critters pose a significant threat to young and vulnerable trees. We have encountered instances where tree guards acted as a formidable barrier, preventing unwanted pests and animals from nibbling on tender bark or disturbing delicate root systems. By providing a deterrent, tree guards help foster healthy growth, ensuring that young trees thrive in their early stages of development.

Enhancing Tree Growth and Health

Tree guards provide support against strong winds, reducing the risk of windthrow (uprooting) in young or newly planted trees. The guard acts as a windbreak, allowing the tree to establish a stronger root system and develop stability, which is crucial for long-term growth..

Related: Do Healthy Trees need High Quality Soil?

Additionally, they act as a shield against aggressive weed competition, enabling trees to absorb essential nutrients and water without hinderance.

Safety and Liability Considerations

Safety is a crucial aspect when it comes to urban trees. The risk of falling branches or other tree-related hazards can have serious consequences. Through our experience, we have witnessed how strategically placed tree guards minimize potential dangers, ensuring the well-being of pedestrians and safeguarding nearby properties.

By proactively addressing safety concerns, tree guards alleviate liabilities that may arise from unforeseen accidents.

pavement uplift can cause serious safety and insurance liability issues for businesses and councils.
Pavement uplift can cause serious safety and insurance liability issues for businesses and councils.

Aesthetics and Tree Care Awareness

Beyond their functional role, tree guards contribute to the visual allure of our urban landscapes. They provide a harmonious blend of practicality and beauty, creating a sense of cohesion and orderliness. Moreover, these guards serve as a tangible reminder of the importance of tree care and conservation, sparking curiosity and conversations among passersby. They become ambassadors, igniting an appreciation for our arboreal companions and inspiring a collective effort towards their preservation.

Having worked closely with trees and witnessed their transformative power in our built environment, We firmly believe that tree guards are indispensable tools in your quest to protect and nurture these magnificent living organisms. Tree guards offer a holistic solution, addressing various concerns such as protection, growth enhancement, safety, aesthetics, and awareness.

Let us embrace the power of tree guards and ensure a flourishing future for our urban forests and the communities they enrich.

See our range of Tree Guards here.

How Much Soil So Street Trees Need?

How much soil do street trees need? It's a question that frequently arises in the workshops we conduct around the world.

Striking the perfect balance is essential to provide street trees with the optimal conditions for their growth, including ample nutrients, sufficient space for root expansion, and effective water drainage. In order to fully comprehend the requirements of soil and the intricate interactions occurring underground, several crucial aspects deserve our attention.

Let's explore the key considerations when it comes to soil and the vital role it plays in supporting healthy and thriving street trees.

Root Zone Protection

Tree roots will explore looking for water, nutrients and space for growth. As long as there is adequate moisture, nutrients and oxygen they will extend far beyond the canopy area. Compaction and damage to the root zone can severely impact a tree's health and longevity. Implementing measures like root barriers, and tree grates can help preserve the critical root zone and promote the overall well-being of street trees.

Soil cells like Citygreen Stratavault are purposely designed to house high quality uncompacted soil and tree roots under urban environments like roads, and pavements. Soil cells offer the tree ideal underground growing conditions while ensuring the tree roots are contained to avoid impacting surrounding urban infrastructure.

Related: How Tree Roots Behave
workers installing a tree in a soil cells stratavault

Soil Composition

The composition of soil plays a crucial role in supporting tree growth. It should strike a balance between water-holding capacity and drainage. Soil should be well-draining to prevent waterlogging and root rot, yet retain enough moisture for trees to access during dry periods. The right mix of organic matter, minerals, and proper pH levels is essential for optimal tree health.

Existing Utilities

Careful planning and coordination is necessary to ensure that tree planting and root growth do not interfere with or damage existing underground services. Conducting thorough site assessments and consulting with utility providers can help identify potential conflicts and allow for the implementation of tree-friendly solutions.  Read about a recent tree retrofitting we did here.


vlcsnap 2023 06 22 11h23m16s243 trees in urban areas Citygreen

Soil Compaction

Soil Compaction hinders the tree's ability to establish a robust root system due to having to waste so much energy moving through the highly compacted soil, leading to stunted growth, nutrient deficiencies, and increased vulnerability to pests and diseases. Implementing strategies to alleviate soil compaction, such as aeration techniques and proper soil management practices, is crucial for maintaining healthy street trees and promoting their long-term vitality.



high quality soil being put in soil cells to provide the tree with adequate soil compact for optimal growth

How Citygreen tackles all these issues

Citygreen's comprehensive approach to urban tree planting and green infrastructure brings over 30 years of experience into providing effective solutions. Our range of soil cells, trees grates, stormwater management, tree guying, and tree protection solutions guarantees we have the solution to any urban tree problem.

