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In this Built Green Certified Community in West Seattle preservation of old trees is REQUIRED. During phase on construction supposedly the protective fences had price tags hanging from them in the $100,000 range for each tree. If a builder damaged the tree or it died then they would have to pay that amount in restitution and penalty.
Preservation of large trees should be arranged in any new development – it adds a lot of aesthetic appeal and actually improves home values.
American Society for Horticulture Science January 15, 2011, press release:
Taiwanese researchers Hui-Mei Chen, Hung-Ming Tu, and Chaang-Iuan Ho published a study in HortScience that explored an array of attitudes toward horticultural activities. The results showed that people engage in gardening and related activities for both psychological and environmental reasons.
The researchers used qualitative and quantitative methods to explore participants’ attitudes toward horticultural activities. In the first study, seven themes and several subthemes of attitudes were induced from open-ended interviews with participants. Based on interview results, a questionnaire was designed and a quantitative survey was conducted to identify the dimensions of attitudes toward horticultural activities. The researchers extracted five critical “dimensions of attitudes” toward horticultural activities: increasing positive mood, improving the environment, leisure belief, improving social relationships, and an attitude the researchers label “escaping.” Respondents rated the dimension of “increasing positive mood” highest, indicating an emphasis on psychological benefits such as feeling glad, pleased, optimistic, relaxed, tranquil, and comfortable as the essence of their attitudes toward horticultural activities. The researchers also found that that engaging in horticultural activities can provide people opportunities to forget worries, transfer attention, or experience another way of life, or “escape.” That the respondents rated the dimension of escaping so high emphasizes the importance of the restorative benefits of contact with nature, observed the scientists.
Participants also rated “improving the environment” as a critical dimension of their attitudes toward horticultural activities. This is a notable change from the well-known Leisure Attitude Scale (LAS), a 1982 model widely used by researchers in the leisure field; the LAS does not include “improving the environment.”
“To further promote horticultural activity as a form of leisure, it is crucial to first ascertain participants’ attitudes about it. Our research shows that horticultural activities are beneficial not only for individuals, but also for the environment,” the researchers wrote.
American Society for Horticulture Science January 16, 2011, press release:
Used throughout the world to lessen the environmental impact of urbanization, green roofs can offer a wide range of ecological and aesthetic benefits. A new study from researchers at Colorado State University’s Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture published in HortScience evaluated six plant species to determine the plants’ ability to thrive on extensive green roofs in Colorado. Five plants that survived the two-year experiment are recommended for use in semiarid regions.
Extensive green roofs are characterized by shallow-depth (typically less than 15 than centimeters deep) growing media. Previous research on species that can survive and thrive on extensive green roofs has shown that succulents outperform most non-succulents. Jennifer Bousselot, who led the Colorado study, noted that other green roof studies conducted elsewhere in the United States evaluated nonsucculents that were “typically native to areas with high annual precipitation and relatively deep soil profiles.” The CSU researchers postulated that plants native to the Rocky Mountain region, especially those that inhabit areas with shallow, rocky, well-drained soils, may be better suited for use in extensive green roof systems. According to Bousselot, until this study extensive green roofs have not been scientifically evaluated in the high-elevation, semiarid climate of Colorado.
Though visual assessment and visual ratings have traditionally been used for measuring plant success on green roofs, these methods are usually subjective and not quantitative. To obtain more accurate data, the Colorado State University scientists compared digital image analysis data (DIA)—a process that incorporates periodic photographing of plants and digital analysis of the images—with manually collected converted two-dimensional data (C2D). The team determined that DIA and C2D are both useful for quantifying plant cover. “The DIA analysis appears to be a reliable substitution for the less accurate C2D method. Additionally, DIA can be used to estimate biomass accumulation, specifically for groundcover species.”
The researchers examined plant area covered for six species. Plant cover increased for all six during the 2008 growing season, but one species, Kannah Creek Buckwheat, experienced low winter survival and was removed from the study in 2009. Of the remaining five species evaluated, blue grama and hardy ice plant outperformed small-leaf pussytoes, brittle pricklypear, and spearleaf stonecrop. Bousselot noted that because five species survived over the two years of this study, these species should be considered for use on extensive green roofs in semiarid regions.
The complete study and abstract are available on the ASHS HortScience electronic journal web site: http://hortsci.ashspublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/45/8/1288
Founded in 1903, the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS) is the largest organization dedicated to advancing all facets of horticultural research, education, and application. More information at ashs.org