Rootability confinement and soil-husbandry solutions for urban trees in sealed and insular sites

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1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Aims   Cramped and sealed sites common in compact city areas limit tree growth due to multiple physical restrictions and physiological stresses. Fast urbanization and densification have intensified the pressure on urban trees, demanding innovative methods and solutions. The subaerial tree-growth space attracts more attention, but the more intractable subterranean rootability constraints are often overlooked. They are expressed as external (macro-scale) soil-body volume and internal (micro-scale) soil-pore volume limitations. The double jeopardy of urban soil insularity acutely restricts root growth, root spread, tree health, and stability.
Methods   Some novel solutions can be distilled from a comprehensive review of recent research findings to bring effective relief.
Results   Pedestrians and vehicles can co-use the expanded soil area in dense urban areas. Various creative soil expansion techniques can allow tree roots to break out from conventional confined tree pits or tree strips. Subsurface connections can link a planting site to an adjacent one or a nearby green patch. The soil union could be realized by subsurface soil conduits (large-diameter buried pipes) or subsurface soil corridors covered by pier-supported paving. In the spirit of landscape altruism, soil sharing by neighbor trees optimizes using the scarce rootable soil resource. Internal soil volume expansion can be accompanied by high-quality soil mix and compaction-prevention measures to resolve porosity and rootability deficit.
Conclusions   Urban tree managers can adopt out-of-the-box thinking in managing critical physical soil deficiencies. New research findings can more promptly inform policymakers and practitioners. Close interactions between science and practice can be proactively cultivated. Copyright © 2022 The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-180
JournalPlant and Soil
Volume483
Early online date12 Oct 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023

Citation

Jim, C. Y. (2023). Rootability confinement and soil-husbandry solutions for urban trees in sealed and insular sites. Plant and Soil, 483, 153-180. doi: 10.1007/s11104-022-05728-3

Keywords

  • Urban soil insularity
  • Soil porosity
  • Soil sealing
  • Soil compaction
  • Available soil volume
  • Soil sharing

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