Contact our team to discuss how we can help you plant more trees in your next Urban Project.


urban street tree installed in road

How does Urban Heat Impact Vulnerable People?

Temp gun showing the difference in urban heat

In this article, we delve into the intricate relationship between urban heat and vulnerable populations, shedding light on how extreme heat events disproportionately affect those who are already marginalized. Vulnerable populations encompass a diverse range of individuals, including low-income communities, the elderly, children, and others with limited resources or specific vulnerabilities. These groups face unique challenges when it comes to coping with the intensified heat in urban areas, making it imperative to explore the negative aspects of urban heat’s impact on their lives.

What is Urban Heat?

Often referred to as the urban heat island (UHI) effect, is a phenomenon that has become increasingly prevalent in our rapidly urbanizing world. It occurs when urban areas experience significantly higher temperatures than their surrounding rural areas due to various human activities and modifications to the environment. Urban heat is primarily driven by factors such as the concentration of buildings, concrete surfaces reflecting heat, and reduced green spaces and trees in cities.

Related: How to lower Urban Heat with Tree Canopy.

Why is Urban Heat an Issue?

The significance of urban heat extends far beyond the discomfort of sweltering summer days. It has emerged as a pressing concern with multifaceted implications, touching on areas ranging from public health to environmental sustainability. As global temperatures continue to rise due to climate change, urban heat exacerbates the challenges faced by cities and their residents. Understanding its impacts, especially on vulnerable populations, is crucial for building resilient and equitable communities.

What are the Negative Impacts of Urban Heat?

Urban heat, while an avoidable consequence of urbanization, brings with it a host of negative consequences that cannot be ignored. In this section, we delve into two primary aspects of the negative impact of urban heat: health implications and environmental consequences.

Health Implications of Urban Heat

  1. Increased Risk of Heat-Related Illnesses: Urban heat creates a hazardous environment, particularly during heatwaves. The elevated temperatures can lead to a surge in heat-related illnesses, including heat exhaustion and heatstroke. Vulnerable populations, such as the elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions, face heightened risks. The negative effects on human health can be severe, sometimes even fatal.
  2. Impact on Vulnerable Groups: Vulnerable groups within urban areas are disproportionately affected by the health risks posed by urban heat. Elderly individuals, who often have reduced heat tolerance and limited mobility, find themselves at greater risk. Similarly, children are more susceptible to heat-related illnesses, and the inability to access air conditioning in many low-income neighborhoods exacerbates their vulnerability.

We recently held an event on the impacts on urban heat in Penrith which in 2020 was recorded as the hottest place on earth reaching a sweltering 48.9C . We invited General Practitioner Dr. Kim Loo from ‘Doctors for the Environment‘ out to speak about the social and medical impacts lack of trees and greenery were having on her patients out in Western Sydney.

Environmental Consequences of Urban Heat

Stress on Urban Ecosystems: Urban heat exacerbates the stress on already fragile urban ecosystems. Elevated temperatures can damage vegetation and urban green spaces, leading to reduced biodiversity and aesthetic degradation. These effects undermine the capacity of cities to provide green areas for recreation and to mitigate the urban heat island effect

Aggravation of Air Pollution: Urban heat exacerbates another urban challenge: air pollution. Higher temperatures can increase the formation of ground-level ozone, a major component of smog, and can intensify the emissions of pollutants from vehicles and industrial sources. This combination of heat and pollution further deteriorates air quality, posing serious health risks to urban residents.

Understanding the negative consequences of urban heat is essential to formulating effective strategies for mitigating its impact on vulnerable populations. As we proceed, we will explore how these challenges can be addressed through various initiatives and interventions at both the community and policy levels.

Vulnerable Populations and Urban Heat

Urban heat doesn’t discriminate, but its effects are disproportionately felt by certain segments of the population. In this section, we delve into the specific vulnerabilities of different groups and examine how urban heat impacts their daily lives.

Low-Income Communities

  1. Lack of Access to Air Conditioning: For many low-income households in urban areas, access to air conditioning is a luxury they cannot afford. This lack of access means that during extreme heat events, residents must endure dangerously high indoor temperatures, putting their health and well-being at risk. As a negative consequence, energy bills can skyrocket when individuals do use air conditioning, leading to financial strain.
  2. Limited Green Spaces: Low-income neighborhoods often lack green spaces and tree cover, which can act as natural coolants. The absence of parks and greenery leaves residents with fewer options for seeking refuge from the heat. These communities are disproportionately exposed to the urban heat island effect, exacerbating the challenges they face during heatwaves.

