When Many Street Trees Start to Fail, Trees in StrataCells Thrive (6 Year Review of Walkers Line Tree Plantings)
As part of the Greater Toronto Area, Burlington Ontario has thousands of commuters travelling to and from the city every day. Walkers Line is a key north-south road that runs through Highway 407, the QEW (Queen Elizabeth Way), and Lakeshore Road – all major routes that head into Toronto.
In the development of the new Walkers Line residential area in 2010, it was important to create a mature looking street through visually pleasing red-paved sidewalks coupled with roadside tree plantings to help improve the aesthetics of the increasingly active street. But it’s how these trees were planted that assured they successfully aided the mature appeal of this suburb.
To ensure that these new trees reached maturity so they could provide the numerous benefits that trees offer urban areas, the City of Burlington specified the GreenBlue ArborSystem to provide the needed elements required for mature tree growth. This included uncompacted soil volume provided by StrataCells, adequate irrigation/aeration through the use of RootRain, root management with ReRoot to keep the roots away from paved areas and into the provided rooting zone, and tree grates and guards to protect the trees in their establishment years.
Each tree was planted in a 16½ foot long x 6½ foot wide x 30” deep (5m x 2m x 750mm) tree pit using StrataCells to create a load-bearing skeletal system that was filled with uncompacted soil to promote healthy tree establishment. ReRoot was used to wrap the root balls to keep initial root growth away from the paved surface and down into the StrataCell soil volume below. RootRain Precinct allows these trees to receive plentiful irrigation and aeration deep into the rooting zone, which is so critical for trees to establish.
The ArborSystem installation took a team of two from Oakridge Landscape Contractors approximately one hour per tree to complete, and that included planting the tree itself. The simplicity of ArborSystem is key to it’s success in the market. Landscape architects and related specifiers love the system because of how easy it is to design and incorporate into existing plans, including the provision of professionally drawn CAD details to suit many planting applications. While contractors love it due to ArborSystem’s ease of installation and reduced labour times.
To finish the installation, Adur tree grates were fitted to keep compaction off the root ball area, while Wyandotte tree guards were installed to protect the tree in its initial years of establishment. After the first 3 years of growth, the tree guards were removed to provide the final design scheme that the street is today. Now, after 6 years, the trees are healthy and continually maturing thanks to ArborSystem!