In one of the Urban Eden video series, Nina Bassuk, and Zac Rood of the Cornell Landscape Architecture Department, demonstrated how to select for the best containerized woody plant material.

Urban Eden Demonstration Videos from Cornell Horticulture Institute (UHI) Director Dr. Nina Bassuk

Nina Bassuk has retired from teaching but continues as UHI director. She created this video series with colleagues in 2020 for remote learners. Nina Bassuk’s popular two-semester Cornell University course, Creating the Urban Eden: Woody Plant Selection, Design, and Landscape Establishment, encompassed woody plant materials, site assessment and tree selection, tree production methods and transplanting, tree establishment and maintenance, and topics in community forestry.

Dr. Nina Bassuk showing how to take a core sample of soil for bulk density analysis.

The videos show techniques that Bassuk and colleagues use on project sites, including on the National Mall grounds as explored in two past articles in City Trees, Urban Horticulture Institute Team Evaluates Condition of National Mall Elms and UHI Produces Plan for a Sustainable National Mall Treescape. They include taking a soil core for bulk density testing; using a penetrometer to measure soil compaction; determining soil texture by feel; evaluating containerized nursery stock, and more.

The Urban Eden videos are a great resource for urban foresters and affiliated professionals.

Zac Rood demonstrates how to do a simple “perc test” to measure how readily and quickly water infiltrates and percolates through a given soil.