Elderly Population

  1. Health Risks Due to Reduced Heat Tolerance The elderly are particularly vulnerable to the negative impacts of urban heat due to reduced heat tolerance. As people age, their bodies become less efficient at regulating temperature, making them more susceptible to heat-related illnesses such as heat exhaustion and heatstroke. The lack of climate-controlled environments can pose serious risks to their well-being.
  2. Social Isolation During Heatwaves During extreme heat events, elderly individuals may be reluctant to leave their homes, leading to social isolation. This isolation can have adverse effects on mental and physical health. Connecting with support systems becomes challenging when venturing outside is uncomfortable or even dangerous.

Children and Schools

  1. Impact on Learning Environments Schools are not immune to the effects of urban heat. Increased temperatures can create uncomfortable and distracting learning environments for students. Concentrating on studies becomes difficult when classrooms lack proper cooling, impacting the educational experiences of children.
  2. Heat-Related School Closures In some cases, extreme heat can lead to the closure of schools, disrupting the routines of both students and parents. Such closures can result in lost instructional time and place an additional burden on parents who may need to arrange for alternative childcare during these closures.
  3. Children and Babies: Children and babies are especially vulnerable to heat due to being unable to effectively protect themselves from the heat without assistance. From a combination of physiological factors, limited coping mechanisms, and their inability to effectively protect themselves from extreme heat.

Understanding how urban heat uniquely affects these vulnerable populations is essential for crafting targeted interventions and policies aimed at mitigating the disparities in heat-related risks and impacts. In the following sections, we will explore strategies and initiatives that can help alleviate these challenges and create more equitable and resilient urban environments.

Case Study: Urban Heat Islands a Huge Problem

South Australia is notoriously hot but some parts of Adelaide are sweltering more than ever. Not surprisingly, these are the suburbs that contain “urban heat islands” leading to higher than average temperatures compared to neighbouring suburbs. You may think what difference does a few degrees make? Well, as it turns out, a lot – with these suburbs often coinciding with higher levels of vulnerability, including illness and death, especially amongst the elderly.

Former aged care worker Wendy Farmilo, 75, lives in Tranmere near Campbelltown in suburban Adelaide — an area overrun with urban heat islands. Ms Farmilo said because of cooling measures she has put in place she has managed to avoid the full brunt of the weather but is urging others to take precautions. “Older people do not drink enough water, they get dehydrated… they feel if they drink too much they might have a bladder problem,” she said.

According to a report prepared by consultancy firm Edge South Australia, nearly all of the heat islands in Ms Farmilo’s council are also home to society’s most vulnerable. “Urban heat is one of the biggest killers of people in our community, more so than any other natural hazard,” Edge SA General Manager Dr Mark Siebentritt said. “One of the big strategies we can use to tackle that is the planting of more trees. Councils right around South Australia are planting more trees than ever before.”

Landscape Architect and green space advocate Daniel Bennett said boosting tree cover would reduce heat, as well as improving “mental and physical wellbeing. Increasing the city’s connected tree canopy is one way to achieve a reduction in local temperatures as well as reducing the urban heat island effect.”

One thing is clear – as temperatures continue to soar, urban trees are not just a nice-to-have. They’re literally a matter of life and death.

Elderly resident suffering from heat island effect


How do we Reduce the Urban Heat Island?

Reducing the impact of urban heat is a multipronged approach with the potential to enhance urban livability, improve public health, mitigate climate change, and foster greater resilience in our cities.

Increasing the number of parks, green roofs, and urban vegetation can significantly reduce the UHI effect. Trees and plants provide shade and release moisture through a process called transpiration, which cools the surrounding air. This helps create a more comfortable microclimate and reduces the heat absorbed by concrete and asphalt surfaces.

Positive 2: Enhanced Aesthetics and Quality of Life

Expanding green spaces not only mitigates the UHI but also enhances the aesthetics and quality of life in urban areas. Parks and greenery provide recreational opportunities, improve air quality, and create more pleasant and inviting environments for residents and visitors.

The increased planting of trees in urban areas are a key warrior in the fight against urban heat. Trees Provide a wide range of environmental, medical, and social benefits to their surroundings

Positive Strategy 2: Cool Roof Initiatives and Reflective Surfaces

Positive 1: Reduced Heat Absorption

Cool roof initiatives involve using reflective materials or coatings on roofs to reduce heat absorption. These roofs reflect more sunlight and absorb less heat, helping to lower temperatures in urban areas. This can be particularly effective in reducing indoor temperatures and energy consumption in buildings.

Positive 2: Energy Efficiency and Cost Savings

Cool roofs can lead to significant energy savings by reducing the need for air conditioning during hot weather. This not only lowers electricity bills for building owners but also decreases the overall energy demand in cities, contributing to sustainability goals and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Tackling Urban Heat in Practice

To see how local governments are combating the impact of urban watch Sustainability and Resilience Coordinator Belinda Atkins from Penrith City Council talk about their ‘Cooling the City’ Strategy and the people first outlook they have when tackling urban heat.

