The Ultimate Treehouse

Greenscape or Greyscape?

Vertical Forest

“Would you rather see trees or more glass and steel? A building that tries to mitigate its impact on the urban climate, or one that contributes to the heat-island effect? A tower that’s a beacon for migrating birds and butterflies, or that further disrupts their flight? That absorbs carbon dioxide, or doesn’t?”(Source)

Bosco Verticale towers in Milan, Italy
Bosco Verticale (Vertical Forest) Source: Nguyen Tan Tin

 

Don’t these Residential towers take the concept of a green wall or ecowall to the skies?

So recently discussing the nestling of naturalized settings in an urban setting such as the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, and the George Genereux Urban Regional Park of the city of Saskatoon a question came up regarding the long range planning of areas in the city. The question was; what exactly is a vertical forest?  This is a follow up to What is a Vertical Forest? – this article provides various sources of vertical forests!!!

What about a vertical forest, 27 storeys high! Vertical forests are amazing systems “combatting the heat island effect of the city and creating a way-finding post for birds, insects and pollinators struggling to locate the urban green spaces that are increasingly hemmed in by human-made structures.”(Source)

“We stand in awe and wonder at the beauty of a single tree. Tall and graceful it stands, yet robust and sinewy with spreading arms decked with foliage that changes through the seasons, hour by hour, moment by moment as shadows pass or sunshine dapples the leaves. How much more deeply are we moved as we begin to appreciate the combined operations of the assembly of trees we call a forest.”~Richard St. Barbe Baker My Life My Trees

“As cities continue to grapple with air pollution, housing shortages, and climate change, these vertical forests could very well be the residential typology we need for the future. And you can certainly expect to see more of them.”(Source)

“The vertical vegetation produces oxygen, provides habitats for bird and insect life and reduces air pollution: Studies have shown that one tree reduces dust in its vicinity by 7–24%.”(Source)

University of Ottawa Social Sciences Building courtesy Jon Kolbert
University of Ottawa Social Sciences Building courtesy Jon Kolbert

“Pathways and ponds will blend seamlessly into the surrounding business district as a way to complement the existing green spaces …Curving balconies will resemble traditional Asian rice terraces, which are often referred to as the “eighth wonder of the world.”(Source)

“The vegetal system of the Vertical Forest aids in the construction of a microclimate, produces humidity, absorbs CO2 and dust particles and produces oxygen.”(Source)

“The 23 different tree varieties will produce around 132 pounds (60kg) of oxygen every day”(Source)

“Planting and growing increasing quantities of trees is the scientific solution to Earth’s environmental dilemma.”  Richard St. Barbe Baker

“Like most ideas in design it is more metaphorical. Trees on a building while borrowing from the idea of a forest are a long way from having the true ecological structure of a forest. But the objective is to increase biomass, biodiversity and canopy cover.”(Source)

Universidad del Claustro de Sor Juana Mexico Courtesy ThelmadatterUniversidad.del.Claustro.de.Sor.Juana.Mexico.Thelmadatter
Universidad del Claustro de Sor Juana Mexico Courtesy Thelmadatter

“Vertical Forest is a model for a sustainable residential building, a project for metropolitan reforestation that contributes to the regeneration of the environment and urban biodiversity without the implication of expanding the city upon the territory. It is a model of vertical densification of nature within the city that operates in relation to policies for reforestation and naturalization of large urban and metropolitan borders. (Source)

In a vertical forest ” plants will consume 50 tons of carbon dioxide per year. That’s the equivalent of kicking about 10 cars off the road annually.”(Source)

“Viewers around the world were left breath-taken …The vertical gardens are designed with large canopies that provide share in the day and come alive with displays of light and sound at night, and they provide a home to an array of different animals.”(Source)

musée du quai Branly Paris Courtesy Jean-Pierre Dalbéra
musée du quai Branly  Paris Courtesy Jean-Pierre Dalbéra

