Critical Things to Consider BEFORE You Plant a Tree Pit

When we see a hearty tree grow taller and stronger every year in a natural setting, we know one thing for sure:  that tree is getting what it needs underground. 

When we see a hearty tree grow taller and stronger every year in an urban setting, we know one thing for sure:  the tree planting was carefully planned and prepared so the tree and tree pit get what it needs underground.

Ideally, our ultimate goal is to develop a completely natural setting in an area where plants do not naturally grow (and cannot grow if the environment is not adequately prepared!) Growing a tree in an urban setting can be far more complicated and expensive than it appears at first glance. There are some ways to save money in the long run, and it largely depends on…you guessed it…how you prepare for the trees underground.

Soil Volume – To determine the amount of soil needed for the long-term successful establishment of a tree, a formula must be followed. Remember also that switching from uncompacted soil to compacted media will change the access that trees have to moisture and nutrients. It’s critical to create an environment in tree planting that is as close as possible to their native habitat.

Statistically, 50% of urban trees will die before they are ten years old. This is because they have literally used up the healthy soil. The quality of the soil used to establish a successful tree is as critical as the amount of soil used. The soil must be properly aerated and irrigated to allow for maximum root growth. GreenBlue Urban provides products like ArborSystem and ArborFlow that effectively protect a tree from the excessive compaction they are subjected to in the urban environment.

Surfaces and Utilities – We have all seen a sidewalk or driveway that has been utterly destroyed by a large tree’s roots. This is because a root system will grow where it can; literally every crack it can find. So, it’s critical that designers and installers use well-designed products to determine what type of root barriers will prevent root heave and ultimately very expensive repairs.


Developing green spaces in an urban setting is a significant financial investment, and GreenBlue Urban is a leading advisor in sustainable long-term landscaping and tree health. In order to ensure long-term success of your landscaping projects and considerable cost-saving in development, invite a GreenBlue advisor to partner closely with your design team to make sure the job is done right and affordably.