Structural Soil: an Infographic
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Structural Soil for Urban Trees
Currently most urban trees are planted directly into existing compacted urban soil or tree pits with limited root space. Trees that are planted in areas surrounded by paving tend to struggle for air space and usually decline well before they should. Where soil volume is limited by pavement, tree roots suffer and tend to take the path of least resistance searching for air, usually in and around pipes, foundations, or to the surface. Healthy trees need a large volume of non-compacted soil with adequate drainage and aeration and reasonable fertility.
While the need and desire for large trees in the urban landscape still is the desired intent, the trees do not survive long enough to fill the need. Not planning for root growth is ignoring the biological requirements of trees and is not economical or environmentally prudent. The failure to provide adequate soil for both drainage and root growth is critical to the life of the tree and without an engineered soil specific to this application, trees have a shortened life span and may die. Ensuring a good supply of air to the tree roots is essential for satisfactory tree growth, however in urban situations, the movement of air into the soil is often restricted. By providing additional root space below the pavement in what otherwise was compacted urban soil, Structural Soil can allow most newly planted trees to have a chance for healthy growth. This mix consists of 80% 75 mm angular clear aggregate and 20% approved sandy clay loam. The aggregates bear the load, providing the structural stability for the pavement above. The angularity of the rock create for the non-compacted soil, providing space for air, water and nutrients the roots, as well as provide for future root expansion. Engineered structural soil provides a resource for root growth beyond the traditional tree pit, allowing for much stronger root growth and ongoing tree health.
Denbow has been providing structural soil to many municipalities within the Greater Vancouver and Fraser Valley area. These departments use Denbow’s manufactured soil to allow city planners and engineering departments to add trees for the health and beauty of urban communities.
Contact Denbow’s soil experts today to find out more about how structural soil can work in your city or municipality.
Life Cycle of the European Chafer Beetle
The European chafer beetle originated in continental Europe but is now an invasive species found in temperate climates in North America, where they are often called June bugs. The large grubs of the chafer feed on the roots of both wild and cultivated cool-latitude grasses, which has made them a critter-non-grata on North American lawns.
Knowing the beetle’s life cycle can help you defend your lawn against an infestation. Read on to find out more.
The chafer’s life cycle
The chafer’s life cycle is one year. The imago (adult) stage is only 1–2 weeks long, with adult beetles growing to approximately 13–14 millimetres (0.51–0.55 in) in length. The adult chafers emerge from the ground in late spring and mate in large swarms, usually on shrubs and low trees. They are most active on warm, clear nights when the temperature is over 19C (66F). The beetles come out of the ground at about 8:30 pm, mate through the night, and then return to the soil before the sun rises; they may return to the trees to mate again several times over the mating period.
Female chafer beetles lay between 20–40 eggs over their lifespan; the eggs are laid about 5–10 centimetres (2.0–3.9 in) deep in moist soil, and then take 2 weeks to hatch. The grubs hatch by late July. In frost zones, the grubs feed until November and then move deeper into the soil. In frost-free areas, however, the larva feed all winter. Intense feeding occurs from March through May. Then, in early June, the grubs move deeper again, from 5 centimetres to 25 centimetres (2.0–9.8 in), where they form earthen cells and pupate. The pre-pupal stage lasts 2–4 days and the pupal stage lasts 2 weeks. By June, the new beetles begin emerging from the ground.
Beware other critters, too
Not only do the larvae feed on roots, wreaking havoc on lawns, but they attract local fauna like crows, foxes, and raccoons, who dig up the grass in search of the grubs. So, in addition to root damage, homeowners also have to worry about destruction caused by larger creatures.
Why is it important to know about the life cycle of the Chafer beetle?
Knowing the life cycle of the Chafer Beetle helps illustrate is when the beetle is most susceptible to treatment which will help exterminate the pest. The beetle’s most susceptible time is when it is the egg form in late July. Although treatment can help in early times in the season, July is the most optimal time to apply your treatment. It’s also important to note that treatment should not be a one time thing.
In order to ensure the treatment and the extemination of the beetle, it is recommended to apply multiple treatments to your lawn or garden.
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“We don’t inherit the earth from our ancestors. We borrow it from our children.”
Nature is Green Infrastructure
Nature and infrastructure are not independent of each other; on the contrary, nature is infrastructure. From protecting communities from flooding and excessive heat to improving air and water quality, nature is not only a critically important element of infrastructure but also a vital part of human and environmental health. When nature is used as an infrastructural system, it’s referred to as green infrastructure.
Green infrastructure can be a highlight of regional and metropolitan planning, helping ensure communities have a safe, livable environment with clean air and water that lasts for generations. Although green infrastructure is often associated with green storm water management systems, it can be used to address a wide range of systems at a variety of scales.
Green systems can be used for wildlife, which are increasingly threatened by human encroachment and climate change. For example, corridors or greenways allow animals to move through human communities; these have the added benefit of being a beautiful space that people want to live near.
Park systems, urban forests, and constructed wetlands also serve as green infrastructure. Constructed wetlands help communities manage water locally and provide habitats for wildlife.
Moreover, green infrastructure practices at the site-scale are used by smart communities for transportation systems (such as green streets) and green roofs, weaving nature into the built environment.
Research shows us that green infrastructure works. Compared to grey infrastructure, green systems are more cost-effective and far more beneficial to people and the environment.
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