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The Pocket Woodlands® design concept was developed by Martin Ford, a third-generation horticulturist, former University of Guelph instructor, and co-founder of Urban Cottage Landscapes in Guelph with his wife and business partner, Judy Roeder.


Pocket Woodlands® designs are inspired by nature and adapted for the urban home landscape to create a community of healthy trees and other natural features.

Martin has personally installed numerous Pocket Woodlands® landscape features for clients in the Guelph-Wellington, Halton Region and the GTA-Greater Toronto Area through Urban Cottage Landscapes, bringing naturalized cottage-style designs to urban home environments.

Pocket Woodlands® design supports optimal tree root growth


Typically, trees in urban areas are planted individually at ground-level. Their roots bake under the sun and struggle to push through compacted city soil. This leads to poor growth and an all-too short lifespan.


Pocket Woodlands design calls for planting trees on a raised bed, mound or berm enriched with organic material to provide young root systems with the maximum amount of air possible, thus enabling them to establish strong roots more quickly and easily. Ensuring succession by planting seeds of diverse tree types in the berm is another essential design component for optimal tree health and longevity.


This planting technique, developed by horticulturalist Martin Ford, has been incredibly successful in creating “tree communities” in urban home landscapes.


The naturalized planting design, rooted in arboriculture best practices, features groups of three to five trees on a raised bed, interplanted with a protective layer of shrubs and ground coverings, and topped with a thick mulch layer.

Pocket Woodlands® – Inspired by nature, backed by research

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We are a member of the Ontario Chapter of the International Society

of Arboriculture (ISA)

ISA promotes the professional practice of arboriculture to foster a greater awareness of the benefits of trees.

Showing the world the benefits of trees

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