Below ground. City silviculture and the art and science of urban soils.

INTRODUCTION I pick the tree-lined streets in my cycle commutes across London. The air is cooler, the glare is less, and if there’s a breeze, the ear can tune into a gentle rustle of leaves over the humdrum of the city. I know certain groups of trees well – some now for over half a century – having lived in the borough all my life. They are majestic friends, heroic in their resilience to almost all weathers, with lofty canopies and textured or fissured bark encrusted with lichen. Planted by our forefathers and with the benefit of their foresight, London’s large trees give natural scale to the city. They are our urban forests, planting vast volumes of biomass in amongst the inertia of built f

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