Healthy trees planted in a healthy environment contribute to the short term and long term character, value and usability of green spaces, real estate, and the health of surrounding residents. Usability, attractiveness and effectiveness are visible directly following construction and improves as time passes.
Cities should base their tree regulations on the quality of the trees more than on the quantity of trees planted. When mitigating the loss of existing trees (which has a negative effect on air quality), the canopy area of the removed trees should be compensated, not the number of trees.
Trees with a trunk diameter of 30-35cm (measured 1m from the ground) have a better rate of survival because they are more established and less susceptible to growth disturbance such as diseases, molds, bacteria, and wind. Vandalism is less disruptive to trees with a minimum trunk diameter of 20-25cm. The root ball should also be large, compact and contain some fine roots. The costs of replacing dead trees are high when compared to the price of larger specimens.
The suppliers of plant material should be made aware of the eventual conditions in which the trees will need to survive. The production process should include a period of adaptation (transplanting, etc.) so the plants are not shocked when introduced to their new urban environment.
Plant big quality trees and shrubs in urban areas in order to achieve the desired green result directly after realisation.
|The Integrated Planting Method||The Traditional Forest Thinning Method|
|Designed by Frits Ruyten and tested in the Prins Bernhardbos in The Netherlands, 1999 and later in other locations||Originally used in forests planted for wood production|
|Trees planted: 6-7m height, 2.5 -3m crown width||Small tree seedlings planted in rows|
|Trees spaced: 10m or more between trees||Tree seedlings spaced from 1-5m between trees planted on a grid|
|Shrubs planted: 1.5-2m height, 1.25-1.50m wide|
|Shrubs spaced: 5m or more (planted at the location desired when the trees/shrubs reach maturity|
|Plant costs are high, maintenance costs are low||Plant costs are low, maintenance costs are high (15 years of removing and pruning trees)|
|Can be used directly after realisation||Takes about 15 years to fill and gain a forest or mature park character|
“Scientific and market-conform calculations show that the Integrated Planting Method actually saves money in the long term. The construction costs are two times more expensive than the traditional forest thinning method, but the maintenance costs are actually 60 – 75% lower.”
Dr. Frits Ruyten, landscape architect, Integralis PP
Convince developers of the short term as well as the long term benefits of using big plant material in projects and secure the budget for quality planting and design.