Developers not properly planting trees for long term health

I had to question if the new plant material was likely to flourish in such conditions.

Developers not properly planting trees for long term health

When planting a tree, any large foreign items in the hole which could impede root development should be removed. Unfortunately the exact opposite scenario regularly occurs during landscaping at commercial construction sites.

A concrete planter has recently been added adjacent to the parking lot of the new condo next door to my home. During construction this planter became a receptacle for various debris such as asphalt, rocks and excess concrete.

As a layer of top soil was being dumped into the planter on top of the rubble I had to question if the new plant material was likely to flourish in such conditions. I was reassured and told not to worry as they were only planting trees and shrubs with short roots. Somehow during my 43 years as a professional horticulturist, I must have overlooked this unique planting technique.

Any roots that are able to penetrate the concrete and debris would then find themselves in a mixture of gravel, sand and rock. Every speck of the original soil was of course stripped, hauled away and sold before construction started. No trees planted in this manner will ever achieve their full potential.

Urban growing conditions can be extremely harsh and challenging. Should we not be doing more to assist new trees to live and prosper?

Alan Shivas


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Robert Barron column: Winter can be hard, but it brings back good memories

I would carefully poke the handle of the shovel through the snow until it bumped into a solid object

Andrea Rondeau column: What are your time capsule must-haves?

It would also be fun to include some pop culture mementos that represent our time.

Climbers compete for Choc and Chalk

Annual competition attracts more than 100

Sarah Simpson Column: Social media mobilized to identify found film photo

Over the course of the day, the post generated a couple of hundred responses.

Skating at the Gardens

Duncan Skating Club entertains at Butchart Gardens

‘Like an ATM’: World’s first biometric opioid-dispensing machine launches in B.C.

First-of-its-kind dispensing machine unveiled in the Downtown Eastside with hopes of curbing overdose deaths

Canucks extend home win streak to 8 with 4-1 triumph over Sharks

Victory lifts Vancouver into top spot in NHL’s Pacific Division

BC Green Party leader visits northern B.C. pipeline protest site

Adam Olsen calls for better relationship between Canada, British Columbia and First Nations

‘Extensive’ work planned at Big Bar landslide ahead of salmon, steelhead migration

Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan visited the site of the slide from June

B.C. society calls out conservation officer after dropping off bear cub covered in ice

Ice can be seen in video matted into emaciated bear cub’s fur

Royal deal clears way for Harry, Meghan part-time Canada move: experts

Keith Roy of the Monarchist League of Canada said the deal is exactly what Harry and Meghan asked for

Horgan cancels event in northern B.C. due to security concerns, says Fraser Lake mayor

The premier will still be visiting the city, but the location and day will not be made public

B.C. landlord sentenced to two years in jail for torching his own rental property

Wei Li was convicted of intentionally lighting his rental property on fire in October 2017

Most Read