One of the most widespread problems with trees in the urban environment is the failure to recognize the tree’s mature size. If one doesn’t take into account the space required when the tree grows up, conflicts are sure to arise. To make matters worse, the tree is often faulted for encroachment!
Several trees surrounding the Arboretum’s Boyer Parking Lot have grown up and encroached on the gravel parking spaces. However, because we are advocates for the trees, we decided to make the parking lot yield. A large scarlet oak (Quercus coccinea) and a grove of birch (Betula) were severely impacted by the concrete wheel stops and compacted soil over a large portion of their roots. To remedy the problems, we moved the wheel stops to create a “root protection zone” around the trees. Then, we used compressed air tools to break up the compacted gravel and soil. We amended the soil with mycorrihizae and compost, then topdressed with a thick layer of mulch. If all goes as planned, the additions will stimulate the soil biology, add nutrients and allow roots to grow in the previously uninhabitable environment. Stay tuned for updates.