As the pace of urban development increases, urban green spaces, and urban trees in particular, come in direct conflict with bulldozers and backhoes. With careful early planning and an understanding of how tree damage occurs, strategies for tree preservation – and most importantly – soil preservation, can allow for trees to coexist within the built urban environment.
Nina Bassuk has been a professor and program leader of the Urban Horticulture Institute at Cornell University for the past 38 years. She has been a member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Urban Forestry Council and is co-author of Trees in the Urban Landscape, a text for landscape architects and horticultural practitioners on establishing trees in disturbed and urban landscapes. In addition, Dr. Bassuk has authored over 100 papers on the physiological problems of plants growing in urban environments, including improved plant selections for difficult sites; soil modification, including the development of CU-Structural Soil; and improved transplanting technology. Nina co-teaches a course at Cornell University titled Creating the Urban Eden, which integrates the woody plant identification and use with landscape establishment techniques for difficult urban sites. She is a frequent invited speaker at national conferences and workshops and recently received the Alex Shigo Award for Excellence in Arboricultural Education from the International Society of Arboriculture.