Tree Protection Versus Construction Reality

It is not unusual for trees to conflict with infrastructure projects.  Whether a new road or highway, electrical distribution system or cellular tower, these improvements are often located in areas containing existing urban forests.  I often work as a sub-consultant to engineering and landscape architectural firms, providing tree inventories, designing specifications and best management practices (BMP’S), for tree protection during construction, field implementation, and monitoring.

RDCS LLC Hired for City of San Diego North Torrey Pines Roadway and Median Enhancement Project

Rappoport Development Consulting Services LLC has been hired by the City of San Diego to provide certified arborist consulting services for the North Torrey Pines Road Median and Street Enhancement project.  Estrada Land Planning Inc., the project landscape architectural firm, has sub-contracted with RDCS LLC to implement tree protection plans, including tree monitoring, and best management practices.   Tree protection plans and best management practices (BMP’s), are designed to minimize construction impacts to the existing median and parkway street trees. The project encompasses approximately 1.5 miles of construction work along North Torrey Pines Road, adjacent to the Torrey Pines Golf Course.  … Read More

Landscape Contracting Practices Resulting in Trip and Fall Litigation

Landscape design, construction and maintenance, these three building blocks are required for a successful landscape project.  A landscape architect provides a functional, aesthetic design.  The landscape contractor uses the plans and specifications provided by the landscape architect for bidding the project. If awarded the contract, the plans become contract documents that the contractor adheres to during the construction process.  Following construction, the landscape maintenance contractor (who might also be the installation contractor) provides regular ongoing maintenance to ensure the installed irrigation and plant systems operate and flourish. Whether a residential, commercial or public works landscape project, these three separate but … Read More

Landscape Contractor, Do You Utilize Construction Project Management?

(Landscape Contractor Standard of Care, Part 3) In part three of the series of articles addressing landscape contractor standard of care, we examine the role of the landscape contractor during the construction process, the importance of construction project management, supervision, communication and coordination and landscape contractor deficiencies that may result in customer dissatisfaction and potential legal action.

Let it Burn or Suppress It? US Park Service vs Cal Fire Policy

This past summer brought us the gigantic Rim fire that devastated Yosemite National Park and surrounding communities. Over 4,900 firefighters operated under a unified command, however when the fire crossed over into the boundary between state and national park land, the National Park Service took a very different approach than Cal Fires (California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection).

California Trees Under Attack, Are You Part of the Problem?

We have seen an increasing number of disease pathogens and insects attacking many tree species throughout our country.  In Southern California, the gold spotted oak borer, (GSOB), (Agrilus auroguttatu), first introduced in San Diego County between 1990-2000 has spread into Riverside County and is expected to spread throughout California.  This pest specifically targets the Coast Live Oak and Black Oak, (Quercus agrifolia, Quercus kelloggii), both oaks comprising a major part of our red oak forests throughout California. The adult female beetle lays eggs on host trees mainly June through September, the eggs hatch into larvae which bore through the outer … Read More

What to do With Your Xmas Tree?

Fortunately, most municipalities now have recycling programs for green waste, making it easier for homeowners to recycle their used Xmas tree.  Recyclers grind or shred trees into a mulch which is then composted and eventually becomes available as a bulk or bagged mulch product.  This is certainly a preferable option than the “old days” when trees were commingled with regular trash and buried in landfill sites. If you have a large tree, prune off some branches and reduce the overall size to ensure local curbside pickup.  If you have the room on your property, you can do your own recycling … Read More

How Did Plants Figure a Way to Survive In Freezing Environments?

I read a fascinating article on how trees and plants evolved to cope with harsh, freezing environments. Fossil evidence depicts flowering plants first survived in warm, tropical climates. As they spread into upper latitudes and higher altitudes, plants needed to adapt to cope with the colder, freezing conditions. Unlike animals, plants cannot just get up and move to a warmer location, nor are they capable of warming themselves. While colder environmental were a challenge, the real problem was dealing with icy conditions. How did plants manage to adapt and evolve to live in such harsh climates? Read the article at: … Read More

At Yosemite, Infrastructure Out to Benefit Giant Sequoia’s!

Read an article in the Los Angeles Times concerning upcoming changes at Yosemite National Park. There is a proposal to remove public parking, a gift shop and tram operations in an effort to minimize impacts to the Mariposa Grove, a grove of approximately 500 Giant Sequoia trees (Sequoia giganteum). The Park service recognizes paved surfaces and infrastructure are “compacting the soil, encroaching on sequoia roots and interfering with natural drainage patterns”. Tram service will be limited to the south entry of the park and shuttle buses would take people tot he entrance of the lower grove, where the largest and … Read More

Botanical Skills by Matt Ritter, Ph.D, A Great Workshop!

With the intent to continually learn new information, stay up on new industry trends, laws and practices, I attend lots of seminars, workshops and continuing education courses. Most of the seminars have been informative and useful, and for the most part, the speakers have been entertaining in presenting their material. Lets face it, learning new information is not always fascinating or interesting, especially when the topic is technical in nature. Or, the topic might be informative but the speaker might not have the best oratory skills to keep one fully involved and listening or absorbing the message. When I attend … Read More