June 1, 2016

Impact of stress on urban trees

Planting trees in the urban landscape provides countless benefits; trees limit the heat island effect, clean the air, raise property values and beautify the landscape.

Unsuccessful urban tree plantings have become a cause for concern for the industry. Landscape Ontario recently commissioned a literature review on current research as to why urban plantings have a lower success rate. The literature review, titled, “The impact of environmental stresses on the survivability of the urban landscape: A review of the literature and recommendations” was completed by Jason P. Lemay and M. A. Lemay with Vista Science & Technology.

The review discusses 11 factors that influence the survival of urban tree plantings, including: species selection, transplanting, site selection and preparation, soil compaction, moisture stress, mulching, salt and de-icing products, root damage, light, temperature, and post-planting management. These environmental stressors, acting alone and in combination, have been attributed to reducing the growth and survival of urban trees.

This report will get industry members up-to-date on the current science behind how urban tree survival is affected by environmental stressors, and provides insight on where research is headed, tips on species selection, purchasing, planting, and maintenance, as well as other factors to consider when planting trees in an urban environment. The complete literature review can be downloaded at www.landscapetrades.com/environmental-stress-research-u-of-g.