“But what if we could live in a vertical forest, lush and boiling over with foliage? As humans, we benefit from vegetative, green environments both physically and psychologically. A plethora of studies have explored the benefits of having indoor plants found that people who spend time caring for nature are more likely to care for others. There’s even a restorative treatment called Forest Therapy that involves spending time in wooded areas for the purpose of enhancing health, wellness, and happiness.”(Source)

The trees and vegetation, which cover the land surface of the Earth and delight the eye, are performing vital tasks incumbent upon the vegetable world in nature. Its presence is essential to earth as an organism. It is the first condition of all life; it is the “Skin” of the earth, for without it there can be no water and, therefore, no life. Richard St. Barbe Baker

What can cities and developers learn from naturalized areas?  How can urban spaces develop around natural green spaces?  Can cities increase the greenscape over the grey landscape?  What do you think of Vertical Forests?

Bibliography

A Hedera green façade – Energy performance and saving under different maritime-temperate, winter weather conditions
A Guide to Green Roofs, Walls and Façades
Build Sask Green
Evaluating the Effects of Façade Greening on Human Bioclimate in a Complex Urban Environment
Experimental study of the urban microclimate mitigation potential of green roofs and green walls in street canyons.
Green roofs Land Stewardship Centre
Green Roofs: Good for the Economy and the Environment Ecofriendly Sask
Growing Green Guide
Life Cycle Costs of Green Roofs
Living Walls
The Animal Biodiversity of Green Walls in the Urban Environment
Whole life costing: Green roofs

For directions as to how to drive to “George Genereux” Urban Regional Park

For directions on how to drive to Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

For more information:

Blairmore Sector Plan Report; planning for the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area,  George Genereux Urban Regional Park and West Swale and areas around them inside of Saskatoon city limits

P4G Saskatoon North Partnership for Growth The P4G consists of the Cities of Saskatoon, Warman, and Martensville, the Town of Osler and the Rural Municipality of Corman Park; planning for areas around the afforestation area and West Swale outside of Saskatoon city limits

Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is located in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada north of Cedar Villa Road, within city limits, in the furthest south west area of the city. 52° 06′ 106° 45′
Addresses:
Part SE 23-36-6 – Afforestation Area – 241 Township Road 362-A
Part SE 23-36-6 – SW Off-Leash Recreation Area (Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area ) – 355 Township Road 362-A
S ½ 22-36-6 Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area (West of SW OLRA) – 467 Township Road 362-A
NE 21-36-6 “George Genereux” Afforestation Area – 133 Range Road 3063
Wikimapia Map: type in Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Google Maps South West Off Leash area location pin at parking lot
Web page: https://stbarbebaker.wordpress.com
Where is the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area? with map
Where is the George Genereux Urban Regional Park (Afforestation Area)? with map

Pinterest richardstbarbeb

Facebook Group Page: Users of the George Genereux Urban Regional Park

Facebook: StBarbeBaker

Facebook group page : Users of the St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

Facebook: South West OLRA

Twitter: StBarbeBaker

Please help protect / enhance your afforestation areas, please contact the Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc. (e-mail)

Support the afforestation areas with your donation or membership ($20.00/year).  Please donate by paypal using the e-mail friendsafforestation AT gmail.com, or by using e-transfers  Please and thank you!  Your donation and membership is greatly appreciated.  Members e-mail your contact information to be kept up to date!

QR Code FOR PAYPAL DONATIONS to the Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc.
Paypal

Payment Options
Membership : $20.00 CAD – yearly
Membership with donation : $50.00 CAD
Membership with donation : $100.00 CAD

1./ Learn.

2./ Experience

3./ Do Something: ***

 

“The future of the planet concerns all of us, and all of us should do what we can to protect it. ” Wangari Maathai.

