February 15, 2016
The Marketing to Municipalities project has released two reports that identify the impact of environmental stresses on the survivability of trees and shrubs in the urban landscape. The first report, “The Impact of Environmental Stresses,” identifies 11 key factors that critically influence the establishment and survivability of urban trees, and also makes recommendations to deal with those and other influencing factors — including the development of best practices for species selection and site selection when planting urban trees.

Among other findings, the report estimated 80 per cent of problems faced by urban trees can be attributed to poor soil, which also works synergistically to increase damage from other stresses.

The research also looked at things like soil compaction, nutrient use, soil substrates, soil moisture, mulching, wind force, sunscald, pruning and water availability and how each of these factors contribute to the survivability of urban trees.

The report also identified the need for more research on optimal transplanting times as well as the long term benefits of reduction deflected root systems, and the possible benefits of more tree-friendly de-icing products that are not yet widely adopted.

Researchers Jason Lemay and Amy Lemay from VISTA Science and Technology will lead a free webinar on Mar. 2 to discuss the key findings and recommendations of the report. (See link at end of this article).

The second report summarizes possible solutions and strategies brainstormed during the Finding Workable Solutions Workshop held back in October which brought together 32 participants from both the nursery sector and Ontario municipalities to improve their relationship and the procurement process to increase the survivability of urban plantings by municipalities. Participants identified the need for an on-going process that will be goal-oriented and build upon the work done in the first workshop.

The reports were issued by Landscape Ontario and the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association with funding assistance obtained with the province’s Growing Forward 2 program.

Both reports can be viewed in their entirety at horttrades.com/m2m.