Urban Forest Analytics carries out landscape evaluation that seeks to review the woody plants that exist on, or are planned for, a particular site. Our goal is to identify optimal strategies for conservation, management, enhancement and sustainability.
Site factors are critical to plant health and performance, though they are subtle and easily overlooked without professional training and experience. Some of the significant factors we examine:
- Soil moisture: very wet or very dry soils require careful attention
- Soil pH: low or high acidity alter nutrient availability
- Compaction: on urban sites, the soil has often been crushed during construction
- Hardiness zone: plant species have specific heat and cold tolerance ranges
- Rooting volume: this is a critical factor in urban tree health
- Nutrient levels: it is important to check that species will have what they need
We return to the client a detailed analysis of site factors that will facilitate all aspects of site planning and management, and we include recommendations for improvement.
Clients frequently ask us to review their trees and shrubs, looking for an overview for which they usually lack the time or training. We bring deep knowledge, experience and familiarity to our reviews of existing or planned woody plant materials, examining traits such as these:
- Serious pests
- Esthetic values
- Life expectancy
- Site match
- Use suitability
- Nuisance factors
- Maintenance concerns
These professional plant material reviews provide a solid foundation for planning, budgeting and policy decisions.
Our landscape reviews also look carefully at the ecological implications of the plant materials, believing that our local actions can not avoid engaging larger questions and concerns. We examine two important topics from this perspective:
- Native and naturalized
- Which native trees or shrubs are present?
- Have native plants been considered in planning?
- Are the native species suited to their urban site and use?
- Invasive species
- Are invasive species already present on the site?
- Are species being planned that could become invasive?
- What alternatives are available to deal with invasive species?
Native plants serve to link built landscapes with the local natural setting in terms of biology and esthetics, and we promote their careful use by our clients.
History is full of examples where species, both native and exotic, have been introduced and then become widespread in the surrounding natural setting, and it is important to be vigilant on the local scale.
Please contact us if these concerns are important to you.