Dealing with Root-Pavement Conflicts in Urban-Suburban New Jersey
Project Number 17312 Starting 10/01/2006 Ending 09/30/2014
Objective one is to place an urban context onto the tree service lifecycle in terms of site growth expectation and maximum reasonable size. Objective two is to develop design information for using urban vegetation to use water in transpiration to enhance stormwater management infrastructure under paved surfaces. Our intention is to develop existing data bases from multiple sources to develop cost-benefit method curves to develop a service-life model to be adopted from canopy volume and trunk diameter data. To link volume to trunk size allows use of existing trunk data in urban inventories. We propose to develop early survival data sets, 20 year growth expectations and terminal size data aspects with reference to urban site type parameters to develop an urban site context for a management planning-evaluation strategy. The project proposal expands an existing root-pavement design model to include a greater range of root growth and directional growth based on field observation from previous and proposed efforts. A thorough review of plant water use literature will be developed to generate a design matrix of plant type - transpiration unit demand - planting density. This matrix can then guide initial field tests to validate a plant contribution to stormwater uptake. A recommendation for phased plant communities by plant type and density could then be advanced for regional testing and provisional use in design. Both project efforts for canopy management site-growth curves and tree-pavement design options for stormwater planning will culminate in extension-level technical publications, web-ready presentation media, and presentations at multiple tree-management conferences across New Jersey and the US. The proposal falls directly under the McIntire Stennis statutory research area of reforestation and management of forests, by developing a management approach within the urban forest management realm. It similarly ties into the urban component of forested watershed and water flow, dealing with the forest product aspects and stocking management strategies in stormwater planning.
As urban ecosystems and forest ecosystems services are strategic themes, developing a method of tracking growth expectations to better scale environmental service models within the urban design context is fundamental. Providing the tools to integrate forest systems into grey infrastructure design logic is similarly underserved in the development of urban forest management and design practice. The project establishes a framework for managing urban trees as a total canopy over multiple species types, planting site types and maximum dimension types. This information will guide management expectations of growth and evaluation for effective urban tree management to provide a viable and safe canopy.