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Understanding Growth, Survival, & Maintenance Costs of Newly-established Urban Oak Trees, Produced Using Differing Nursery Methods.

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Principal Investigator/Project Leader: 
Department of Project: 
Department of Environmental Conservation
Project Description: 

There is widespread interest in greening municipalities and increasing urban tree canopy cover, largely through local community-based tree planting initiatives. It is generally estimated that newly-installed  trees require at least 3 or more years before establishment, when they resume pre-transplant growth rates. Most trees installed in the urban environment are dug from the nursery field with a spade, and wrapped in burlap and a metal basket ('balled and burlap' or 'B&B'). There is interest, however, by shade tree committee members and professional urban foresters alike, in planting trees grown using other easier-to-plant systems, including a variety of container-grown (CG, IGF) and bare-root (BR) tree production methods. Trees grown from these production systems, however, must have the potential to grow long-term and reach maturity to offer the numerous values associated with urban trees that include a variety of aesthetic, social, and environmental benefits. This may be a challenge, since urban environments often present very difficult growing conditions that habitually thwart tree growth and survival. Though advances in understanding have been made, empirical data to describe the survival and growth of such trees remains limited, with the preponderance of research considering trees growing in agricultural plots, rather than in urban settings. Since budget constraints are routinely identified as a key limiting factor relative to urban forest management practices, there is also a need for further information concerning the longer-term costs associated with planting and maintaining urban trees.

 

 

 

 

Environmental Conservation topics: 
Trees