A tree pit sounds a bit strange - but it is exactly that! A tree pit is usually only applicable in urban areas and they come in all shapes and sizes. It seems that each council has their own way of doing things - but ideally a tree pit should always be square. As for the size - they should always be built with enough room for the tree to grow comfortably. Here are the main things to know about tree pits:
They should be clear of rubbish, weeds and general mess
Level with the ground - or at least level so that water distribution is fair
The ground around the base of the trunk should be good quality soil
If open soil is not suitable then using a Resin bound porous tree pit system is acceptable
They should have enough room to allow the tree to grow over time
Whatever material is around the base of the trunk needs to be porous enough to allow water to penetrate
Quite often our street trees are ill-cared for. They have to put up with noisy roads, air pollution as well as people pouring their tea / coffee on them, letting their pet dog leave unwelcome presents - the list goes on. Despite all of this our street trees still stand proud for us and give us countless benefits - is it too much to ask that they have a tree pit - even a small one? The Devon County Council and High Agency are responsible maintaining the street trees around Exeter - not the Exeter County Council.
It seems that we have adapted a policy of planting street trees and then slapping tarmac right up to the base of the tree(s). This is the quick, cheap and lazy way of doing things. Sadly because this is now considered 'okay' - it will be harder to change the various processes in place. The biggest obstacle will be that of money. However, other countries such as Japan have very green and large tree pits - so there really is no excuse. We've just adapted a very bad practice that was made by a bunch of old farts many years ago - and now it's time to correct their mistakes and actually start looking after our street trees.
During my study around Exeter I have come across many trees with either no tree pit or a very poor one. I have created a list below which you can also comment on in the associated Blog.
Rowan tree along Cowick street opposite the Wardrew road junction. This is a reasonable sized Rowan tree and is the only street tree on this side of the road. Around 2018 (from memory) the area was resurfaced and there would of been an opportunity to install a tree pit. Sadly the lazy option was chosen and they slapped fresh tarmac around the base. Have something to say? Use the Blog.
Silver lime tree along Alphington road next to the Range shop. This is a small / medium sized Silver leaved lime tree along the very busy Alphington road. Tarmac has been slapped up against the base of the tree. Have something to say? Use the Blog.
Hawthorn tree along Exwick road near Mildmay close in Exwick. A medium sized Hawthorn tree that appears to be doing okay. No attempt of a tree pit or open ground - just tarmac up to the base of the tree. Have something to say? Use the Blog.
Norway maple tree along Farm Hill in Exwick. A small / medium sized Norway maple tree that is dual stemmed. No thought has was put into the ground care of this fine tree and so it exists stuck in tarmac. Have something to say? Use the Blog.