The “Right Tree, Right Place” (RTRP) principle covers many site characteristics, but is most closely associated with overhead wires, where it prescribes small-statured trees to mitigate the costs and danger of utility line clearance. In recent years, as many entities—both governmental and non-governmental—have adopted RTRP for planting palettes, the proportion of small-statured trees being planted in densely wired zones has dramatically increased. These trees have much smaller canopies, much shorter lifespans, and are concentrated within a few taxa (e.g., Rosaceae), as compared to taxonomically diverse palettes of large-statured street trees. While urban foresters and arborists strive to increase urban tree canopy and its attendant benefits, especially in low-UTC, often low-income, neighborhoods, they find themselves bound by a design principle that focuses primarily on fitting species to site (rather than altering site characteristics). At the same time, RTRP may still not adequately mitigate risk from the increasingly frequent disturbances that affect vegetation near utility lines. I would like to delve into our findings from a series of inter-related studies—findings that indicate the need for an independent, comprehensive cost-benefit analysis of the various solutions to utility line conflicts. I would also like to hear in person from utility arborists, whom I believe have a unique perspective on these issues.
Jun 10, 2020
June 24, 2020 @ 7:00 am – 8:00 am
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