Landscapes - Spring 2021 - 52

INTERVIEW

We have to think about soil as dirt. We have to change
our idea that we can control it. We have to remember
that the most important thing about dirt and soil is
time. Once you wreck it by screening it and mixing it,
what we are doing is taking the " time " out of the soil.
- James Urban

As another parting story, I am doing work
in the city of Markham. I've been working
on this landscape for many years. The
reason that matters is that it has switched
ownership three times; the first time,
the urban forestry policies were kind of
light and the developers said, " OK, we're
going to bulldoze all of this down and fill it
exhaustively with a subdivision. " Then a
couple of years later, the land sold again.
Markham had a more progressive urban
forestry policy, and it got a little more
expensive to take those trees down. But
they were still going to do it because it
was financially feasible. Markham now
uses a version of the CTLA to appraise the
trees. In the last transfer of ownership,
when I was engaged for an arboricultural
assessment, it was determined to be
so expensive to take these trees down
that the client asked us to look at ways
to embrace and retain them as a part of
the development.
Because this municipality sharpened its
teeth toward better and more accurately
valuing its trees, developers here are
forced to get more creative and essentially
spend more money on tree preservation.
Kudos to those who worked behind the
scene to create these policies. If only more
municipalities would follow suite.
Trees need more champions. Trees need
better champions.
Bob: We have to see both the forest and
the trees. Here in Winnipeg where I live, in
the densest city in a very large province,
we work regionally in many different rural
municipalities. What we see is that we
have one municipality in this province of
Manitoba that is a bit more sophisticated
in its approach to trees management. I
wouldn't say it's the most sophisticated in
the country, by far. Although in general it
is more sophisticated in this regard than
the rest of the province. We spend hours
and hours of billable time, and increased
52 LANDSCAPES | PAYSAGES

construction costs trying to save every
tree in the city, but it is just as easy to go
into another municipality/region and see
multiple acres bulldozed at the drop of a hat
to make room for development. I think that
this talk is about the wide range of political
perspectives on all these things.
We can talk about the economies of
things. We can talk about the science of
the importance of forestry. But, we need
to use our voices every chance we can,
to talk to those that make policies, to
start shifting the conversation. because
I don't know if it always needs to sit in a
municipality's hands. It can sit in other
hands, too, because some of these things
that matter to us reach beyond boundaries
at both provincial and federal levels. We
need policies and mechanisms in place
that are enforceable because I see many
developments where we're not at the front
of the boardroom table and decisions are
made long before we even get a shot at
trying to protect and preserve our trees.
It is good to preserve the " right " mature
trees, but we can't forget some of those
other forested areas that are incredibly
old, productive, significant, and have a
full ecology of the understory. We have to
make sure that we're equally protecting
those spaces in the appropriate manner.
James: Trees are living things and we have
to make sure that people understand our
job is to make them live as long as they
can. One of the things that we need to
work on with our arborists friends is that
in Canada and the U.S., we tend to prune
our trees from the ground up for some
reason. In Great Britain, where they have
many marvellous 500 to 1,000 year-old
trees, they prune from the top down.
They literally " top " their trees, they call
it retrenchment, and their trees live a lot
longer than our trees. But it is different
from brutal large branch removal toping.
It is a careful application of reduction

cuts to keep the tree mass in balance as it
ages. Keeping lower branches is the most
important part of their pruning concept.
There is a great book on this subject,
Ancient and other Veteran Trees, Ancient
Tree Forum 2013, available on the web as a
free PDF download.
We didn't talk much about nurseries in this
discussion. We need to focus in on the root
systems and the branching structure of our
trees that we're buying. They are generally
pretty terrible. Frankly, as bad as you think
your trees are, they're a lot better than
U.S. trees. We're doing a terrible job down
here. The TREE Fund has a new research
endowment, the Barborinas Fund, just
for nursery research and we made our
first grant for nursery research in 2020. If
you are interested in nursery production
research, this is an opportunity.
We have come far but have a long way to
go. Through research and education on
all the issues we discussed today, we can
start to lead with living systems. We can
secure our place at the table of how our
cities are built. Look at how much influence
we have gained by simply learning a tiny
little bit about soil. Imagine what happens
if we really understood and included the
entire living system in our work. Inspired
landscape architects should be able to
figure out the living systems we need
to respect.
Marc: I remember one summer long
ago when Up By Roots was my holiday
reading, I appreciated how accessible
it was. As a neophyte, there were so
many considerations that made growing
trees seem so difficult, and so easy to
get wrong. But the principles behind
the art and science of growing trees is
not complicated, and education could
have a big effect to overcome a sense of
helplessness. I have written about the
" Miyawaki method, " which outlines in very
simple steps an approach to generating
a natural forest within a relatively
short period of time (see Landscapes/
Paysages, Winter 2020 issue). Setting up
the right variables at the start, to make
up for " unnatural " conditions of human
environments, allows a forest to become
self-sustaining and long-lasting. Much



