Washington, DC

Dear PoPville,

So curious about this tree in front of Matchbox on 14th. All the soil was covered by asphalt — looks like awhile ago and I just never noticed. anyway – how does the tree survive, and why this one?

UPDATE – From a reader:

Earlier today I asked my colleague Joey Perez who works in DDOT’s Urban Forestry Administration about this exact tree box. Below is his terrific explanation of this innovative tree box treatment. Here’s hoping you can share with your readers (they may see more of these around town!) and thank them for their concern for our DC street trees!

It is actually a good thing and it has been a test site with a new material that is on the market called Flexi-pave. This is a permeable surface made out of old rubber tires that is able to withstand heavy foot traffic and tree roots can grow right under it. What you are witnessing is probably its best feature in that it can be poured right up to the trunk of the tree without damaging the tree or compacting the soil. Say what!? You heard me right. So the next time you are in that area, celebrate the awesomeness of Flexi-pave.


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