Improving the Survival of Plants

by Wei Zhang | TLE Seminar


Seminar Dates: September 18, 2024 8:00 AM

Seminar Cost: $25 Register for Seminar

Seminar Description:
There are a lot of factors that can contribute to the survival and thrival of newly transplanted plants in the landscaping industry. With most landscaping projects done in built environments, the stresses to plants start with limited space, soil compaction, soil salinity (may come from natural sources, irrigation water, coastal flooding, and deicing salts), pollutants, stormwater runoff, over-and under-watering, chemicals (maybe in the forms of herbicide, pesticide, fertilizer), lack of organic matter and microbiome in the soil, and temperature (heat island effect)….

Is it possible to solve all these issues? Difficult, but it is possible if we understand what trees need to grow and provide that to these trees. In this talk, we will address a few of the technical issues by using real-life examples in communities around America. For example, with the highly impervious surfaces, there is plenty of natural precipitation for most of the American regions including the arid regions. It is about how to make them usable. Removing topsoil and compacting the subsoil is the first step of building any structures. So heavily compacted soil with no organic matter and no soil microbiome is very common in the built environment. We will also discuss how to de-compact the soil naturally such as earthworms and reintroduce the soil microbiome to make the built environment habitable. Case studies across North America will be used to illustrate how these methods can significantly reduce the need for maintenance, and the reliance of landscape contractors to keep the plants alive.

Learning Objectives:
1. Understand the environmental and societal benefits of green infrastructure and urban forestry.
2. Study the main technical challenges encountered in green infrastructure, urban forestry, and landscaping industry.
3. Learn how to solve many of these issues, e.g. maintaining proper soil moisture without wasting precious freshwater resource, with real-life case studies across the United States.

Wei Zhang

Wei Zhang is the VP of Research and Development at Zynnovation LLC, aka TreeDiaper. He is also the Education Coordinator of The Institute of Soil Genomics for Healthy Community Forests. He holds a Ph.D. degree in Engineering from Virginia Tech. He has been doing research & development for the green industry for 15 years. His research areas include watering solutions for landscape plants, relationship of soil/water/air, plant protection against stresses like drought and road salt. His work also provides novel solutions to green stormwater infrastructures, for which plants are used for the treatment of pollutants in stormwater. He has more than 40+ peer-reviewed scientific journal articles, one monograph and 200+ conference presentations. He has been a frequent speaker on Arboriculture, Landscape Architecture, Urban Forestry, Stormwater Green Infrastructure, and related conferences and symposiums. He is known as a scientist, educator and public speaker. Dr. Zhang is an ASLA approved LA CES provider.