What is Structural Soil?

Structural soil is used in the world of urban landscaping, particularly for urban tree-planting projects. With its unique composition, structural soil plays a crucial role in providing a supportive environment for tree roots to thrive in challenging urban environments. 

Structural soil is a specially engineered soil mixture designed for two distinct purposes;

  1. Provide a solid structural foundation for the surrounding urban infrastructure.
  2. Give trees access to nutrient soil in tricky urban environments.

Structural soil is not your typical soil blend— It’s made up of 80% gap-graded materials (crushed stones, etc) and 20% soil. Structural soil is generally compacted under a pavement system like a road or footpath to give structural support, creating minimal void spaces to ensure strength for the above and surrounding infrastructure.

the difference in soil volume in structural soil vs a soil vault

Difference in soil volume between structural soil & a soil vault

As highlighted in the graphic above the 'void space' highlights the space available for soil that trees can actually use. When comparing Structural soil to soil vault systems(soil cells) such as Stratavault we see the dramatic difference in available soil. This is one of the key reasons soil vault systems grow high-quality and larger trees in a shorter time.

Is Compacted Soil Good for Tree Growth?

No, Tree roots will only grow where they have access to nutrients and water. Compacted soil is detrimental to tree root systems due to the lack of void space. Void space in soil allows for water and oxygen to trickle down and feed the tree roots. Void space is also needed for tree roots to grow and explore, in highly compacted soil conditions the tree root has to expend extra energy to push through the compacted soil in search for water and nutrients.


Structural Soil Benefits

Structural soil was once the standard for planting trees in urban environments due to its ability to sustain healthy tree growth in challenging urban conditions when compared to fully compacted soil used in urban settings. By providing a stable foundation and ample room for root expansion, it allows trees to establish themselves, withstand urban stresses like foot traffic and compacted soils, and ultimately thrive in environments where traditional compacted soil fall short.

Here are some key advantages:

  1. Enhanced Root Growth: Structural soil provides an ideal environment for root development. The larger coarse components in the soil create open spaces that allow roots to penetrate and expand, promoting healthy root growth. This leads to stronger, more stable trees that can better withstand environmental stresses.
  2. Improved Soil Drainage: Traditional compacted soils in urban areas often suffer from poor drainage, leading to waterlogged conditions that are detrimental to tree health. Structural soil, with its coarse composition, facilitates better water drainage, preventing excess water from accumulating around the roots. This helps prevent root rot and ensures a well-aerated root zone.
  3. Somewhat Increased Soil Volume: Urban spaces are typically limited in soil volume available for tree roots. Structural soil addresses this challenge by providing a higher volume of soil in a given area. The combination of coarse and fine components allows for a greater amount of soil within the same space, providing more room for root expansion and nutrient uptake.
  4. Soil Compaction: Urban areas often experience soil compaction due to heavy foot traffic and construction activities. This compaction restricts root growth and limits the availability of oxygen and water. Structural soil, designed to mitigate total compaction, helps reduce the issue by maintaining its structural integrity even under pressure.
  5. Longevity and Sustainability: Structural soil is engineered to be durable and long-lasting, providing a stable growing medium for trees over an extended period. Its composition promotes long-term soil health and reduces the need for frequent soil replacement. This sustainable approach contributes to the overall longevity and sustainability of urban landscapes.

By utilizing structural soil for urban tree planting, city planners, landscape architects, and arborists can create better outcome from trees when compared to the traditional way trees of planting trees in urban settings. 

sidewalk tree being installed in structural soil

Types of Soil used in Urban Settings

When it comes to structural soil, there are various types available, each with its own unique characteristics and applications. Understanding the different options can help you make an informed decision based on the specific needs of your urban planting project. Let's explore some of the common types of structural soil:

  1. Engineered Structural Soil: Engineered structural soil is a specially designed blend of coarse aggregate materials, such as crushed stone or gravel, combined with soil components. It is engineered to provide both structural support and ample soil volume for tree root growth. This type of structural soil is often used in sidewalk planters, tree pits, and other confined urban spaces.
  2. Manufactured Soil Mixes: Manufactured soil mixes are custom-blended soil formulations that incorporate specific proportions of sand, compost, loam, and other organic materials. These mixes are designed to meet the requirements of urban tree planting, offering improved drainage, nutrient availability, and root penetration. Manufactured soil mixes are often used in larger-scale landscape projects where more flexibility in soil composition is desired.

Factors such as space constraints, project requirements, and desired outcomes will influence your choice. Consulting with landscape professionals or arborists can provide valuable guidance in determining the ideal structural soil solution for your specific needs.

