Is it all about “Right Tree, Right Place?”

Or do we need to add “For the Right Reasons & In the Right Way”?

In recent weeks GreenBlue has been excited to see recent developments within our planning system; particularly with the soon-to-be revised version of NPPF Planning policy which is seeking to include street trees in all roads on new developments. (NPPF Clause 130 consultation due to end 27th March). Once this revision is approved, it will require a unified approach to design and delivery and will also help to streamline commuted sum payments, which can be an obstacle in planned areas for adoption.

Last week we questioned if there were enough “green planners.” It is an ongoing concern that many busy planning departments are under-resourced with checking on activities on developments sites such as landscaping and tree planting having to take less of a priority. Many local plans emphasize the need for additional development to reduce the pressure on housing stock, and bring in much-needed revenues to local authorities – but is it at an environmental and even human cost?

Whapping Wharf, Bristol, 2019. (Planted 2015).

Why are green planners essential?

If the desired outcome for any development is not only to avoid poorly planted trees but to create long term quality green infrastructure, then including expertise in green planning is critical. Alas, too often we see badly installed trees dying, being removed and never replaced. GreenBlue Urban are strong advocates in planting for tree longevity, having documented the multiple and valuable benefits with our work with Treeconomics. Discover more in our detailed cost-benefit analysis publication.

A well-planted tree should last for generations.

We are abundantly familiar with the assistance that urban trees can bring including health, social, monetary, and climate mitigation benefits. However, what is not always considered is the need of the tree as it, – we hope – matures. Considerations that need to be taken into account before granting permission to plant trees in urban areas include; unwanted shading, excess leaf litter (wrong place) potential intrusion to buildings and highways (planting too close), pavement heave (lack of root management) and failures due to inadequate soil, water and air access will most certainly become a nuisance and the trees will have to be removed. Planning is a complex process with numerous stakeholders involved and thus, as we regularly repeat in our presentations

“Right tree, right place, right reasons, the right way”.

St Pauls Cathedral, London, 2019. Trees planted in GreenBlue RootCell soil cell system. (Planted 2004).

Plant correctly – ArborAdvance

With over 30 years of experience in planting trees in the urban environment, GreenBlue Urban are industry experts. We know that for reasons including those mentioned above, urban trees often fail within 5-10 years of planting within a hard surface. This is an unnecessary calamity as if a tree is chosen, planted, and maintained correctly, there is no reason that this tree should not last its species potential lifespan.

With continuing research and innovation that has given the industry the only fully compatible tree pit solution, AborSystem®, GreenBlue Urban are so confident of the efficacy of the system that we have introduced the worlds’ first urban tree warranty: ArborAdvance, which guarantees the health of a tree for a minimum 15 years.

When ArborAdvance is specified, GreenBlue Urban will supply all of the products needed including the soil, oversee the first tree pit installation, require further tree pits to be photographed during ArborSystem installation and if all is approved, provide sign off, and make sure that an acceptable maintenance programme is in place – so critical within those early establishment years.

St Peters Square, Manchester, 2019 – Trees Planted in GBU StrataCell. (Planted 2014).

We are aware that failures can occur due to circumstances beyond our control; pest/disease, weather, vehicles or deliberate damage, and understandably, these potentially fatal issues are excluded from the warranty. Although there is a cost involved in the warranty and annual inspection and testing, this is surely a worthy investment to any client – the sure knowledge that trees will not need replacement and the assurance that they will continue to thrive, bringing the crucial return on investment but more than that, provide a well-designed, attractive, sustainable and successful development to be proud of.

All that we are pleading for is that Developers, Landscape Architects and Planners collaborate early in the design process to provide successful outcomes. With the many positive legislative changes to enable green infrastructure, let us plan correctly from the start. Here at GreenBlue Urban we can help with continued education (with a range of CPD’s,) support your projects with technical guidance, show you many successful case studies and now guarantee trees against system failure!

Talk to us at Hello@greenblue.com to discover more.