ENGINEERING SOLUTIONS FOR GREENER CITIES IN THESE TRYING TIMES – OUR MODULAR ROOT DIRECTOR

In Australia, the Bureau of Meteorology has officially declared that a third La Niña is underway. With this announcement, it is safe that most Australians are looking forward to the eventual return of sunny skies; however, this cannot be said for other citizens around the globe.

The La Niña causing relentless rain for eastern Australia is also driving serve drought conditions in East Africa.

This is because there are ‘cool seas off Africa and warm seas off Australia, leading to rain falling over Australia instead of Africa’ (Deacon, 2022).

As the rains began to fall in Australia shortly after the Black Summer Fires in early 2020, rainfall sadly failed to eventuate in East Africa. This year, the Horn of Africa faces a record fifth failed wet season, which is impacting some of the poorest countries on earth.

The million-dollar question is what can be done about La Niña?

With climate change, these unusual, erratic weather events will be more frequent, and our cities need to be able to adapt.

At Citygreen, we believe that trees can help to alleviate the impacts of climate change, but first, we need to get them in the ground, so they thrive in our communities.

Planting trees in our bustling cities is no easy feat. The idea that you can plant a tree into a sidewalk or verge and hope that it will survive on its own during these erratic weather seasons we now face is an idea that has now been conclusively abandoned.

At Citygreen, we have been developing highly-engineering and researched products for over three decades, enabling trees to thrive and benefit our urban communities as soon as possible.

One of these products goes by the name of the RootDirector – a modular root management device designed to prevent root swirl and divert root growth downward and outward. This encourages profound root growth, which enhances the tree’s growth and overall stability.

Deeper and healthier root growth means the trees can access more subsoil moisture during dry periods. During wet periods, the roots have a greater and deeper span to find available oxygen in waterlogged soils.

Also, if tree roots are not directed downwards, they will grow horizontally and cause issues to other infrastructures like pipes and sidewalks.

At Citygreen, we believe that planting trees using an adequately designed root management system is a small cost compared to the time and labour needed to replant trees after premature death or removal due to infrastructure damage.

For more information download the free digital brochure below.
RootDirector Brochure

Winter Park, Florida Goes Out on a Limb

Winter Park, Florida Goes Out on a Limb:

As with every July, another essential collection of 50-50 matching grants have been issued by the Director of the Florida Forest Service, and the recipients are already endeavoring on essential and compelling projects and initiatives… “to develop or enhance their urban and community forestry programs.”

The City of Winter Park’s Urban Forestry Division was awarded a $20,000 grant, with the city matching those funds.

These essential funds mark the beginning of the third phase of a project to phase out dead or sickly trees with new ones. It is expected that the project’s completion in the Orange County suburb will span across several years.

“The grant was presented to Winter Park for its partial rights of way tree inventory, and this partial inventory will assist the city in managing rights of way maintenance cycles,” as stated in a recent article in the Orlando Centennial.

The Urban Forestry Management Plan confirms, “In 2005, the city hired ArborPro, Inc., a full service urban forestry and software consulting company to perform an inventory of right of way (ROW) trees.” This proactive decision was in part to a devastating hurricane season in 2004, and the canopy is still recovering ten years later. In 2012, a risk assessment study was performed by ArborPro, Inc. on several hundred of those trees.

Fortunately, Winter Park’s Urban Forestry Division seems to be up to the task, and make available for public knowledge their plans and resources on their main webpage. Resources include a robust list of trees ideal for not only creating diversity in the urban canopy, but also the ideal placement of the tree species, such as along streets and sidewalks.

“The city’s urban forest consists of over 75,000 trees on private and public property and there are over 25,000 trees in city rights of way…” and an estimated third of that population will require removal in the next several years. Moving forward, an emphasis will be put on creating more diversity in the tree species, as the tree populace is imbalanced by a majority of mature trees on a decline, making them more susceptible to hurricane damage, disease, and drought.

Though each local community and environment is unique, Winter Park has found the steps towards an attentive, responsible, successful program, and deciding to do so creates a successful future that any urban forest could enjoy.

photo credit . Winter Park, FL – Ebyabe

Ann Arbor Upholds “Tree Town” Nickname

Ann Arbor Upholds “Tree Town” Nickname:

Most towns and cities have something to boast of, or be known by. The “blueberry capital”, the “garden state”, the “city of love” are all examples, and Ann Arbor’s Michigan is no different. Known as “Tree Town” by its residents, Ann Arbor is true to its nickname. The local community’s action plans and efforts in the local forestry is robust.

In the past year, the City Council adopted a new plan for managing the urban forestry. The plan, “provides policy direction and guidance to city staff on efforts to sustainably maintain and expand the city’s tree canopy. It includes 17 recommendations, including monitoring threats to tree health.”With just under 7,000 trees in parks and over 40,000 trees along city streets, an additional one million dollars was invested in the past year to compensate for backlogged tree maintenance. Other challenges, which are shared by other widespread areas across the United States include the emerald ash borer, which “led to the removal of thousands of ash trees. .”

On the positive side, the value of urban forestry proves itself by a landslide, and it’s estimated that, “Ann Arbor’s publicly managed trees provide more than $4.6 million in benefits to the community each year, including reducing stormwater runoff, saving energy, improving air and water quality, and beautifying the city.”

This 146 page document, the Urban and Community Forest Management Plan includes seventeen “specific recommendations,” including, “Recommendation #11: Enhance and develop programs that encourage active participation by volunteers in the development and promotion of a sustainable urban and community forest.” Actions and resources have thus far followed these intentions, and the City of Ann Arbor webpage cites resources including the 2016 Tree Planting Plan. The tree planting begins this fall of 2015 in November, and spring of 2016.

The clear development of plans, resources, education, and a sense of pride all create a success story for the future of Ann Arbor’s urban forestry. It stands that by following this model, and adjusting to each unique urban forest, other cities, towns, and communities could enhance their tree population’s health and longevity as well. Maybe all our cities could strive to be “Tree Towns.”

Detroit Residents Unite for a Greener City

https://www.kaltura.com/index.php/kwidget/wid/0_pis9bds1/uiconf_id/12034901

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