How to Successfully Install Trees

Proper installation is crucial for creating a supportive environment that promotes healthy root growth and long-term tree vitality. Here are some practical tips to guide you through the installation process:

  1. Site Preparation: Before installing structural soil, it is essential to prepare the planting site properly. Start by removing any existing pavement, debris, or compacted soil that may hinder root growth. Excavate the area to the recommended depth, ensuring sufficient space for the structural soil and the tree's root ball.
  2. Soil Layering: When installing structural soil, it is common to layer it with different materials to maximize its effectiveness. Begin with a layer of uncompacted gravel or crushed stone at the bottom of the planting hole. This layer serves as a drainage system, preventing water from accumulating around the tree's roots. Above the gravel layer, add the structural soil mixture, ensuring it is evenly distributed and adequately compacted.
  3. Root Ball Integration: During the installation process, it is crucial to properly integrate the tree's root ball with the surrounding structural soil. Gently place the tree in the center of the excavated hole, making sure the root collar is at or slightly above the surrounding grade. Gradually backfill the hole with the structural soil mixture, firmly but not excessively compacting it around the roots. Be careful not to damage or disturb the roots during this process.
  4. Mulching and Watering: Once the structural soil and tree are properly installed, apply a layer of organic mulch around the base of the tree. Mulch helps retain moisture, suppresses weed growth, and regulates soil temperature. Be sure to leave a small space around the tree trunk to prevent moisture buildup. After mulching, thoroughly water the tree to settle the soil and provide initial hydration. Follow recommended watering practices to ensure the tree receives adequate moisture during its establishment period.
  5. Ongoing Care and Maintenance: After installation, ongoing care and maintenance are crucial for the long-term health of the tree. Regularly monitor soil moisture levels and adjust watering accordingly. Implement a proper pruning and fertilization regimen to support tree growth and vitality. Conduct periodic inspections to identify any signs of stress, disease, or pest infestation, and take prompt action as needed.

By following these installation guidelines and providing ongoing care, you can optimize the benefits of structural soil and create an environment where trees can thrive in urban settings. Remember, the establishment period is critical for the tree's survival, so attentiveness and proactive maintenance in the beginning stages of it's planting are key.

Growth Comparison using Stratavault for soil and roots

Growth Comparison of the same tree using Stratavault soil cell system.

The Future of Soil for Urban Tree Planting

While Structural soil brings a multitude of benefits to urban tree planting projects it is no longer the best way to support healthy tree growth in hardscape urban environments. Soil Vault systems (soil cells) are a new technology rising in popularity around the world and case studies of plantings are starting to show the growth and environmental benefits using a soil vault system such as Stratavault have on improving the outcomes of trees in urban spaces. It's matrix design contribute to the long-term health and vitality of trees in challenging urban environments.

What are the significant advantages that soil vault systems provide:

  1. Enhanced Root Growth: One of the primary benefits of soil vaults is its ability to promote robust root growth. The open structure and ample void space within the soil matrix allow tree roots to penetrate deeply and spread extensively. This leads to stronger root systems, improved stability, and enhanced nutrient and water uptake.
  2. Reduced Soil Compaction: Urban environments often suffer from soil compaction due to heavy foot traffic, construction activities, and vehicle loads. soil vault systems addresse this issue by offering a low-compaction solution that supports healthy root growth. The 100% recycled engineered matrix design takes the structural load of the above infrastructure(not the soil or tree), providing a supportive environment for trees to establish and thrive.
  3. Improved Drainage: Proper drainage is essential for preventing waterlogged soil, which can be detrimental to tree health and can result in tree death. Soil Vaults systems are designed to include a layer of compacted gravel or crushed stone with supported drainage under the vault. When water enters the soil vault to nourish the tree, any excess water will flow out from the bottom of the vault and be directed into the supported drainage. This excess water can then be channeled into the city's infrastructure or nearby irrigation systems.
  4. Ample Soil Volume: Urban tree planting often faces space constraints, with limited soil volume available for root growth. Soil vault systems such as Stratavault solves this problem by providing a calculated soil volume within a structural matrix. The increased soil volume offers more room for root expansion and nutrient absorption, promoting healthier and more vigorous tree root growth.
  5. Longevity and Durability: Soil Vault Systems are designed to withstand the rigors of urban settings and has excellent longevity and durability. The engineered structural matrix ensures stability and strength, even under heavy traffic or pedestrian loads. This means that trees planted in soil vaults with adequate maintenance tree programs can thrive for an extended period, providing long-lasting beauty, shade, and environmental benefits.
  6. Stormwater Management: Another noteworthy benefit of soil vault systems are their contribution to stormwater management. The soil vault structure allows for the infiltration and storage of rainwater, reducing runoff and helping to mitigate urban flooding by ensuring that the water is used in the environment that it fell. This environmentally friendly feature promotes sustainable water management and supports the overall health of urban ecosystems while also reducing the burden on city infrastructure in a cost effective way.
  7. Flexibility and Adaptability: Soil Vault Systems are a versatile solution that can be customized to meet the specific requirements of different tree species and project site conditions. As soil vaults such as stratavault are modular it can be tailored to accommodate variations in project space, drainage needs, and root space requirements. This adaptability makes it suitable for a wide range of urban planting scenarios, from streetscapes and sidewalks to plazas and parks.

