TreeVitalize - Golden Triangle

The Golden Triangle TreeVitalize Project was funded by the Colcom Foundation and began in the spring of 2010. The goal was to increase the tree canopy in Downtown Pittsburgh through the planting of 250 large street trees utilizing both standard tree planting practices as well as more advanced engineered urban tree planting technology.

The project kicked off with an educational event in May 2010 that included a seedling give away and representatives from TreeVitalize project partners addressing a lunch time crowd on the importance of trees to our Downtown community. In addition to our main partners on the overall TreeVitalize Pittsburgh project, WPC had the pleasure of partnering with many Downtown partners on the Golden Triangle project including the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, the Pittsburgh Shade Tree Commission, Point Park University and the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership.

Trees were planted in newly created tree pits as well as existing planting sites that needed tree replacements. A significant number of existing trees Downtown were dead or in declining health and warranted replacing through the TreeVitalize project. This was an opportunity to increase species diversity and ensure that the right tree species was being planted in the right place. For example, many weak and damaged pear tree species were replaced in the Cultural District with hardy disease resistant elm and maple species that are doing very well.

In addition to the more standard tree plantings, WPC had the opportunity to work with Highmark in planting 19 new trees in the Fifth Avenue Place plaza renovation, 15 of which were planted using advanced urban tree planting technology called Silva Cells. These cells were installed underneath the plaza during reconstruction and provide the trees significantly greater soil volume than what is typically found in an urban tree planting site. These trees are being carefully monitored and maintained by the WPC and Highmark staffs.

TreeVitalize-planted Silva Cell trees, Downtown Pittsburgh

All of the trees planted through the Golden Triangle project were under a two year maintenance contract with the project’s planting contractor to ensure the trees were successfully established. WPC and its TreeVitalize partners are working closely with the city to transition maintenance responsibilities for the trees to the city for appropriate long term maintenance such as pruning.