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Ware, George

Constraints to Tree Growth Imposed by Urban Soil Alkalinity

Digitization Status
Date created
February 1990
The selecting of trees for urban planting in the Chicago region requires attention to two serious limitations—soil alkalinity and clayiness. This region has extensive areas of soil derived from alkaline glacial till. Urbanization often brings about a mixing of surface and deeper material producing a tree-root environment scarcely conducive to proper growth. The following discussions deal mainly with situations in the Chicago area, but in-formation and ideas are thought to have applicability to urban areas elsewhere.
Soil alkalinity is commonly a limitation to tree growth in urban soils of the Chicago region. Associated chlorosis may sometimes be successfully treated, but longer term modification of the root environment is desirable. Selection and use of trees tolerant of soil alkalinity (calciphytes) are urgent needs. Planning a harmonious tree/site system re-quires simultaneous consideration of the limitations of both elements. Alkalinization of urban soils from runoff from concrete and limestone surfaces appears to be widespread.
Volume, Issue, Page Number
16, 2, 35-38
Related Entities
Journal of Arboriculture (published by)
Related Collections
Publications by George Ware