Getting to the Root of Urban Tree Health with Dr. Barbara Fair

Getting to the Root of Urban Tree Health with Dr. Barbara Fair

In her talk on ‘Getting to the Root of Urban Tree Health’, Dr. Barbara Fair, an Extension Horticulture Specialist and Associate Professor at NC State University, emphasizes the importance of sustainable landscaping and proper management of urban trees.

Key Points:

  1. Sustainable Landscaping: Dr. Fair stresses the need for sustainable landscaping, which involves selecting appropriate plants for the urban environment, maintaining healthy soil, and effectively managing water resources.
  2. Plant Selection: She highlights the importance of choosing plants that can thrive in the specific site conditions, considering factors like soil type, climate, and the plant’s adaptability. She also cautions against over-planting a single species in an area.
  3. Soil Management: Dr. Fair discusses the significance of creating healthy soil conditions for plant growth, mentioning the use of structural soils like the Cornell University structural soil and the cost-effective silver cells to increase soil volume under pavements.
  4. Water Management: She emphasizes the importance of proper watering practices, especially in urban areas where water can be scarce. She also mentions the use of mulch for water retention and soil protection.
  5. Fertilization: Dr. Fair provides guidance on the timing and application of fertilizers, stressing the need to match the site’s needs.
  6. Pruning: She underscores the importance of proper pruning, particularly when trees are young, and the need to tailor pruning practices to the tree’s health.
  7. Plant Health: Dr. Fair highlights the significance of maintaining plant health, which involves considering factors like soil health, water availability, and the plant’s ability to defend itself against pests and diseases.
  8. Urban Forestry: She discusses the role of urban forestry in creating resilient communities, managing stormwater runoff, and improving air quality.
  9. Challenges and Solutions: Dr. Fair acknowledges the challenges of urban tree health, such as the need for proper planting techniques and the importance of soil health, and provides solutions like the use of structural soils and proper pruning practices.
  10. Resources: She recommends resources like Edie Gilman’s website at the University of Florida for more information on planting and fertility techniques.

Overall, Dr. Fair’s talk provides valuable insights into the importance of sustainable landscaping and the proper management of urban trees to ensure their long-term health and resilience.

Leave a Reply