METRIA 5: Selecting and Preparing Sites for Urban Trees

Proceedings of the Fifth Conference of the Metropolitan Tree Improvement Alliance

The Pennsylvania State University
University Park, Pennsylvania
May 23-24, 1985

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Trees provide tremendous physical, aesthetic, and psychological benefits to urban areas. Because of this, many communities have programs that include planting some trees along their streets every year. Unfortunately, many of these plantings are unsuccessful. The trees may not die, but they may not grow and develop well enough to provide the effect expected of them. In most cases this failure is not due to poor tree selection, handling, or planting, but instead is due to poor site selection or preparation. Few sites in urban areas are suitable for the unrestricted growth of trees. Some sites have such severe limitations that trees should not be planted in them. Others will support good tree growth only if properly prepared. The big unanswered question of many urban tree managers is “How do I properly prepare a site prior to planting?” The Metropolitan Tree Improvement Alliance sponsored this conference to obtain the most accurate, up-to-date answer to this question.

Larry J. Kuhns and James C. Patterson
Program Chairmen and Proceedings Editors


The officers and members of METRIA gratefully acknowledge the support of the U.S. Forest Service, Northeastern area, for providing the funds for publishing these proceedings.


Presentations made by Dr. Gene Himelick, Robert Skiera, Anne Spirn and Heidi Schusterman were not submitted for publication. Robert Skiera’s presentation was to be taped and prepared by the Editor, but a malfunctioning tape recorder precluded this from happening.

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Updated January 20, 2010

This page was created by Thomas Eaker and Thomas Ranney, July 1999.