Charlottetown testing ‘cutting edge’ tree planting technology

Charlottetown testing ‘cutting edge’ tree planting technology

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The City of Charlottetown is testing out a new tree planting product designed to improve the chances of survival for trees planted in the downtown area.

The product, called Permavoid, is made up of blocks, water cones and soil. It is installed underground, helps capture water for tree roots and then protect those roots from compaction.

“This technology is on the cutting edge,” said Coun. Mitchell Tweel, chair of environment and sustainability.

“We’re hoping that these trees will not only survive but will be able to grow and add to the landscape.” 

New era for planting trees

Tweel said Bird Stairs, ABT Inc., and Pinnacle Agencies Ltd., are all providing the product for free as part of the pilot project. And while it will take several years, Tweel said they are hoping this is a “whole new era in tree planting.” 

“When you take into consideration the many, many challenges, paving and concrete sidewalks and all those amenities that just makes it virtually impossible to plant trees.”

The pilot project site is located on the northwest corner of Queen and Richmond streets. Tweel said there have been attempts made in the past to plant trees downtown but “it’s just not working.”

Mitchell Tweel says the city will ‘assess and evaluate once these trees are planted.’ (Isabella Zavarise/CBC)

Tweel said he hopes this product can also help replace trees that have been lost due to Dutch elm disease.

“Maybe this will be the spark that swings that pendulum back the other way,” he said.  

Tweel said if the results are positive, the city could look at budgeting or fundraising for more downtown tree plantings in the future.

Installation of the new product will start next week.

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