Trees are a welcome sight in a city. They provide shade, beauty and reduce the heat that collects in concreted areas. In an urban setting, soil to grow them is a rare commodity.

Streets, sidewalks, buildings and parking swallow potential surface planting area. Utilities, basements and underground parking occupy soil volume. Not much soil is left for trees to grow in.

This little that is left is then compacted by traffic. Roots are unable to grow, water can’t penetrate the soil, and organisms vital to plant growth cannot survive.

To remedy this, the technology of soil cells is now in use in many places around the world. These cells take the weight of the traffic and allow the soil between them to remain uncompacted. Thus they support root growth that the trees require to flourish, and allow passage to many utilities with little hindrance to root growth.

On Gladstone Avenue we specified Silva Cells, illustrated here in red. Also shown are Silva Cells in the process of being installed on Gladstone Avenue.

soil cell installation 2

silva cell sectionsoil cell installation







Installed cells are filled with soil. Surface treatment is applied over them and trees are planted.

old and new trees in soil cells





New trees are assured enough good soil to grow to maturity and existing trees are given much needed growing medium which can be extended under traffic lanes. This provides the urban setting with a healthy and growing green infrastructure with aesthetic and environmental benefits.