Hardscape vs Softscape“Conflicts between street tree root growth and hardscape are constraining the development of healthy and productive urban forests in California.”

Millions of dollars that could be better spent improving tree health are spent on hardscape repair and damage mitigation. To some extent, these conflicts are also expressed as a “downsizing” of California’s urban forest and a loss of benefits associated with diminished tree canopy cover.

Community foresters make valiant efforts to extend the useful lifespan of problem trees, but conflicts with hardscape often result in the premature removal of trees, which engenders anger and sense of loss among residents. Furthermore, some property owners who are required pay for repairs may refuse replacements, thereby contributing to the loss of canopy and erosion of support for community forestry.”

Journal of Arboriculture 26(6): November 2000