UKTC Archive

RE: Problems with Tree Sand

Subject: RE: Problems with Tree Sand
From: Elton Watson
Date: Dec 06 2017 10:34:28
Hi Jonathan,
Hope you are well and sunny Devon is treating you well. I agree that we 
should be trying to replicate natural conditions where possible, getting 
planners, developers and engineers  to do it is the hard part, I think we 
should be wary of blanket proclamations  that thou shalt not use tree sand 
anywhere ever again, but that we should know the limitations of whatever 
product we use and plan accordingly to try and achieve the best outcome. In 
some circumstances wider walkways and more room for trees could be achieved 
by removing a lot of the unnecessary street clutter! We've got a street where 
there is a bin practically every 5 m.

Best regards

Elton Watson

Uwch Swyddog Coed / Senior Tree Officer

Gwelwch y dudalen coed ar ein gwefan-

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Wrexham Industrial Estate, Wrexham, LL13 9PW
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-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Jonathan Warren
Sent: 06 December 2017 09:48
To: UK Tree Care
Subject: RE: Problems with Tree Sand

I have a feeling someone has written about this in the Arb Journal (if not 
there's an opportunity) and there has been endless discussion about this in 
the past.  I seem to remember sand based systems are based on the 'Amsterdam 
tree sand' model, one critical thing being in Amsterdam they can control the 
water table (please correct me if I'm wrong about this). 

Having scanned through the Green Blue Urban study I am not convinced it 
provides an anywhere near robust methodology as I would want to see something 
much longer in time.  I also wonder about the amount of plastics we are 
putting into the ground.

Personally I think we need to work harder on changing attitudes to urban 
infrastructure.  E.g. Wider walkways (where needed) with open continuous tree 
pits filled with soil, replicate the natural environment as much as we can.. 
it's all been said before and we appear to be going round in circles!!


Jonathan Warren
Principal Arboricultural Consultant

Mobile: 07971 XXXXXX
Phone: 01803 XXXXXX

Devon Tree Services Ltd, Little Acre, Ipplepen, Newton Abbot TQ12 5TR 
Registered in England, No 5224057Registered Office: Sigma House, Oak View 
Close, Edginswell Park, Torquay TQ2 7FF V.A.T. No. 585 8XXX XX
Directors: A W Burton N.C.H. (Arb.)., S A Burton

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-----Original Message-----
Sent: 06 December 2017 06:34
To: UK Tree Care
Subject: Problems with Tree Sand

I fully agree with Ben Rose and his comments on tree sand and tree planting.

In addition to the use of tree sand,  landscape architects are still 
regularly specifying 200mm of urban tree soil or topsoil to cover the 

Many of these architects are using cad blocks provided by suppliers of 
planting paraphernalia.

If you have any doubts over the poor planting practices promoted by these
companies,  please have a look at the images used on their websites.   

The trees shown on their websites are all planted too deep, with no root 
collar visible and with a layer of ‘soil’ and mulch covering the rootball and 
piled up against the trunk.

These products might work but their efficacy is severely compromised and 
money is wasted by planting the tree too deep.


Peter Wilkins

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