By harnessing the benefits of soil vaults, urban tree planting projects can overcome the challenges associated with limited space, soil compaction, and inadequate drainage.

Related Case Study: ROI of Planting Street Trees

Stratavault structural soil option for installing trees in urban environments to grow faster

Stratavault: Leading Soil Cell System Worldwide

Factors That Influence Structure Grade of Soil

Soil's structural grade is a critical factor that determines its ability to support healthy plant growth and overall ecosystem vitality. Whether it's in urban gardens or rural landscapes, the soil's structural grade influences water retention, drainage, aeration, and nutrient availability. A well-balanced soil structure fosters strong root development and contributes to the long-term sustainability of plants.

Several factors influence the structure grade of soil. These include:

  1. Organic Matter Content: The presence of organic matter, such as compost or decomposed plant material, greatly influences soil structure. Organic matter helps create aggregates or clumps within the soil, improving its overall structure and porosity.
  2. Particle Size Distribution: The distribution of different-sized soil particles affects the soil's ability to form aggregates. A balanced mixture of sand, silt, and clay particles can enhance the soil's structure by creating spaces for air and water movement.
  3. Soil Compaction: Soil compaction, caused by human activities or natural processes, can negatively impact structure grade. Compacted soil lacks pore space, restricting the movement of air, water, and root growth. It is essential to address soil compaction issues before planting trees to ensure optimal structure grade.
  4. Soil Moisture: The moisture content of soil plays a role in structure grade. Excessive moisture can lead to soil compaction, reducing pore space and affecting overall structure. On the other hand, adequately moist soil promotes the development of desirable soil aggregates.

Impact of Soil Structure Grade on Tree Health and Growth

Trees planted in soils with optimal structure grades are better equipped to establish strong root systems, access essential nutrients, and effectively manage water. Conversely, poor soil structure can hinder root development, leading to inadequate nutrient uptake and compromised water drainage.

The structure grade of soil significantly influences tree health and growth. Here are some key impacts:

  1. Root Penetration: Soil with a favorable structure grade allows tree roots to penetrate deeply and spread widely. This enables the roots to access essential nutrients, water, and oxygen, supporting healthy root development and overall tree vitality.
  2. Water Drainage: Soil with good structure grade facilitates proper water drainage. It prevents waterlogging, which can lead to root suffocation and the development of root diseases. Effective drainage ensures a healthy balance of soil moisture, promoting optimal tree growth.
  3. Nutrient Availability: Well-structured soil provides a favorable environment for nutrient availability and uptake. The presence of aggregates allows roots to explore a larger soil volume, accessing a greater pool of nutrients essential for tree growth and development.
  4. Soil Aeration: Adequate soil structure promotes air circulation within the root zone, ensuring sufficient oxygen supply to tree roots. Oxygen is vital for various physiological processes, and a well-aerated soil environment supports healthy root respiration.

By understanding the concept of structure grade in soil and its significance, tree planters can make informed decisions when selecting and preparing soil for tree planting projects. 

While understanding structural soil is key to promoting healthy tree growth in urban environments. By incorporating the right soil composition and ensuring an optimal structure grade, we can provide trees with the necessary conditions for ideal root development, efficient water drainage, nutrient availability, and adequate soil aeration. The use of soil vault systems, such as the Citygreen soil vault system, offers innovative solutions that improve the quality of urban tree outcomes and contribute to the long-term success of tree planting projects.

Remember, when working with structural soil, consider the specific needs of the tree species, the requirements of the project, and the site conditions. Adjusting the soil ingredient mixture accordingly and following a performance-based approach to soil specification can yield excellent results. Addressing factors such as organic matter content, particle size distribution, soil compaction, and moisture levels can greatly influence the structure grade and overall health of the trees.

By prioritizing the use of quality soils and implementing innovative support structures, create sustainable urban landscapes that benefit both the environment and the community. Investing in the health of our street trees and urban forests not only beautifies our surroundings but also contributes to cleaner air, improved stormwater management, and enhanced quality of life.

Book a Consult with our team to learn how you can use a soil vault in your project.

Why is Tree Canopy Important for Cities?


