Landscaping Update

We’ve recently received several calls and inquiries about the landscaping, planters and trees being installed on Boones Ferry Road as part of the project. Outlined below is some key information.

Tree Staking, Dead Plants or Dying Trees

Our project team and contractor are fully aware of some of the trees having issues with the staking and these are being addressed. We are committed to making sure the project, when completed, meets the intended design.

With a project of this size and scope, there will always be some plants and trees that die or are not in good shape. Ultimately, some of the trees and plants either need to be replanted, re-staked or replaced (some have died since being planted). Our landscaper re-staked and straightened some of the trees this week.

Given we are having an unseasonably dry and hot spring, we are now waiting to install the remainder of the plants and trees in the project corridor until later this fall in order to give them the best chance of survival.

 Warranty Periods and Responsibility

The contractor is responsible for plant procurement, installation, establishment, maintenance and replacement.

Our landscape architect has conducted site visits and inventoried the plants. They will conduct a “substantial completion” punchlist walkthrough with the contractor once all the plants and landscaping is installed, where they will “accept” or “approve” the landscaping. During the inspection, if plants or trees that have been installed are not accepted, they will be marked and the contractor will be required to replace them. This then kicks off a one year establishment and warranty period.

Any plants or trees that die within the one year warranty period are required to be replaced by the contractor. After that time, it is then the City’s responsibility for ongoing maintenance in the public right-of-way; and for private areas, it is the property owner’s requirement to maintain the plants.

Types of Trees and Landscaping

In general, the selected plant and tree species in the project corridor are more drought tolerant. Urban roadway conditions are harsh environments for plants and therefore plant selections favored those that can tolerate windy, dry conditions and reflect heat. Some native species that are adaptable to these conditions were included in the plan. Many of these plants (the oak trees in particular) will be very well adapted to the urban conditions that are hotter and drier than our “native” environment. 

We have a wide variety of colorful plants that will display their show during different seasons. Daisy Bush, Ceanothus, Cistus, Heather, Cornus, Mahonia, Rhus, Zauschenaria, Achillea, Asclepias, Asters, Baptisia, Camas, Echinacea, Helenium, Iris, Lupine, Monkey Flower, Sisyrinchium are just some examples.  Most of these varieties are well-adapted to the conditions, with several being native and low resource intensive.  Grasses are used for their toughness and lasting qualities of texture and movement.  Annuals and hanging baskets can be included in the future when the project is complete.

A lot of consideration was also given to the placement of the plants and trees to ensure they wouldn’t block sight distance or pedestrian crossings.

Development of the Landscaping Plan

The project’s landscaping plan was developed through a robust public involvement process, led by landscape architects. Our Project Advisory Committee (PAC) was heavily involved in the plant and tree selection process. While they were advocates for native plants, they desired something different for the Lake Grove area and were interested in having a variety of uncommon, adaptable non-native plants.  They also desired a robust planting scheme and recognized our limitations of space and harsh conditions. These plans were reviewed, discussed and accepted by the PAC and through a public involvement process that allowed public comment. Our public works arborist and beautification specialist was also involved in the review of the plant list.

Stormwater Planters & Swales   

Green infrastructure – stormwater rain gardens, planters and swales – play an important role in collecting stormwater and filtering pollutants out of the dirty runoff, to protect our rivers, lakes and streams.

Directing runoff to a more natural, vegetated system reduces the amount of runoff in our storm system, allows water to slowly soak into the ground, and filters sediments and pollutants to improve water quality.

More than 40 stormwater planters and swales are being installed in the project corridor, to help manage and treat stormwater runoff. This a requirement to meet our Stormwater Management Manual, permitted by the Department of Environmental Quality. Many of these are located in the landscaped medians, and on the east side of the roadway. Those that appear deeper or lower than other landscaped planters are the stormwater planters.

These planters have specific types of planting material, plants and trees that help treat the runoff. Plantings of sedges run through the bottom of the planters and will be the year-round performers in these stormwater facilities.  It is a harsh condition that many plants are not suited for. 

Physocarpus, Salix, Iris, and Mahonia are other prominent shrubs and perennials that will add color and texture and appear different throughout the year.  Cascara, Alder and Magnolia are a few of the trees which are suited to the size and conditions of the facilities.

Metal Edging

The stormwater planters have a metal edge around them which provides a 4” high safety buffer between the pedestrian through zone and the stormwater planters.

There are several other locations in the metropolitan area that also use this edging on planters. Once the plants grow in and develop more, they will also be less noticeable.

Helpful Links

Landscaping Plan:

Tree Species List:

Open House Display Boards with Images of Trees and Plants: