Designing with Trees in Mind: Incorporating new trees into site design

Optimal soil structure for tree growth. Image courtesy Urban Forest Innovations Inc.

By Alex Satel, MFC, and Philip van Wassenaer, B.Sc., MFC

Understanding tree requirements for growth and survival is critical to effectively integrate new trees into site design. These requirements must be provided by the tree’s habitat; otherwise, plantings on the site will not achieve their full genetic potential and, as they languish, will result in increased maintenance costs and an ultimately failed landscape and site design.

Three critical factors must be kept in mind when new trees are being incorporated into a site design: above-ground, below-ground, and tree-specific factors.

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