Understanding the Importance of Tree Canopy

Tree canopy plays a vital role in enhancing urban environments and contributing to the well-being of cities and their residents. It serves as a critical link between the natural and built environments, seamlessly integrating the benefits of nature into the urban fabric. By understanding and appreciating the significance of tree canopy, we unlock a multitude of advantages that extend far beyond their mere visual appeal.

Explore the significance of tree canopy and its numerous benefits in terms of environmental, social, and economic aspects.

Related Article: The Ultimate Guide on How to Plant Trees in Urban Areas

green square library

Green Square Library in Sydney, Australia

Environmental Benefits of Tree Canopy

Tree canopy provides numerous environmental benefits that contribute to a more sustainable urban ecosystem. Firstly, trees act as natural air purifiers, filtering harmful pollutants and improving air quality. Through the process of photosynthesis, they absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen, helping to mitigate the impact of greenhouse gases and combat climate change.

Additionally, trees provide natural shade, reducing the urban heat island effect and helping to lower temperatures in built-up areas. They act as a natural cooling mechanism, reducing the need for energy-intensive air conditioning and lowering energy consumption.

Trees also play a vital role in water management. Their roots absorb rainwater and help prevent soil erosion, reducing the risk of flooding and stormwater runoff. They act as natural sponges, retaining water, clean soil, cooling the area around them by perspiration through their leaves and replenishing groundwater reserves.

Social Benefits of Trees

The presence of tree canopy has significant social benefits that enhance the quality of life in urban areas. One of the most noticeable benefits is the aesthetic appeal that trees bring to our cities. They soften the harshness of concrete landscapes, adding natural beauty and a sense of tranquility. The sight of vibrant green leaves and colorful blooms uplifts our spirits and creates a welcoming environment for residents and visitors alike.

Trees also contribute to improved mental health and well-being. Studies have shown that spending time in nature, even in urban settings, can reduce stress, boost mood, and enhance cognitive function. The presence of tree canopy provides a natural escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, offering a peaceful retreat where people can relax, rejuvenate, and reconnect with nature.

Furthermore, trees foster a sense of community and social cohesion. They create gathering spaces and opportunities for outdoor activities, such as picnics, concerts, and recreational sports. These communal spaces foster social interactions, strengthen community bonds, and promote a sense of belonging.

Economic Benefits of Trees

Beyond their environmental and social contributions, tree canopy also brings significant economic benefits to urban areas. Trees have been shown to increase property values, with shaded streets and neighborhoods attracting higher real estate prices. They create desirable living environments and enhance the attractiveness of commercial districts, attracting businesses and customers.

Moreover, trees provide cost savings through their energy-saving properties. By providing shade and reducing the demand for air conditioning, they help reduce energy consumption and lower utility bills for both residential and commercial properties.

Trees also contribute to improved retail experiences. Studies have shown that shoppers tend to spend more time and money in areas with tree-lined streets, as the presence of greenery creates a more pleasant and inviting shopping environment.

Understanding the importance of tree canopy is crucial for creating sustainable and livable cities. Its environmental, social, and economic benefits make it an essential element of urban planning. By prioritizing the preservation and expansion of tree canopy, we can create healthier, more resilient, and enjoyable urban environments for present and future generations.

Here at Citygreen we focus on delivering more tree canopy cities and urban environments. Read our latest success stories here

Tree Grates & Cities: WHAT TO KNOW

Cast Iron Tree Grates Avon

When you think of trees, images of the picturesque autumnal colours of an oak tree, or the breathtaking size of mature redwoods, come to mind. Trees give us as individuals a lot of joy and beauty, but in cityscapes, trees, if not managed currently, can be dangerous. Tree-related pedestrian injuries are much more common than you think and can result in costly settlements.

Tree roots like meandering outside their designated rooting zone looking for water or nutrients, causing all sorts of damage ranging from pavement cracking to underground water pipe breakages.

Tree grates are one method to manage trees in cityscapes safely. If properly installed, tree grates essentially protect trees from pedestrians and pedestrians from trees. Tree grates are often categorized as a root management product, as they help to ensure tree roots stay in their intended rooting areas. Placed over the tree roots and around the tree trunk, grates have two primary purposes.

Related: Top Products for Tree Root Management.

Number one, to avoid soil compaction to allow for healthy tree growth, and number two, to ensure that the tree’s roots do not impact the surrounding pavements. With tree root protection underneath the grate, pedestrians are less likely to be tripped up by protruding roots. The tree grates also provide a more levelled surface, preventing pedestrian injury.

At Citygreen, we have developed a wide range of grates that will make cities greener and safer.

The Invisigrate™ is a pave-over grille, allowing the surrounding pavement to continue up to the tree trunk. This method eliminates any trip or slip hazards pedestrians often encounter and gives a clean style to the pavement.

