A Transect-based approach to trees

Duany Plater-Zyberk & Co. has settled on a gradation of tree-planting for various parts of the Transect. In rural sectors of the Transect, T1-T3, “the plantings should be informally grouped (clustered), and can include various tree types and sizes,” explains Jorge Planas at DPZ. The rural sectors can often accommodate large trees. “As you move to the urban parts of the Transect, T4-T6, the trees begin to take on more steady patterns, and types should not vary,” he says. “The tree size is recommended to be smaller, and thus with a tighter spacing.”

In commercial areas, spacing may be less steady, Planas says, because businesses don’t want their storefronts and entrances to be obscured. “Tree spacing and types should take into account the buildings and views into them,” Planas suggests. Where the design calls for tree pits in mostly paved commercial areas, DPZ has recommended using brick paving that allows water to reach the roots. Planas warns that a street will look cluttered if varied kinds of fencing are installed around trees. He recommends “simple and traditional pit guards of the upside-down ‘U’ [type] linked together.”

If large trees are desired for commercial settings, it’s best to plant them on boulevards, usually in the median, Planas says. Continuous planting strips of trees can work on the street side of a boulevard “provided the sidewalk is ample enough,” he notes.