Landscapes - Spring 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Landscapes - Spring 2021

TO BEGIN WITH | POUR COMMENCER
OUR WRITERS | NOS RÉDACTEURS
PROLOGUE
TECHNOLOGY AND THE CHANGING LANDSCAPE
VIRTUALIZATION OF THE LANDSCAPE DESIGN PROCESS
LE PAYSAGE VIRTUEL COMME OUTIL DE TRAVAIL
DATA-DRIVEN ZONING CODES FOR CLIMATE ACTION
3D FAX MACHINES
LA TECHNOLOGIE À LA RESCOUSSE DE LA SENSIBILITÉ
CRITIQUE
INTERVIEW
FORUM
THE PARTING SHOT | UNE DERNIÈRE SALVE
Landscapes - Spring 2021 - Intro
Landscapes - Spring 2021 - 1
Landscapes - Spring 2021 - 2
Landscapes - Spring 2021 - 3
Landscapes - Spring 2021 - 4
Landscapes - Spring 2021 - 5
Landscapes - Spring 2021 - 6
Landscapes - Spring 2021 - 7
Landscapes - Spring 2021 - TO BEGIN WITH | POUR COMMENCER
Landscapes - Spring 2021 - 9
Landscapes - Spring 2021 - OUR WRITERS | NOS RÉDACTEURS
Landscapes - Spring 2021 - 11
Landscapes - Spring 2021 - 12
Landscapes - Spring 2021 - 13
Landscapes - Spring 2021 - PROLOGUE
Landscapes - Spring 2021 - 15
Landscapes - Spring 2021 - 16
Landscapes - Spring 2021 - 17
Landscapes - Spring 2021 - 18
Landscapes - Spring 2021 - 19
Landscapes - Spring 2021 - TECHNOLOGY AND THE CHANGING LANDSCAPE
Landscapes - Spring 2021 - 21
Landscapes - Spring 2021 - 22
Landscapes - Spring 2021 - 23
Landscapes - Spring 2021 - 24
Landscapes - Spring 2021 - 25
Landscapes - Spring 2021 - VIRTUALIZATION OF THE LANDSCAPE DESIGN PROCESS
Landscapes - Spring 2021 - 27
Landscapes - Spring 2021 - 28
Landscapes - Spring 2021 - 29
Landscapes - Spring 2021 - 30
Landscapes - Spring 2021 - 31
Landscapes - Spring 2021 - LE PAYSAGE VIRTUEL COMME OUTIL DE TRAVAIL
Landscapes - Spring 2021 - 33
Landscapes - Spring 2021 - DATA-DRIVEN ZONING CODES FOR CLIMATE ACTION
Landscapes - Spring 2021 - 35
Landscapes - Spring 2021 - 36
Landscapes - Spring 2021 - 37
Landscapes - Spring 2021 - 3D FAX MACHINES
Landscapes - Spring 2021 - 39
Landscapes - Spring 2021 - LA TECHNOLOGIE À LA RESCOUSSE DE LA SENSIBILITÉ
Landscapes - Spring 2021 - 41
Landscapes - Spring 2021 - 42
Landscapes - Spring 2021 - 43
Landscapes - Spring 2021 - CRITIQUE
Landscapes - Spring 2021 - 45
Landscapes - Spring 2021 - INTERVIEW
Landscapes - Spring 2021 - 47
Landscapes - Spring 2021 - 48
Landscapes - Spring 2021 - 49
Landscapes - Spring 2021 - 50
Landscapes - Spring 2021 - 51
Landscapes - Spring 2021 - 52
Landscapes - Spring 2021 - 53
Landscapes - Spring 2021 - FORUM
Landscapes - Spring 2021 - 55
Landscapes - Spring 2021 - 56
Landscapes - Spring 2021 - 57
Landscapes - Spring 2021 - 58
Landscapes - Spring 2021 - 59
Landscapes - Spring 2021 - 60
Landscapes - Spring 2021 - 61
Landscapes - Spring 2021 - 62
Landscapes - Spring 2021 - 63
Landscapes - Spring 2021 - 64
Landscapes - Spring 2021 - 65
Landscapes - Spring 2021 - THE PARTING SHOT | UNE DERNIÈRE SALVE
Landscapes - Spring 2021 - 67
Landscapes - Spring 2021 - 68
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