Trees Outperform in Mill Woods Parking Lot
Mill Woods is a purpose-designed community in Edmonton Canada, which showcases successful urban growth achieved via sound principles of social, economic, and physical planning. In 2012, the City of Edmonton partnered with international architecture firm Stantec and Heritage Nurseries of Alberta to create a new parking lot with feature trees for shade and aesthetic appeal.
With an important recreational lake adjacent, the goal was to utilize tree pits that would not only ensure the healthy growth of trees, but also provide a filtered retention area for stormwater which would then be channeled into the nearby lake.
Citygreen consultant Kirsty McIntyre said Citygreen’s Stratacell modules were identified as the ideal solution, “…due to their high load bearing qualities ideal for the parking lot asphalt and large void areas. This application increased the soil volume for the trees and allowed for stormwater retention. Separately, the fact that the modules are made from 100% recycled polymers, a clear environmental advantage, also appealed.”
Not all trees in the parking lot were planted using the Stratacell system, so three years down the track, the benefits experienced by the trees are clear to see. “The results of this project have been excellent. I’ve been monitoring these trees for the past three years and the trees are healthy and establishing well,” says McIntyre.
“There is a noticeable difference in fullness and height comparatively to the trees planted in a soft landscaped area. The soft landscape trees have branches growing in more erratic patterns, and overall do not have a full appearance, probably due to poor drainage and oxygenation as a result of compacted soil. On the other hand, the trees planted using the Stratacell system feature lush, full foliage, and an encouraging uniformity in the branches filling out.”
McIntyre concluded by saying, “This is a clear example of Citygreen working to provide a long-term solution, rather than a short-term fix. The trees speak for themselves, with the nearby lake also benefiting from filtered stormwater.”