“The science of forestry arose from the recognition of a universal need. It embodies the spirit of service to mankind in attempting to provide a means of supplying forever a necessity of life and, in addition, ministering to man’s aesthetic tastes and recreational interests. Besides, the spiritual side of human nature needs the refreshing inspiration which comes from trees and woodlands. If a nations saves its trees, the trees will save the nation. And nations as well as tribes may be brought together in this great movement, based on the ideal of beautifying the world by the cultivation of one of God’s loveliest creatures – the tree.” ~ Richard St. Barbe Baker.

 

Spiral shelterbelts

October 1 2018, the first monday in October is World Habitat Day.

How can Richard St. Barbe Baker’s theory of spiral shelters be analyzed?  Is the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area an example of afforestation spiral shelter theory being proven successfully?   In 1972, the parks department planted, or afforested 660 acres of afforestation area as a tree nursery in a greening programme for the City of Saskatoon.  The various trees selected were planted not in straight rows, but rather in circular patterns throughout the land allotment.  What has been noted by horticulturists, and foresters in the comparison of trees planted in semi-circles as opposed to trees planted in straight rows?  How does snow accumulate and what is the effect of seasonal drought and flooding? How does wind react upon trees planted in straight lines, and what is the wind pattern, if trees are planted in spirals?  What can be learned of this practice to improve agricultural methods?  Saskatchewan is a windy province, and is subject to years of drought and high water tables, will a spiral windbreak affect the wind and water cycle on agricultural concerns in our province?

“We submit that water must be a basic consideration in all our national and earth -wide forest programmes; streams and rivers must be restored to their natural motion; and floods and droughts must be eliminated.  Forests and woodlands are intimately linked with biological, social and spiritual well-being.  The minimum tree cover for safety is one-third of the total land area.  Every catchment area should have at least this proportion of tree cover made up of mixed species, including broad-leaf trees, mono-culture in any form being injurious to the land.” segment from The Men of the Trees; The New Earth Charter

 

“We’re stabilizing the sand with a series of spiral shelters – rows of trees planted in semicircles to catch the winds and create vortices of air,” explains Baker. “The same thing would be valuable on the Canadian prairies where straight shelter belts cause snow to accumulate.” Star Weekly Toronto, On January 15 1972. article title “He’s top man on the world totem pole”

Branta canadensis
Branta canadensis Canada Goose

Ken Liddells’s Column The Calgary Herald Nov 11 1971″He [Baker] says the fight to prevent the spread of the desert is being won. One tool is a series of spiral shelter belts, with openings for grazing cattle. It is effective for most directions of the wind. The funnels lead into circular enclosures to create vortices of air. It would, he said, be valuable on the Canadian Prairies where straight shelter belts cause snow to accumulate and where “the mining of wheat” will be mourned once again, because the dust bowl of the United States is again creeping over that land.”

SandhillCrane
Grus canadensis Sandhill Crane

Trees also break the strength of the wind, creating shelter for other life forms and lesser species of vegetation.  The planting of shelter-belts (best in spiral form) reduces both the wind speed and the dehydration of the soil, creating microclimates that help the soil against erosion through the provision of additional humus and protection,  Indeed shelter belts can influence the evaporation rate over cultivated land by as much as 30 meters upwind and 120 meters downwind, and Canadian research has shown that farms with a third of their land as shelter belts are more productive than farms of equivalent area where there are no trees at all.

These shelter belts also trap Carbon dioxide (CO2), the heaviest naturally occuring atmospheric gas, found mostly in the lowest levels of the atmosphere, and an essential component of photosynthesis.  Increased CO2 under the right conditions will produce stronger photosynthesis.  When trees and hedgerows between fields are removed, productivity falls, because this causes a fall in carbon dioxide.  Trees should be revered as much as water, for together they are both the givers of life.” Hidden Nature: The Startling Insights of Viktor Schauberger By Alick Bartholomew

January2018-0081

Shelterbelts do not have to be planted in rigid, straight lines. A curved shelterbelt on a natural topographical contour line around the north and west sides of your farmyard will look more pleasing.

