An Urban Tree Care Conference
January 30th & 31st, 2020

Think Tree Resources

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Exploring the Interactions Between Transportation, Urban Forestry, and Climate Change Mitigation

Transportation planning significantly impacts urban growth, and the transportation community is actively looking for climate mitigation strategies. One of the most significant benefits that urban forests provide to cities is climate change mitigation, through a variety of mechanisms including direct carbon sequestration, cooling of urban heat islands, building energy savings, and decrease of volatile emissions from pavements.  We created an Albuquerque case study to explore the relationships and interaction between transportation, urban forestry, and climate change by looking at three distinct, recent efforts – the Report on Transportation-Related Climate Change Mitigation Strategies and Potential Applications in Central New Mexico; the Albuquerque Community Forest Ecosystem Services Assessment; and, research and modeling being done by Portland State University on how public health is impacted by urban forests. The case study shows that there are several strategic partnerships between transportation and urban forestry that can yield positive impacts to public health and climate change resiliency, and provide a clear-cut path for investment in our urban forest canopy.

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The Hole Truth About Planting Holes

by Joran Viers

Which is better: planting a five-dollar tree in a fifty-dollar hole, or planting a fifty-dollar tree in a five-dollar hole? Don’t worry, it’s a rhetorical quiz and the answer appears below. No points will be deducted.

What I’m trying to get at is a question that was at the heart of a three-day workshop I attended last fall, sponsored by the New Mexico Chapter of the Colorado Nursery and Greenhouse Association. The workshop brought together what my colleague and mentor Andrew Lisignoli calls the “partners in chlorophyll”; that is to say, people involved in the planning, growing, planting, and maintenance of trees and smaller plants. Landscape architects to landscape contractors, and all points in between.

There are many reasons trees in urban settings suffer, and in an arid city like Albuquerque, those seem to be compounded. If I could boil it down, however, the root cause (pun intended) is often a lack of water in the leaves. Notice, I didn’t just say a lack of water, but rather the inability of the water to get to the site of photosynthesis where it is most critically needed for tree health and growth.

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