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LASN October 2009 Letters

According to Ecotreat, the tree roots are treated with a sterile organic material that creates an air free, solid root ball.

Teak Warehouse Bollard Solutions
EnviroGLAS Distefano
John Deere

Re "Building a Tree Nursery Business from the Ground Up" George Nottingham writes:

We have made significant progress since this article was written. We now operate a major facility in Houston and also own and operate a 250-acre cold tolerant palm field nursery in Houston.

Another unique new operation of ours is Ecotreat ( The effect of this new operation is the ability for field nurseries nationwide to be able to market and ship their field grown green goods to countries and environs where native soil importation is restricted and to do so with no risk to their products. In short, we remove all of the native soil form the mature root systems, dip the bear root systems to eliminate pests that may be present and then hydraulically recreate a new root ball out of a phytosanitary organic material that has been pre-processed to be nearly sterile. The net result is an air free, phytosanitary root encasement that promotes root regeneration in transit while also possessing counter weight that allows for ease of handling and re-installation in the destination country or state. This capacity has been fully tested and has proven exceptionally successful.

We will be formally introducing Ecotreat at the FNATS tradeshow in Orlando Florida in Oct of 2009 and will be displaying samples of the mature palms that have been Ecotreated as well as displaying the results of two soil free shipping experiments; one to Panama in 2006 and the other to the British Virgin Islands in 2007.

George Nottingham
Groundworks of Palm Beach County, Inc.

Re "Cipriano Landscape Design Awarding Four Scholarships to Rutgers Students" Scott Satterthwaite writes:

I think this is a great way to move landscaping practices and design into a more sustainable and profitable business. I hope other similar partnerships will form. Who would have thought a landscape design company would give scholarship money to a environmental biology program at a major U.S. university?

Stormwater management will be a requirement for more and more cities. This will become more and more of a profitable business and a positive reflection to the serviced communities as demand grows.

Scott Satterthwaite
Nonpoint Source Pollution Control Specialist
KS Department of Health and Environment
Wichita, Kansas

Re "Chicago Park District Wins 1st Place for Best Green Practices" Kathy Simpson writes:

I do not understand how this award can be one in a city that has no facility for recycling of green waste. As a landscaper working only within city limits, it is a constant challenge to find green methods of recycling plant debris and waste soils. If I cannot do it, how can the city when there is nothing within city limits for this purpose? Please address this problem, in future articles, as it is of great concern and very disturbing for a city that wins awards for being "green."

Kathy Simpson
KMS Gardens and Design
Chicago, Ill.

Re "A Walk in Time: The Avalon Waterfront Restoration, an Exclusive Interview with Robert Borthwick, ASLA, Borthwick, Guy, Bettenhausen, Inc. William Gavitt writes:

Congratulations to Leslie McGuire for this thorough, sensitive, factual and historic documentation of the renewal of the Catalina Island waterfront. We have visited Catalina more than a dozen times and have always enjoyed its wide variety of accommodations, restaurants, shops, scenic natural beauty, welcoming people and visitors enjoying life.

Your well-researched article has inspired us to return to this idyllic retreat very soon. Thank you for reminding us that one does not have to travel to "far-away places with strange sounding names" when we have this Jewel only "26 miles across the sea."

William Gavitt
Riverside Museum Associates
Riverside, Calif.

An example of the 3-D VizTerra software.

Re "Structure Studios: VizTerra Software Review" Nancy Tom writes:

This is terrific-looking software but for small design firms such as my own, to pay a lease fee each month as a continuing expense is not feasible. I own AutoCAD Lt. 2006 and while it is a little clunky and doesn't do 3-D like VizTerra, AutoCAD, it does meet my needs and I don't have to pay for the privilege of using it each month while adding to my overhead.

Nancy Tom
Down-to-Earth Gardens, Inc.

Terrewalks are modular panels for sidewalks mad of rubber, plastic and organic colorant.

Re "Rubber Sidewalks Bounce Concrete Len Phillips writes:

Arborists are constantly battling with tree roots that lift sidewalks. The solution is often to cut the tree roots that can place the tree in harm, and then to replace the sidewalk with more concrete or petroleum based asphalt. Another problem dealing with society is the disposal of worn-out vehicle tires and waste plastic.

This article discusses Rubbersidewalks, which uses tires and waste plastic into sidewalk panels that allow the tree roots to survive and not create a pedestrian hazard. Terrewalks(TM) is the next generation of Rubbersidewalks. They are an interlocking modular paving system that is cost-effective and they are a LEED accredited alternative to concrete sidewalks and pathways. They are made of 100% recycled tire crumb rubber, bound with waste plastic, and mixed with organic colorant. They are fabricated with patented low-energy technology that produces a uniquely high-performance product using a compression process. They meet all the requirements of sidewalk-worthiness, including: stability and nonvibration, which make them in compliance with ADA requirements; high coefficient of friction for nonskid both dry and wet; and they do not fade, break, crack or warp in any climatic condition.

Cities and site managers struggle with public safety concerns and financial burdens posed by concrete sidewalks damaged by enlarged tree roots, by freeze-thaw cycles, and by vehicular traffic. These new walk panels are modular sidewalk systems that accommodate frost heaves and vehicles without breakage. The channel design system on the bottom of each tile facilitates water drainage and accommodates tree root growth. Falls that cause injury or broken bones are significantly less likely than on concrete walks. Maintenance of the walks consist of a simple sweep, hose down, mop, or steam clean. Chewing gum is easily removed and leaves no mark.

The modular system allows the walk panels to be periodically opened for inspection and immediately reinstalled. They have a granite looking finish. No two walk panels look alike. The walk panels qualify for at least four LEED credits for recycled content, storm water drainage and heat island effect.

Len Phillips
Online Seminars for Arborists
Peabody, Mass.

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