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Posted on: May 11, 2023

Urban tree health and the future of Morgan Square's canopy

Morgan Square Community Workshop

If you've had the opportunity to view the three preliminary design options for the enhancement of Morgan Square, you've likely noticed that all of the proposals include an abundant amount of tree canopy. Owing to feedback from residents and stakeholders throughout the process so far, it's clear that the importance of natural shade and the welcoming feel provided by mature trees will certainly be a major factor in whatever shape the final enhancement design takes.

While placing trees in many parks can be as simple as selecting the right tree and the right location to plant it, the challenge is much greater in a bustling city center where the regular thumping of tens of thousands of footsteps compresses soil, where surrounding hardscape limits the amount of rain reaching tree roots, and where well over a century of underground infrastructure creates a tangle of sometimes unknown obstacles and complications. 

What does a sustainable canopy for Morgan Square look like when the lifespan of urban trees is often 10-20 years? What do we know about the conditions of the trees currently on and around Morgan Square, and what remains hidden underground? What strategies and new technologies can help extend the lifespan of new trees, and what can be done to improve conditions for existing trees that remain after the redesign?

Today on the podcast, we're talking with ISA Board Certified Master Arborist and consultant for the Morgan Square enhancement process, Jonathan Simmons about his assessment of the square's trees and what our city can do to create a sustainable canopy for its future.

Want to listen to our podcast on the go? You can find us on SpotifyApple PodcastsStitcheror search "Spartanburg City News" in your favorite podcast app. Theme music provided by Spartanburg singer-songwriter, David Ezell.

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