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Tree Pits Are the “Pits” But We Can Make Them Better

Peg Staeheli, 2018-02-05


Tree pit designs play an important role in the growth and health of a tree. Many urban planners allot 4'x4' dimension pits for the trees planted along sidewalks, pavements, curbs, etc. But that isn't always sufficient depending on the tree and how deep the roots grow. For the growth of a healthy tree, the roots need space to aerate. With the smaller pit sizes, the trees typically don't live more than 15 years. The article suggests that the space between the trees and adjacent pedestrian spaces be increased to at least 6', with 8-10' even more optimal as this permits more water and air to enter the substrate feeding the tree roots. For surface treatment they suggest wood chips or gravel/ stone to allow water to seep in and keep the moisture intact.

Tags: tree planting, benefits, tree pit designs, retrofitting

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