It’s been a while – let’s catch up

We’ve been bad – sorry all, its been quite a while since our last update but new year, new routines eh? We have added a recent ASLA The Field article for your enjoyment and to keep you up to speed.

Right now – we have hands in Missouri, New York, California, Seattle, Chicago, Texas… let’s just say we have a lot of hands.

Follow our Instagram and you’ll see tons of new images from this year.

More to come – promise


“Soilful Living” – New article in Lawn&Landscape Magazine

Take a look at this month’s issue of Lawn&Landscape Magazine; anyone/thing look familiar?

We are humbled to be part of the August issue as the highlighted “Company Profile.” Here we discuss some details about ELM that many individuals may not know. It is a wonderful one-on-one view of our organization and tells of how ELM came to be and where we plan to go.

Visit Lawn&Landscape Magazine, Soilful Living, to read the entire text and learn more about the publication.

Today’s Thought

Today’s Thought: What if cover cropping could serve as a quasi/reinforcing-TPZ?

We are exploring the efforts of cover cropping in a whole new light – what if cover crops could create a natural looking Tree Protection Zone during minor construction? By plating the seed in the Critical Root Zones of trees, the crop would germinate surrounding the major areas of potential injury. If the idea was communicated effectively, no machine, equipment or foot pressure would enter the area of germination.

Double positive! – the cover crops would only be adding to the microbial health and rooting structure of the tree as it was standing guard!

Something to think about … will report back.


Today’s Check Up: East to (Mid) West

Once again we find ourselves in the blistering heat of St. Louis – a great day to hit the 100 degree mark I am sure. I can only imagine how thirsty the land is!

Yesterday we applied nearly 1200 gallons of compost tea blends to the arch landscape and will most likely continue that application pattern through Friday.

We are also in town for a soil health conference in St. Louis. The Soil Health Institute 2nd Annual Meeting.

Looking forward to the new ideas and practices others have to offer. That’s always the best part, isn’t it? Getting to be a student again and gaining more knowledge on a topic you are whole-heartedly interested in. If only my undergrad and elementary mind thought this way…

Now back on the East Coast, we are checking up on the Elms of 5th Avenue. The huge, gigantic, mesmerizing and quite historic Elms of Central Park. For anyone who lives in NYC and commutes along the East side of Central Park, I am sure you recall a serious construction job taking place last year along the sidewalk. And now hundreds of thousands of people walk along that same space and most likely have no idea that they are basically walking through the past and present at the same time. Those Elms date back to Olmsted, The Man, The Myth, The Legend himself.

I digress; well the Elms that line that part of the park’s perimeter had to be protected and preserved during the construction. With a bit or organic magic, the careful hands of the construction company and scientific assessment, the trees are standing tall and beautiful today.

Today is a good day for health.


The St. Louis Arch- This week’s perspective

Once again we find ourselves on the grounds of the St. Louis Arch Park; thousands of gallons of compost tea blends feeding the Earth while hundreds upon hundreds of guests enjoy the summer temperatures and sprawling green park.

Seventeen hours- that’s usually how long it takes for our techs and truck to make the journey from NY to MO. But that’s not a complaint because while the travel is long, the mission is greater.

We began our work with the St. Louis Arch back in 2014. Parts of the renovation project were still just drawings on paper; early phases of planning, design, development and construction were only gaining momentum.

Today, the park is a magnificent culmination of innovative design and quality construction. Collaboration- the interconnectedness of dozens of brilliant minds created a space where its successes surround each park-goer, inspire the community and stand as a national example.

You can follow the project’s milestones and events here while also learning all about the foundation spearheading the renovation and the goals of the new space.

To this date, we have been tasked with the creation and implementation of a full biological program for 140,000 yards of new manufactured soil as well as 30 acres of established turf and mature trees. Our work has also included the establishment and maintenance of the 800 new allee trees that line the historic walks of the St. Louis Gateway Arch grounds.

What is greater than all those combined is the fact that we have been able to serve as a valuable and educational team member. We have been able to learn from our counterparts and have worked to educate others on our natural approaches. That’s the most fun, the best feeling, the most rewarding. Just like nature moves together, feeds from one another’s energy sources, lives and breathes as one Earth – that is how we like to conduct our organizational operations.

Keep working together world! We’ve got to be doing something right!



Mycorrhizae: Ecological Succession’s Copilot — The Field

Ecological Succession: A Driving Force Ecological succession (ES) remains one of the most significant determinants of Earth’s biotic life and diversity. Defined as the process of change in the species structure of an ecological community over time, ES drives the environmental shifts of nature and conceives the biological architectures of past, present, and future landscapes. […]

via Mycorrhizae: Ecological Succession’s Copilot — The Field

Living in a Fractal World

It seems a bit off to be writing about fractals – to even be interested in learning more about the term. A company involved in the organic landscape and construction industry should probably stay in their lane, right? Eh, that’s not really our style to be honest.

We’ve been pondering about fractals and their relationships in nature for a little while now and quite frankly, it’s pretty amazing.

Fractals in nature remain one of the many fantastical designs of Mother Nature; infinite complex forms born of their own self-similar patterns; natural solutions that nature has designed to define order in a seemingly disorganized realm.

Fractal patterns are innately familiar because of the architecture of the environment. The structure of trees, rivers, even the human lung system can all be better defined with fractal application.

Fractals can be found at all levels, from particles to whole organisms and through the cosmos. The natural cycles of the world are capable of linking these scales, transferring energy across systems and serving as a medium for cyclical rhythms such as photosynthesis.

For our purposes, we touch upon the theory that plant health is derived from a fractal system.

The cycle of photosynthesis is fueled by sunlight and the biogeochemical interactions that transfer and transform elements. This energy is delicately delegated between light and dark reactions, traveling from the sun into the plant-root-soil interface and looping backed into the atmosphere through respiration.

The fractal structure of roots allow for the exudation of energy into the microbial biome and the absorption of nutrients. Branches, veins, leaves of a plant allow for efficiency in the distribution of energy to the stomata. From sun to soil, each fractal structure interacts with the next, bridging space and time together for the creation of an organic and sustainable system.

Because fractals are considered hyper-efficient, it can be said that cycles such as photosynthesis depend on fractal design for success. Failure of recursion can subsequently effect plant fertility and inhibit all connected variables such as rhizospheric health. An entire ecosystem can experience disturbance with enough structural weakness.

Fractal cycles can also warrant richness in nature, diversity and evolutionary succession. Nature is full of cycles where they can generate the restoration and regeneration of the environment. Over time, the interconnectedness of fractal structure and design increase; energy transfer becomes more dynamic. This complexity also increases the stability of the landscape and can represent ecological adaptation.

Again we look deeper at plant fertility; the life cycles, behaviors and dependent characteristics linking all ecologies across the landscaped surface. Without fractal structure and application, would plant health be supported? Would Earth’s entire natural ecosystem remain viable? Are fractals the key to ecological fertility? These are questions we acknowledge, look to explore, and urge the scientific community to continue considering as well.

What are your thoughts? Have you ever heard the term “fractal?” Any new insight would be FRACTASTIC!

P.S. We highly recommend checking out HUNTING THE HIDDEN DIMENSION.