Trees

by Emma Vautour

As a student of ecology and an aspiring ecological landscaper, it was a privilege to attend the 2014 ELA conference and learn from many of the leading figures in the field. The conference rooms seemed to reverberate with the buzz of so many excited earth-enthusiasts, communally appreciating what fascinates them most. The general liveliness was underpinned by finely-tuned, intellectual discussions of innovative techniques and new understanding. Continue reading

A Case for Veteran Trees

by Christopher Roddick

Ask any arborist why people hire them and, more often than not, the number one answer is fear. People do love their trees, but most call an arborist because they are afraid of big trees or big branches falling on their houses. While there are many reasons to hire a tree care professional, it’s fear that actually makes people open their wallets. Continue reading

by Paul Iorio

I recently brought to completion a large parking lot project that illustrates the applications as well as adaptability of tree filter systems in an urban environment. Tree filter systems integrate common street trees with stormwater collection to achieve a viable and sustainable alternative to a traditional “end of pipe” system, while still meeting stormwater management and remediation goals. Tree filter systems utilize the principal of “bioretention” – the natural process by which chemicals and sediments are removed from stormwater runoff prior to subsurface infiltration. Many state regulatory agencies and municipalities now strongly encourage low impact development (LID) techniques such as tree filter systems because they replicate pre-development conditions and reduce the negative impact of land development and surface paving. Continue reading

Updates on ALB and Emerald Ash Borer

by Stacy Kilb

Eradicating ALB: The Threat of the Asian Longhorned Beetle

alb.240Thirty thousand of something is a difficult number to imagine. It’s even more staggering to envision 30,000 trees disappearing, but that is how many hardwood trees have been lost so far to the Asian Longhorned Beetle in the greater Worcester, MA, area. Asian Longhorned Beetle (“ALB”, scientific name Anoplophora glabripennis) is an invasive pest that was discovered in Worcester in 2008. It causes damage by tunneling deep into live trees, destroying them from the inside out. That makes this invasive insect a threat to hardwood trees throughout the state, and one that could have a serious negative impact on fall foliage tourism, the maple sugaring industry, and other forest product industries. Continue reading

with Michael Phillips
Chelsea Green Publishing, 2013

Reviewed by Penny Lewis

Generally when you’ve read and enjoyed a book, the movie version is a disappointment. But the recently released DVD, Holistic Orcharding, from Michael Phillips, author of The Holistic Orchard, is a wonderful exception. This five-hour video is subdivided into twenty-one sections that follow Phillips through a full year in his orchard. Continue reading

by Tricia Diggins

Nut trees, more than any other aspect of landscaping, make me think of the old proverb “The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, the second best time is now.” So, plan to plant a nut tree this fall or next spring. If you for some reason cannot plant one, find one to protect because mature nut trees seem to be getting rarer. Yes, there is a lot to learn about nut trees but you can learn it after the tree is in the ground and growing. Continue reading

by David A. Orwig

New England has an expansive landscape filled with a wealth of almost 33 million acres of forests. The trees that comprise these woods, wetlands, town forests, community parks, and back yards provide important habitat, store valuable carbon, help provide clean air and water, and of course yield a variety of wood products. Global transportation and human actions have helped introduce forest pests into many portions of the U.S., transforming forests and communities by leading to tree decline and mortality. Continue reading

by Carl Brodeur

For years I was unhappy with the results of our tree fertility program using available fertilizers on the market. Then, after attending a talk by Dr. Elaine Ingham on the Soil Foodweb, my partner and I decided to try compost teas. Once we experienced the power of compost tea on a lawn installation, we decided to make compost tea the foundation for our tree fertility program. Continue reading

by Sonia Baerhuk

Successfully navigating the challenges of large scale construction projects while creating and preserving ecological landscapes, involves considerations beyond typical landscape design.

Recent construction projects at the Perkins School for the Blind required the transplanting of several large trees. Air spading was chosen in lieu of the tree spade method to minimize root damage.

Airspading
The air spade is a state of the art excavation tool that uses great volumes of compressed air to remove and break up soil without damaging roots.

The compressed air cuts through soil quickly and accurately in less time and with less damage than conventional digging.

Roots Exposed
Air spading exposes perfect radial roots.

Pigtail Root Tie Up
“Pigtail” roots are tied up in preparation for transplanting.

Loaded on Bobcat
The tree is tied to the bobcat for the move.

Trees Goes for a Ride
And then the tree goes for a ride.

Preparing new site
In the meantime, the transplant site is dug and amended with compost.

Planting First Tree
And the tree is driven into its new location.

Both deciduous and evergreen trees were transplanted.
Air spading allows you to examine the different root structures.

barerooting trees with air knife 010 - Copy
Nice roots exposed and this tree is ready to move.

Lifting the Transplant
Lifting the transplant for the move.

barerooting trees with air knife 003 - Copy
The transplant site is ready for planting.

Transplanted in new location
And another tree is successfully relocated.

Located on 40 beautiful acres in Watertown, Massachusetts, the Perkins School for the Blind includes spectacular grounds and buildings with architecture described as “Collegiate Gothic.” The school moved to its present location in 1910, chosen for its beautiful landscape, glorious trees, and many possibilities.

Sonia Baerhuk is the Lead Grounds person at Perkins and has an extensive background in landscape design, maintenance, and construction. Throughout her career, Sonia has continued her studies at the Arnold Arboretum, UMass Extension, and Radcliff School of Landscape and has completed the DCR Tree Steward Program.