Friday, March 14, 2008

ISA HK/China --- Informal Dinner to welcome Mr. James Urban

Dear ISA HK/China Station Members & TCHK Members,

ISA HK/China jointly with TCHK are privileged to be able to invite the internationally famous Landscape Architect & Urban Forester, Mr. James Urban, to attend an Informal Dinner hosted in his honour by our Members, with details as follows:

Date: Thursday Mar 27, 2008

Time: Seminar starting at 6.30 pm, Buffet Dinner starting at 7.30 pm. Vegetarians should have no problem attending this dinner. Also, no Shark Fins will be served to be in line for our conservationist members. Anyone joining will be required to pay for the dinner whether he/she would stay to eat or not.

Venue: Hover City Chiu Chow Restaurant (潮豪城洒樓), 1/F, Cheung Sha Wan Plaza, 833 Cheung Sha Wan Road, Kowloon, which is just above Exit A of Lai Chi Kok MTR Station. Tel: 2745 7655

Cost: approx. HK$ 250 person, with total cost to be shared among all participating Station Members at the end of the dinner.

Seminar Topic: Urban Soil & Trees seen by Mr. Urban during his visit to Singapore, HK & China.

Capacity: 60 persons

CEU: 1 CEU will be given to any CA participating.

Please kindly note this is a rare opportunity for HK people to meet face to face with an internationally renowned expert in Urban Soil & Trees. Mr. Urban needs little introduction by this Station to be a respectable gentleman & knowledgeable professional in the field of urban landscape. His presence is sought around the world for expertise on landscape design as well as tree planting. This is not an opportunity to be missed by our landscapers or anybody interested in tree planting indeed.

For those of you who missed the booking for the educational CEDD seminar of Mr. Urban on Mar 25, maybe you would like to quickly book on this one to avoid another disappointment.

This invitation is also extended to CAHK, GAIA, KFBG, & others for their members to consider to come to meet Mr. Urban in this memorable occasion.

Thank you for your kind attention & please book at your earliest convenience.

best regards,

Sammy Au
ISA HK/China Station Manager
TCHK Chieftain

Information of Mr. James Urban

Mr Urban is an internationally acclaimed expert in landscape architecture, urban architecture and urban soils. He specialises in the design of trees and soils in urban spaces.

Mr Urban has written and lectured extensively on the subject of urban tree planting and has been responsible for the introduction of many innovations including most of the current standards relating to urban tree plantings. He was instrumental in the development of structural cells and structural planting soils for use under sidewalk pavements, micro-root paths and macro-soil trench techniques.

Mr. Urban is the Plant Editor for Landscape Architecture Magazine and the current author of the section in Architectural Graphics on tree preservation, planting and urban tree planting. He is a visiting lecturer on Urban Soils Tree Planting at Harvard University's Graduate School of Design.

Monday, March 10, 2008

ISA HK/China --- 'The Root of the Problem' by James Urban

*** Our weekly Station Mail is for the information of Station Members only, but Station Mail has given up copyright & can be freely circulated. For administrative reasons, comments from outsiders are usually not entertained & may be circulated within our system locally & overseas. Please note Station Mail is sometimes given in Blog at , although images are usually not attached due to size. ***

Dear Station Members,

This Station apologizes to bombard our Station Members lately with various kind of research, but arboriculture is just full of research. In fact, if the Station Manager is not working or tree climbing, he will be burying himself in the latest research. There is just too much an Arborist would need to learn to stay in practice to handle the ever changing situation. Obtaining a credential is merely pushing open the gate.

Attached is an article recently given to this Station by the internationally acclaimed Mr. James Urban who will be visiting HK very soon. Mr. Urban needs little introduction as an internationally renowned Landscape Architect & Urban Forester to anyone knowledgeable in the landscape practice. His article here was meant for sharing with our 610 no. of Station Members for our update on the latest international practice on tree production & nursery stock standards.

This article would challenge our conventional wisdom of using Containerized Trees & plants which have been advocated by a lot of our local landscapers to be without 'Transplant Shock' & would give 'Instant Effect' after planting. However, Mr. Urban reckoned that nearly any kind of Containerization would lead to the development of Circling/Girdling Roots, which can lead to future poor growth or even toppling in wind if unchecked. Mr. Urban also reckoned to use Bare Root Trees to avoid this problem.

On the other hand, a new nursery stocks standard has been jointly developed by the ISA, American Nursery & Landscape Association (ANLA) & the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) in 2005 to state that a minimum of two main roots must be within 3 inches of the rootball soil line as measured 4 inches from the trunk, for any nursery tree to be acceptable in urban planting. Further information on this topic can be obtained at :

It is also reckoned that an inch of soil can be left over the roots to avoid damaging the root surface during the planting operation.

In ETF, tree production has been following the above-mentioned practice since the beginning of operation in 2005. ISA's guidelines for tree production are not to have Girdling Roots nor deeply planted roots, & the minimum rootball size should be around 10 x trunk diameter. Containerization is discouraged in ETF to avoid any tendency to produce Girdling Roots. Uphill potting of seedlings at ETF is inspected every week to ensure no Circling Roots development, or to be planted into ground once circling began to appear. Any tree found planted too deep in ETF will be removed & replaced.

Such are the requirements to produce any quality trees, & quality trees would save maintenance & minimize future failure in a landscape. These are also the points ignored by our brothers & sisters up north because their landscape specifications have no requirements up to this level. HK can certainly do better than that.

The attached article was written by an international Landscape Architect on the latest research & finding. It should serve as a good reference by our local landscapers to help source & install our trees, as well as to match our current practice with the world. HK is an international city where visitors can compare, & we have regular storms & typhoons every year. Having better trees would provide better & safer landscape, & our city is wealthy enough to select better trees. HK is Third World no more.

Do we not agree?

best regards,

Sammy Au
Station Manager

The ISA Mission - Through research, technology, and education, promote the professional practice of arboriculture and foster a greater public awareness of the benefits of trees. (