The transformation of Craven Lodge on Victoria Avenue, part of the Harrogate conservation area, is progressing successfully. As the first Victorian villa to be built on the site, it is currently undergoing a full renovation from its previous office use into a mix of offices and luxury apartments.
To enhance its green credentials and provide additional privacy to the frontage, a 22-meter trench was planned to accommodate four 3-meter-high Hornbeam ‘Frans Fontaine’ trees. These majestic trees maintain their columnar shape into maturity and are an excellent choice for adding a touch of classic architectural beauty, especially during autumn.
The challenge was to create a solution that would allow cars to be parked in front of the building without compacting the soil in the tree pits.
Green-tech, a leading supplier of landscaping materials, became involved in the project when Callum Bain-Mackay, lead designer from Grant Horticulture, approached them for the best way to optimize rooting volume for the tree pits within the property’s tight space constraints.
The initial landscape plan called for separate tree pits for each tree. However, after review, Green-tech suggested one long trench. This offered two advantages over individual tree pits. Firstly, trees can effectively share space, allowing their roots to extend into each other’s areas, effectively increasing the rooting volume. Secondly, by excavating a single trench, significant time and labor costs were saved compared to creating four individual pits.
The TreeParker® Urban Tree Pit System comprises rigid modular units made from reinforced recycled polypropylene. These units support the ground above a tree pit for pedestrian and vehicular traffic (up to 56t/m²) while simultaneously protecting the soil below from compaction. This enables the use of Green-tech’s specially blended Green-tree Geocell topsoil, which is friable and organic, ideal for successful tree establishment.
The TreeParker® units, while highly rigid, provide 95% of their volume for rooting space. The reinforced legs are available in various heights (400, 600, 800mm, 1, 1.2, and 1.5m), offering unprecedented flexibility with depth options and enabling units to straddle or work around service pipes and lines.
Although TreeParker® has been used extensively in high-profile projects across Europe, Grant Horticulture is the first UK company to install the system, which was launched by UK distributor Green-tech earlier this year.
As this was the first installation in the UK, Green-tech provided valuable guidance and hands-on assistance to Callum Bain-Mackay and his team at Grant Horticulture. The speed and ease of installation, even when several unexpected service pipes were discovered in the trench, left the team impressed.
Green-tech supplied 40 tonnes of Geocell topsoil, Green-tree subsoil, Mona Relief irrigation pipes, and tree anchor systems for the project.
Callum Bain-Mackay expressed his satisfaction, saying, “TreeParker® is definitely something we will use for future tree pits.” Green-tech’s Specification Advisor, Alasdair Innes, added, “It was a pleasure to work with a local landscape company like Grant Horticulture, and we’re looking forward to seeing the trees flourish in the final refurbished property.”