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Proceedings of the International Plant Propagator's Society

Vol. 50

Selection and Propagation of Deep-rooted Ornamental Trees for Urban Environments

David W. Burger and Zachary Taylor

pp: 622-631

Ornamental trees in urban environments provide myriad biological, physical, economical, and sociological benefits. Trees: (1) provide a habitat for a wide range of animal life, (2) function as a cleansing mechanism for polluted air, (3) shade houses and other structures thus reducing the need for electrically powered air conditioners during the summer, and (4) provide an environment in which human beings can connect with nature. However, some trees have root systems that cause damage to sidewalks, curbs, and gutters. This damage is the result of planting trees in planting areas that are too small or too narrow and/or the trees inherent tendency to have shallow, horizontally oriented roots (Barker, 1987; Barker and Wagar, 1987). As these shallow roots produce secondary thickening growth they tend to upheave pavements around them. Several popular tree species have been associated with sidewalk and curb displacement. They include: Liquidambar styraciflua (sweet gum), Morus alba (white

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