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  • Writer's pictureMarie Ambusk

It’s official – TREES ROI’s first published paper!

Several years ago, I discovered the writing and forward thinking vision presented by the authors of the first three The Landscape Below Ground (LBG) proceedings. I have studied many of their findings in doing my research, to understand the world “below ground” and to focus our solution at the “root of the problem.” While I was (and am) completely in awe of their collective body of knowledge, I also found them to be very approachable and supportive. I often recall my first meeting with Dr. Ed Gilman at his University of Florida lab in 2011. After explaining my ideas, I told him “… but, I’m not a researcher.” He looked me in the eye and said, “What you are doing IS research. And there is so much more to be done, so keep working!”

Fast forward to October 2018 … Gordon Mann, Co-founder at TREES ROI, and I presenting our proof of concept findings at the LGB IV conference: Assessment of Root System Quality in Container-Grown Trees. It was a great honor and a bit surreal. If you too have followed the outstanding work of The Landscape Below Ground IV researchers’ efforts, you’ll be happy to know that the new book compiled with manuscripts from each presenter, has been published by the International Society of Arboriculture - ISA! We’d like to congratulate all authors, editors and our Team Advisor, Dr. Jason Grabosky, on his chapter: Observation of Wind-Loading Influences in Nonconcentric Radial Root Growth in Two Maple Species.

The LBG series of 4 conferences started in 1993, making this the 25-year celebration! The conference ended with a day when all presenters were invited to discuss their research interests in broader terms and create an outlook for the next 25 years. The final chapter is a summary of those interesting discussions: Landscape Below Ground Vision for 2043!

As we should all be aware by now, trees grown in containers can have debilitating root issues that must be corrected at planting or the tree will likely not grow to maturity. With the latest excitement about million and trillion tree planting campaigns, growing the tree after planting needs to be emphasized.

Our product is INSIGHT. It’s a system using Ground Penetrating Radar technology and computational software to assess the quality of tree root systems while growing inside the container. We will be able to view and assess the root system throughout the production process, without having to pull the tree out of the container and wash all the soil away to inspect the roots for quality.

We are doing something that has never been done before!

For the first time, buyers will be able to write root quality specifications and verify that the trees they are buying meet their specifications; and growers will be able to provide compliance with the specifications at the point of sale.

Like other startups, our work has been impacted by COVID-19, we expect to have a prototype for testing by Q4-2020 – so, follow our progress! … we can, and we must


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