This sub-surface grille can still incorporate all the essential irrigation inlets and checkpoints into the pavement. The benefit of this grate is that it allows designers to continue their choice of paving over the tree pit area for a more stylish and effortless finish.

The grate also has built-in tree irrigation/ventilation inlets and a removable inner section that allows tree growth.

tree grates installed in Sydney Australia

How do tree-related pedestrian injuries impact urban areas?

Tree-related pedestrian injuries are not only a safety concern but also a significant financial burden for urban areas. When pedestrians trip over protruding roots or encounter uneven pavement caused by tree roots, it can lead to injuries and subsequent legal liabilities for the city. These injuries result in costly settlements, which can strain the city’s budget and resources.

How do tree grates prevent soil compaction and ensure healthy tree growth?

Tree grates play a crucial role in preventing soil compaction by distributing the weight of foot traffic, vehicles, or other urban elements. This weight distribution helps maintain a healthier root system, allowing trees to access essential nutrients and water from the soil. This, in turn, promotes healthier and more robust tree growth.

What advantages do tree grates offer in terms of pedestrian safety and avoiding pavement damage?

Tree grates offer several advantages related to pedestrian safety and pavement protection. By covering the tree roots and creating a level surface, they prevent tripping hazards caused by protruding roots. Additionally, they safeguard pavements from cracking or upheaval due to root growth, ensuring a safer walking environment.

How do Citygreen’s range of tree grates contribute to greener and safer cities?

Citygreen offers a range of innovative tree grates, including the Invisigrate™. This unique solution contributes to greener and safer cities by allowing pavement to continue seamlessly around tree trunks. The Invisigrate™ eliminates trip and slip hazards, enhances pavement aesthetics, and maintains essential irrigation and ventilation for healthy tree growth.

What features and benefits does the Invisigrate™ provide, especially regarding its design and functionality?

The Invisigrate™ is designed for both aesthetics and functionality. It seamlessly integrates with pavement, eliminating tripping hazards. It also incorporates irrigation and ventilation inlets to support tree health. Its removable inner section encourages tree growth while providing a safe and stylish pavement finish.

Core Benefits

  • Heavy duty recessed tree grille
  • Allows specifiers to continue their choice of paving over the tree pit area
  • Built-in tree irrigation/ventilation inlets
  • Removable inner section allows for tree growth
  • Robust galvanised construction
  • Available in different sizes
  • Available to comply with regular load specifications

Why is it important to strike a balance between protecting trees and ensuring pedestrian safety in urban environments?

Striking a balance between protecting trees and ensuring pedestrian safety is essential for maintaining the character and environmental feel of a city. Trees contribute to urban aesthetics and environmental benefits, but unmanaged tree growth can pose safety risks. Tree grates provide a harmonious solution by safeguarding both trees and pedestrians.

Installing tree grates is a straightforward and effective solution to enhance city safety and environmental sustainability. They offer a practical way to manage tree growth, ensuring pedestrian safety, and preserving the urban tree canopy. By adopting such solutions, cities can achieve their goals of being safer, greener, and more livable.

We can all agree that the protection of trees is vital for retaining a city’s character and environmental feel, but within cityscapes, trees need to be managed for pedestrian safety. Installing tree grates is one easy and effective way of achieving safer, greener, healthier cities.

To learn more about our tree grates products, contact our friendly Citygreen Team.

Load More...

“Great customer service, quick response times and a very in depth QA system with constant support.”

- Laura Wiesenekker, Project Engineer, Densford Civil -

“Citygreen is a very professional  business, and I found everything was great in terms of deliveries, product supply and information. It was all forthcoming and helped us to complete the project.”

- Keith Burns, Architect/Designer, Keith Burns Architect -

“Citygreen offered training and invaluable technical assistance during the works.”

- James Callan, Estimating Manager, Complex Co Pty Ltd -

“Our experience, in working with a Citygreen Design Studio was second to none. We found responses from the design studio to be very timely, and technically thorough. We went backwards and forwards a number of times, looking at different iterations of the design and, nothing was too much trouble to examine and explore different possibilities. I would highly recommend the Citygreen Design Studio to any future client considering using your services.”

- Sandra Smith, Principal Landscape Architect, City Of Monash -

“We are big on compliance on all projects, and the fact that their SmartCertify cloud platform covers all bases, and supports their 20 year warranties, is critical – especially that these pits are being installed under roadways and footpaths.”

- Johny Purkaystha, Civil Program Engineer, Central Coast Council -

"I reviewed all the previous projects that we have installed in the past couple years using your product and I can happily report back that we have 0% mortality in the soil cells, which is incredible!"

- Brendan Wilton, CEO, Trim Landscaping, Bedford, Canada -