The greatest of stresses placed upon urban trees that affect tree health and longevity is the repeated compaction of root occupied soils. Landscape trees such as oaks, lindens and other species in public parklands can have a life span of 200+ years only if they are allowed to and, if provided with optimum and undisturbed growing conditions. The general public desires long-lived trees because it is large and mature healthy trees that provide the most benefits and services. Yet the uncontrolled repeated COMPACTION OF ROOT OCCUPIED SOILS by Parks machinery and trucks, pedestrian foot traffic and a permanent dog-run with the continuous deposition of toxic URIC ACID and FECAL MATTER upon the UNSEEN and TREE SUSTAINING root zone- will reduce the tree's capacity to remain healthy long into the future.
A permanent fenced-in dog-run imposed across tree root zones is another deleterious tree stress, clearly not needed. Vital parkland trees are greatly benefited by locating the dog-run far from and well beyond the drip-line of established trees and upon an open tree-less landscape instead.
As a note;
• Though most parkland trees may be perceived by the average park user as being green and healthy, the fact is most trees and their unseen root zones in heavily used parks are in stress, not noticeable to the eye.
• On the Department of Parks website on DOG-RUNS: Dog-runs created with the expertise of Department of Parks landscape architects and volunteers- the runs encourage play while providing good drainage, safe lighting and healthy planting.
Placing a dog-run on already compacted soils does not provide good drainage nor does it consider healthy plants- that includes parkland trees.
Carsten W. Glaeser Ph.D, ASCA
Independent Consulting Arborist
Acting VP, Kissena Park Civic Association,
Chair- Tree Protection Subcommittee
Queens Civic Congress,
Queens Coalition for Parks & Greenspaces