The new student residence at the William Thomas building on James Street North is now open, and trees were notably lacking along the street.
When we asked the City and the developers why this opportunity was passed up, we learned that the mistake will soon be corrected. And they are doing it right this time – investing in silva cells to promote the healthy growth of green infrastructure.
Silva cells help to create a richer growing environment for urban trees. These crates make room for utilities and for the roots to extend farther in amended soil. The weight of the road and sidewalk is structurally supported, and water has better flow and access.
When trees are dropped in small squares of soil and covered up right to the trunk, they are doomed to grow in these coffins for maybe fifteen years before they inevitably die and need to be replaced. Doesn’t it just make sense to do it right the first time?
We should be taking every opportunity to plant trees properly and invest in the future of these resources. With so much of the city covered in pavement, there is very little natural space to plant without a depaving project. Every time there is sidewalk and road work already tearing up the pavement, shouldn’t we take that chance to add a tree using modern techniques?