A stylised native woodland is being planted at Schwartz Plaza at New York University by George Reis, N.Y.U.’s supervisor of sustainable landscapes. The Manhatta project inspired Reis to propose the landscape using plants from before settlement of Manhattan. The design was completed by Darrell Morrison after Reis won the funds from the class of 2008 legacy fund. Recently Reis and Morrison, along with the help of some students, began planting 2,000 plants that were all thriving on Manhattan from the 1600’s.
Currently the drought is continuing in Texas and as a result hundreds of Austin’s 300,000 trees have died this summer due to drought. Native species such as live oak and hackberry have perished due to drought and an intense summer. Currently Austin is cutting down the dead city trees and making them into mulch for use on other trees. Residents are being advised to soak trees with 5 gallons of water per week for every inch of tree trunk caliper.
Taipei, Taiwan will hold a International Gardening and Horticulture Expo from the Nov. 6, 2010 to April 25, 2011. The expo will showcase the indigenous vegetation and be a unique fusion of horticulture and technology. The Expo site is 91.8 hectacres with 14 pavillions and four areas featuring different themes. With a budget for the Expo is The NT$3.53 billion it is expected to help Taiwan’s horticulture sector boost its production value by 23 percent.
There are quantines going into effect in numerous counties in states such as Wisconsin due to the spread of the emerald ash borer. Check with your state’s Department of Agriculture Trade about quarantines and what nursery stock and wood products can be moved.
“Harmony Floralscape” along the Pasadena Freeway (SR-110) (Credit: Toyota)
Toyota has unveiled “Harmony Floralscape” along the Pasadena Freeway (SR-110), this is one of the nine oversized floral designs that will appear alongside California freeways in support of the ongoing launch of the 2010 Toyota Prius hybrid vehicle. Seven of the Floralscapes will be in the Los Angeles area and two in the San Francisco area. Developed by Greenroad Media, Inc., using the company’s patent-pending “Living Pixel” technology, design images are replicated using flowers of differing varieties and colors.
The 30’x60’ Toyota Prius “Harmony Floralscapes” are comprised entirely of living seasonal flowers. The flowers used in each Floralscape – about 20,000 blooms in total – are grown by local businesses in special modular “Eco-crates” made from recycled plastic. Several different designs have been developed, and the displays will be changed and updated several times during the next four months.
Video -The Making of a Toyota Prius “Harmony Floralscape” (Credit: Toyota)
The most idealistic of advocates envision cities and towns that burst with food, be it from skyscraper roofs, apartment balconies, back alleys or repurposed plastic tubs. In this world, people plan their meals around what’s in season, relegating supermarket trips to coffee, wheat and other staples they can’t get within the region.
Just read Chris Grygiel of Seattlepi.com blog post about the new tree measure in Seattle that could grant developers exemption for retaining trees if the trees preclude or prohibit the development of the site. This new tree protection measure seems a ham-fisted attempt at protecting trees which are in current developments (houses, offices, etc) not future developments. I can understand the need for exemption, as cities like Seattle try to encourage development in the city to create denser (in-fill) developments on existing sites instead of allowing urban sprawl to continue unabated. However, exemptions should be given only where the tree is inspected and assessed by a qualified arborist that the tree is at the end of its life or of very poor form for it species. Developers should be encouraged wherever possible to retain all existing mature trees (including tree offsets/buffers) to maintain the green canopy of the city. The benefits of trees within a city are indisputable and the length of time it takes for new trees to mature on a development is decades.
Developers may find this stance very anti-development – however new development should occur within cities to provide denser housing, offices, and retail. This is where more flexibility in tree protection measures are needed. Flexibility would come in the form of clauses that grant exemptions if the developer can show that they are going to plant new trees or install a green roof that contributes the equivalent benefit as the tree to be removed. For a developer to provide the information for this type of exemption may increase the cost of developments as the developer will have to engage consultants to assess the green value of the new trees and green roof. However, the increased environmental cost of trees being removed may be far greater in the long term.
By Damian Holmes 3 August 2009