Shelterbelts can follow the contour of a valley or creek, run in an angle, or even have a circular shape around the yard site. The main consideration is to keep the spacing parallel between rows for ease of between-row cultivation and maintenance. Farmyard shelterbelts Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

The afforestation areas were planted with “the following tree species…Amercian and Siberian Elm, Manitoba Maple, Green Ash, Poplar, Willow, Colorado Spruce, Scotch Pine and Caragana.” The Trembling Aspen, Snowberry, Buffaloberry are examples of native species also prevalent in the afforestation areas.

As a pioneer in afforestation which is applauded in contemporary times as the earth requires trees for “Carbon Sequestration”, and for the “cooling effect” of the summer tree canopy, reducing the heating effect from Climate Change locally. The Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and the Afforestation area formerly named “George Genereux” Urban Regional Park were planted uniquely, and could be considered pioneers in Richard St. Barbe Baker’s Spiral Shelterbelt planting theory.

A tractor operated by the City of Saskatoon Parks Department purchased a special tree planting machine to afforest the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and the Afforestation area formerly named “George Genereux” Urban Regional Park. The planting process at the afforestation areas began along an outside boundary, and the driver proceeded creating a weaving pattern. The rows would diverge as much as forty feet from the centre line, producing a greater naturalized forest effect rather than strict rows extending linearly. Weaving in and out spirally, and in a curvi-linear fashion creating a much more natural, effect mimicking the genius of Gaia, Mother Nature, herself and her wisdom.

For directions as to how to drive to “George Genereux” Urban Regional Park

For directions on how to drive to Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

For more information:

Blairmore Sector Plan Report; planning for the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area,  George Genereux Urban Regional Park and West Swale and areas around them inside of Saskatoon city limits

P4G Saskatoon North Partnership for Growth The P4G consists of the Cities of Saskatoon, Warman, and Martensville, the Town of Osler and the Rural Municipality of Corman Park; planning for areas around the afforestation area and West Swale outside of Saskatoon city limits

Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is located in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada north of Cedar Villa Road, within city limits, in the furthest south west area of the city. 52° 06′ 106° 45′
Addresses:
Part SE 23-36-6 – Afforestation Area – 241 Township Road 362-A
Part SE 23-36-6 – SW Off-Leash Recreation Area (Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area ) – 355 Township Road 362-A
S ½ 22-36-6 Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area (West of SW OLRA) – 467 Township Road 362-A
NE 21-36-6 “George Genereux” Afforestation Area – 133 Range Road 3063
Wikimapia Map: type in Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Google Maps South West Off Leash area location pin at parking lot
Web page: https://stbarbebaker.wordpress.com
Where is the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area? with map
Where is the George Genereux Urban Regional Park (Afforestation Area)? with map

Pinterest richardstbarbeb

Facebook Group Page: Users of the George Genereux Urban Regional Park

Facebook: StBarbeBaker

Facebook group page : Users of the St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

Facebook: South West OLRA

Twitter: StBarbeBaker

Please help protect / enhance your afforestation areas, please contact the Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc. (e-mail)

Support the afforestation areas with your donation or membership ($20.00/year).  Please donate by paypal using the e-mail friendsafforestation AT gmail.com, or by using e-transfers  Please and thank you!  Your donation and membership is greatly appreciated.  Members e-mail your contact information to be kept up to date!

QR Code FOR PAYPAL DONATIONS to the Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc.
Paypal

Payment Options
Membership : $20.00 CAD – yearly
Membership with donation : $50.00 CAD
Membership with donation : $100.00 CAD

1./ Learn.

2./ Experience

3./ Do Something: ***

 

“I believe with Ruskin, that I must be just to the Earth beneath my feet, to the neighbour by my side and to the Light that comes from above and within that this wonderful world of ours may be a little more beautiful and happy form my having lived in it. “Richard St. Barbe Baker.

 

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