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Water infiltration rate was measured at forty tree pits representing the variety of physical conditions commonly seen in New York City, including the presence or absence of a tree pit guard, the size of the tree pit, the size of the tree, the presence or absence of ground cover planting, the presence or absence of mulch, and the elevation of the pit’s soil surface relative to the sidewalk.

Results showed that the most significant factor influencing the infiltration rate was the presence of a guard around a tree pit, with guarded tree pits having higher infiltration rates. Tree size, as measured by circumference at breast height, was found to be a less significant indicator of the infiltration rate.

Robert  M. Elliott, Elizabeth R. Adkins, Patricia J. Culligan, Matthew I.Palmer

Ecological Engineering, 2018

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